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METALS AND THEIR USE






It is known that metals are very important in our life. Metals have the greatest importance for industry. All machines and other engineering constructions have metal parts; some of them consist only of metal parts.

There are two large groups of metals:

1) Simple metals — more or less pure chemical elements.

2) Alloys — materials consisting of a simple metal combined with some other elements.

About two thirds of all elements found in the earth are metals, but not all metals may be used in industry. Those metals which are used in industry are called engineering metals. The most important engineering metal is iron (Fe) which, in the form of alloys with carbon (C) and other elements, finds greater use than any other metal. Metals consisting of iron combined with some other elements are known as ferrous metals; all the other metals are called nonferrous metals. The most important nonferrous metals are copper (Cu), aluminum (Al), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), tin (Sn), but all these metals are used much less than ferrous metals, because the ferrous metals are much cheaper.

If we take all the metal produced by the-world’s metallurgical industry during one year for 100 per cent, we shall see that the production of ferrous metals is about 94 per cent, the production of copper is about 2 per cent, zinc about 1.52 per cent, aluminum about 0.6 per cent, etc.

Engineering metals are used in industry in the form of alloys be cause the properties of alloys are much better than the properties of pure metals. Only aluminum may be largely used in the form of a simple metal.

People-began to use metals after wood and stone, but now metals are more important for our industry than these two old materials. Metals have such a great importance because of their useful properties. Metals are much stronger and harder than wood and that is why some engineering constructions and machines were impossible when people did not know how to produce and how to use metals. Metal is not so brittle as stone which was the first engineering material for people. Strength, hardness, and plasticity of metals are the properties which made metals so useful for industry. It is possible to find some very plastic wood, but it will be much softer than many metals; stone may be very hard, but it is not plastic at all. Only metals have a combination of these three most useful engineering properties.

But it is much more difficult to get the metals from the earth in which they are found than to find some stone or wood, that is why people began to use metals after stone and wood. The first metal which was produced by the people was copper, iron was produced much later.



Different metals are produced in different ways, but almost all the metals are found in the form of metal ore (iron ore, copper ore, etc.).

The ore is a mineral consisting of a metal combined with some impurities. In order to produce a metal from some metal ore, we must separate these impurities from the metal; that is done by metallurgy.

 

2. Find in the text English equivalents to the following words and word combinations:

хімічний елемент, промислові метали, чорні метали, кольорові метали, крихкий, твердість, надійність, металева руда, залізна руда, мідна руда.

 

3. Write out the following metals in two groups: ferrous metals and nonferrous metals.

copper, iron, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin, carbon, steel

 



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