Metals make up almost 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table, and vary widely in strength, density, corrosion resistance, melting point, electrical conductivity, and other properties. However, almost all of these properties can be altered by adding various amounts of other elements, and some characteristics can be changed by different processing methods. The possibilities are almost endless, which explains why metals can be made into so many products, from aircraft carriers to computer chips.
Examples of Metals
Iron is a perfect example of these endless possibilities. Although many people think of iron as a relatively new discovery, iron was used in tools and weapons as early as 4000 BC. Pure iron is not as strong as steel, but it is very ductile, which allows it to be hammered into many useful shapes. However, it was not until 500 BC that the process was discovered for changing iron into steel. Strangely, when iron contains more than about 3% carbon, it is not designated steel, but rather cast iron. Iron is considered to be steel only if carbon content is less than about 2%.
Metals Testing and Analysis
NSL’s testing services offer a wide array of capabilities:
|MECHANICAL PROPERTIES||PHYSICAL PROPERTIES||METALLOGRAPHY||ANALYTICAL TESTING|
|Hardness (Brinell, Rockwell, Micro)||Specific heat||Specimen saws||Inductively coupled plasma / Mass spectrometry|
(room and elevated temperature)
|Coefficient of thermal expansion||Sample polishing equipment||Inductively coupled plasma / Atomic emission spectroscopy|
|Charpy impact strength||Electrical conductivity||Mounting tools||X-ray diffraction (XRD)|
|Fracture toughness||Thermal conductivity||Etching equipment and chemicals||X-ray fluorescence (XRF)|
|Compression strength||Corrosion resistance||Optical microscope||Optical comparator|
|Bend testing||Particle size||Stereo microscope||Laser diffraction|
|Elongation||Density||Scanning electron microscope||Optical emission spectrometer|
|Stress rupture strength||Weldability||Image analysis instruments and software||Surface analysis|
|Elastic modulus||Particle size analysis||Atomic absorption|