Rui Carreira is an entertainment buff who writes about a myriad of different things... one of them being lists.
Intro: About Metals and their Ranking
Metals have been the key for many of humanity's most important discoveries and technological progress.
Metals are strong, malleable and have very useful properties. Some are great conductors, others are anti-oxidable and some are just tough and good to hit stuff with.
Regardless of all of this nuance, we humans all have the underlying question of:
- But what is the strongest?
And to satisfy that childish curiosity, I've decided to write the Top 10 Strongest Metals of All Time list.
10 - Tantalum: Corrosion Proof
Tantalum is a very shiny, strong and yet soft metal that has an interesting property - it is corrosion-proof.
Having said that, it's no wonder Tantalum is mainly used to harvest the benefit of the oxide film coating its surface. We can see tantalum being used in airplane engines, capacitors, and electric devices.
It is produced in Portugal and Brazil, and it can also be used as a boiler's heat exchanger.
9 - Osmium: The Densest Metal
If this list was about the Top 10 Densest Metals known to man, then Osmium would be number one.
Without a doubt, the densest metal of this list has a really sleek look with its crystal-like appearance and platinum-like glow.
It has been used by clockmakers for hundreds of years due to its hardness.
8 - Zirconium: Your Deodorant May Have It
Zirconium is one of the most interesting metals in this list due to its unique uses. It can be used to make simple tools, bars, pipes, and fittings - sure - but it can also be applied to more unique ends like making fake gemstones and even be ground and used to make deodorants.
That's right, the uses for Zirconium are endless, and it definitely has a lot of versatility points.
7 - Lutetium: A Rare Metal
Don't let the plain name fool you - Lutetium is rare.
In fact, Lutetium is so rare that it is probably the costliest rare element to obtain. It is used for processes with such elegant names as Alkylation and Polymerization, and if you guess what its main use is you'll probably know why it's so expensive:
- Lutetium is vital to any oil refinery, hence it's importance and hefty price.
6 - Vanadium: Soft, Rare and Ductile
Sword makers and blacksmiths know that a strong metal doesn't need to be dense or tough, a strong metal can be flexible and ductile.
This is the case for Vanadium, one of the softest and yet strongest metals in existence. Vanadium is often mixed with other metals, and it can have some really fetching colors.
It is used in jet engines and pills, so its uses are varied.
5 - Iron: The Posterboy of Metal
Iron, what can I tell you about it that you already haven't heard.
Iron is the poster boy of all metals and for good reason. Over our long history, we've used this extremely common element to our advantage. Its uses are varied and I bet the chair you're sitting on has at least one piece made of it.
Unless we're in 3019 by now, and it is all synthetic material or we're up in the Matrix by now.
4 - Titanium: Low Density, High Strenght
You knew Titanium had to be on this list, but you maybe didn't expect it to score this low.
That's because Titanium is one of the strongest metals we are aware of in our day-to-day lives, and the top entries are all-but-one unknown to most of us.
Titanium is used for prosthetics and orthodontics, among other stuff.
3 - Chromium: Not to be Confused with a Google Product
Chromium, we don't often hear this name in our day-to-day lives, but if you've got forks and knives at home, they probably have a bit of this because it's used to make stainless metal.
This is because Chromium doesn't tarnish when exposed to oxygen, and it instantly creates an anti-oxygen layer around itself when exposed, making sure the glow keeps on shining.
2 - Steel: Strong and Popular
Steel is a mix of various materials such as phosphorus, carbon, magnesium, sulfur, silicon, and oxygen to name a few.
It is very cheap to make and as such we use it everyday in a lot of different situations. One of its strongest properties is its tensile strength and the fact you can recycle it over and over again without any properties being lost.
1 - Tungsten: Robust and Dense
Tungsten may sound like a funny name, and it is indeed so. The name's origin is Swedish and it is pretty descriptive of its nature. In Swedish, Tungsten means heavy rock.
It's an extremely strong metal, being the strongest metal of all and melting at over 3400 °C.
How dense is it? Well, denser than lead! Over nineteen times denser than water!
Unfortunately, it can be toxic to some wildlife. Also, some bank robbers substitute gold bars by golden tungsten ones to avoid being detected... at least that's what I heard off somewhere, you should Google it.
In Conclusion: Surprising Results
As I was researching this list, I stumbled upon some surprises. For example, if I had to guess if Iron would be in this list, I'd say no because it is so mainstream I thought there had to be over 10 metals stronger than it.
But Iron is actually classified in the middle of the chart, which was a surprise.
On the other hand, I didn't think Tungsten was number 1, I was expecting something more exotic... Adamantium or something. (I knew this one was fiction, but maybe something along these lines).
Regardless, hope you liked the post as much as I loved writing it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Rui Carreira
David B Katague on September 03, 2019:
I enjoyed reading this hub-very informative!