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MATERIALS RESEARCH

V. Ryan © 2001- 2008

 

FERROUS AND NON-FERROUS METALS

 

When attempting a project based on resistant materials you must consider metals as part of your research. A vast range of metals exist and they fit in two categories, ‘ferrous’ and ‘non-ferrous’ metals. These metals can be used to build/manufacture an equally large range of items. Study the properties of the materials below, you may find that they are useful for your project. You may need to investigate metals further.

 

PDF FILE - CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE EXERCISE BASED ON TABLES BELOW

 

FERROUS METALS - Metals that contain iron.

NON-FERROUS METALS - Metals that do not contain iron

   

SOME FERROUS METALS AND PROPERTIES

 

NAME

ALLOY OF

PROPERTIES

USES

Mild Steel

Carbon 0.1 - 0.3%

Iron 99.9 - 99.7%

Tough. High tensile strength. Can be case hardened. Rusts very easily. Most common metal used in school workshops. Used in general metal products and engineering.
Carbon Steel

Carbon 0.6 - 1.4%

Iron 99.4 - 98.6%

Tough. Can be hardened and tempered. Cutting tools such as drills.
Stainless steel Iron, nickel and chromium. Tough, resistant to rust and stains. Cutlery, medical instruments.
Cast iron

Carbon 2 - 6%

Iron 98 - 94%

Strong but brittle. Compressive strength very high. Castings, manhole covers, engines.
Wrought iron Almost 100% iron Fibrous, tough, ductile, resistant to rusting. Ornamental gates and railings. Not in much use today.

 

 

SOME NON - FERROUS METALS AND PROPERTIES

NAME

COLOUR

ALLOY OF;

PROPERTIES

USES

Aluminium Light grey

Aluminium 95%

Copper 4%

Manganese 1%

Ductile, soft, malleable, machines well. Very light. Window frames, aircraft, kitchen ware.
Copper Reddish brown Not an alloy Ductile, can be beaten into shape. Conducts electricity and heat. Electrical wiring, tubing, kettles, bowls, pipes.
Brass Yellow Mixture of copper and zinc 65% - 35% most common ratio. Hard. Casts and machines well. Surface tarnishes. Conducts electricity. Parts for electrical fittings, ornaments.
Silver Whitish grey Mainly silver but alloyed with copper to give sterling silver. Ductile, Malleable, solders, resists corrosion. Jewellery, solder, ornaments.
Lead Bluish grey Not an alloy. Soft, heavy, ductile, loses its shape under pressure. Solders, pipes, batteries, roofing.

If you use metals as part of a practical project a knowledge of the shape or ‘section’ of lengths of metals is important. The diagrams below show examples of solid lengths and also tubes. When you order metals you need to describe the section you want.

       

SECTIONS - SOLIDS AND TUBES

       

ROUND SECTION

HEXAGONAL SECTION

SQUARE SECTION

L-SECTION

       

ROUND TUBE

HEXAGONAL TUBE

SQUARE TUBE

L-SECTION TUBE

       
 
       

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SECTIONS

       

QUESTIONS:

1. What is the advantage of tube compared to solid sections?

2. With the aid of simple diagrams explain how metals could be used as part of your project.

3. Sketch in 3D each of the sections shown above.
4. List metals that are produced as tubes and sections.
5. What is the difference between a ferrous metal and a non-ferrous metal?

       
PDF FILE - CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSION OF EXERCISE SHOWN BELOW
       
Identify the parts of the bicycle shown below that are manufactured from solid sections and those that are manufactured from tube.
 
 
 
Explain why tube is ideal for most parts of a bicycle. You may wish to mention; weight, manufacturing process, cost and other relevant points.
 
 
 
 
 
 

CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE OF METALS USED TO MANUFACTURE A BICYCLE

       

CLICK HERE FOR INTRODUCTION TO MATERIALS PAGE

       

CLICK HERE FOR DESIGN PROCESS INDEX PAGE

       
 
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