What Are the Strongest Common Metals on Earth?
Considering our buildings, cars and cities are made from them, it is reassuring knowing that metals are notoriously strong. It is even more reassuring to know that there are over 30 common metals to choose from when it comes to building our skyline or our vehicles. Yet, with so many to choose from, natural curiosity poses one question: which one is the strongest?
We must first discuss what constitutes a ‘strong’ metal. Traditionally, the strongest materials will be naturally resistant to scratches and to damage through their atomic makeup, and their melting point will provide us with a more specific gauge of just how tough they really are. So, in no particular order:
Although you may struggle to find tungsten in its true form just laying around the house, it is a metal most people are familiar with. For the most part, tungsten is notorious for being strong, which makes it perfect for this list.
With an atomic mass of 183 units and a melting point of 3,422 Celsius, it is no surprise that tungsten is mainly used in cemented carbides for cutting tools, and, due to its resistance to heat, it is also used in heating filaments.
The strength of iron is highlighted by its primary use. Combined with steel, iron is commonly found in the structure of buildings and skyscrapers. Despite being partnered up with another metal for maximum strength, iron still boasts a melting point of 1,538 Celsius and is arguably more practical than the likes of tungsten.
Reach into your pocket and find some spare change and see anything silver, then it’s nickel. Being associated with such a minute object may discredit its stature, but with a melting point of 1,455 Celsius, nickel can hold its own with the likes of iron and stainless steel.
The true strength of nickel is demonstrated in its uses in the production of cars, particularly in the exhausts and cylinders.
The uses of titanium put the other common metals on this list to shame. An ability to withstand extreme heat and a low density allows titanium to be used for space and aircraft, as well as missiles. If that doesn’t scream ‘strength’ I don’t know what does. The stats back this up, too, with a melting point of 1,668 blowing the likes of iron and nickel out of the water.
As we reach the conclusion of this list, we stumble upon not only the most common metals, but also the strongest. Fused together with iron, steel is completely corrosion resistant and has a melting point of 1370. Although a modest melting point in comparison to the other common metals on this list, the uses of steel are what give it its status of one of the strongest. Used not only in buildings and skyscrapers of all shapes and sizes, steel is also used in a variety of different objects such as coastal defences and jet engine components, all the way down to nails and screws. This versatility is unrivalled by any of the other common metals, and rightly cements its place on this list.