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All About Metals PART ONE

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The World’s Strongest Metals

We work with a lot of metals here at IGS Industries. Just some of the metals we have on hand are carbon steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, bronze, Hastelloy, Inconel, beryllium copper, titanium, and lead. We have worked with even more exotic metals, and we have suppliers on hand who can readily give us access to rare and exotic metals for unique customer projects.

Since we do a lot of metal work, we thought it would be informative to share with you here the concepts we use to evaluate metals, and we will also give you an idea of some of the strongest metals available in a later post, All About Metals PART TWO.

Almost all the metals you commonly see today are alloys. Alloying is simply the process of taking two or more molten materials and combining them in the right proportions to create a new metal mixture. As a result of the mixing, alloys can exhibit unique benefits such as rust protection, conductivity, and increased strength.

The two main ideas behind the strongest metals, however, are yield strength and tensile strength. Yield strength is how much force (heat or pressure) you can apply to a material before it deforms permanently. Think of how the Incredible Hulk is classically known to bend steel beams with his bare hands and, once finished, the beam retains its “U” shape. This is the concept of yield strength. Tensile strength is the amount of pulling force that can be applied to a metal before it weakens and breaks. Think of how a guitar string can be bent and plucked, but too much bending or too harsh plucking will break the string.

So to determine the top strongest metals, you have to ask yourself if you’re judging on yield strength, tensile strength, or a combination of both. The measurement criteria chosen will change the list, but nevertheless, we can still gather a general idea of what the strongest and lightest metal materials are regardless of the criteria.

In a later post, we’ll share the generally-accepted list of strongest metals, and surprisingly, titanium is not even in the top-five.

All About Metals PART ONE