Sheet metal is a widely used material, but you may not know some of the most interesting aspects of its various forms.
To remedy that, here are seven facts that will bring you up to speed and give you something to think about the next time you see or work with sheet metal.
Iron Is Everywhere
No other metal is as common as iron, although this is partly due to the fact that it forms the core of the planet as well as being present in its crust.
Silver Is Very Conductive
While electrical conductivity is common across all metals, the best conductor of the bunch is silver.
Metal Corrosion Is Not Universal
While rust can be an issue for some metals, there are others which can effectively stay corrosion-free indefinitely. Gold is famously resilient, even in moist environments.
Alloys Are Complex
The definition of an alloy relies on at least two different metals being combined, sometimes with another element in order to reap the beneficial properties of all three.
There Is Only One Liquid Metal
With an incredibly low melting point, mercury will be in liquid form at room temperature and is the only metal to achieve this. Of course, this means that you will not see it shaped using punching machines like those sold on http://www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/euromac/punching-machines/; it is more typically used in thermometers.
Tungsten Is Tough
While not strictly the strongest metal around, tungsten does have the noteworthy property of requiring a higher temperature to melt than any of its counterparts. Turning it to liquid requires that it is heated to a whopping 3,400 degrees Celsius.
Galvanisation Is Essential
For some metals that do corrode, galvanising them is a great way to protect the surface from oxidisation over time.
This process involves dipping metals like iron into zinc that has been heated until it is a liquid. Since zinc does not react with the moist air in the same way, it will lessen the chances of rust taking hold.
Sheet metals which have been galvanised are able to last a lot longer than those that have not, with this process helping to make modern cars especially resistant to oxidisation. This lowers maintenance costs, improves resale values and provides a wealth of benefits in a variety of other important everyday settings.