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Corrosionwearing away due to chemical reactionsmainly oxidation see oxidation-reductionoxide. It occurs whenever a gas or liquid chemically attacks an exposed surfaceoften a metaland is accelerated by warm temperatures and by acids and salts. Normally, corrosion products e. Removing these deposits reexposes the surface, and corrosion continues. Some materials resist corrosion naturally; others can be treated to protect them e. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

Corrosion chemical process. See Article History.

Metallurgy - Definition & Processes

Read More on This Topic. Alloys can have much better high-temperature oxidation resistance than pure metals.

metallurgy reaction

The alloying elements most commonly used for this purpose…. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: oxidation-reduction reaction. Oxidation-reduction reactionany chemical reaction in which the oxidation number of a participating chemical species changes. The term covers a large and diverse body of processes. Many oxidation-reduction reactions are as common and familiar as fire, the rusting and dissolution of metals, the browning of fruit,….

The alloying elements most commonly used for this purpose are chromium and aluminum, both of which form an adherent film of stable oxide on the surface that protects the metal from further…. Corrosion testing is generally performed to evaluate materials for a specific environment or to evaluate means for protecting a material from environmental attack.

A chemical reaction, corrosion involves removal of metallic electrons from metals and formation of more stable compounds such as iron oxide…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox!

metallurgy reaction

Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.Physical metallurgy is the science of making useful products out of metals.

Metal parts can be made in a variety of ways, depending on the shape, properties, and cost desired in the finished product.

The desired properties may be electrical, mechanical, magnetic, or chemical in nature; all of them can be enhanced by alloying and heat treatment. The cost of a finished part is often determined more by its ease of manufacture than by the cost of the material.

This has led to a wide variety of ways to form metals and to an active competition among different forming methods, as well as among different materials. Large parts may be made by casting. Thin products such as automobile fenders are made by forming metal sheets, while small parts are often made by powder metallurgy pressing powder into a die and sintering it.

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Usually a metal part has the same properties throughout. However, if only the surface needs to be hard or corrosion-resistant, the desired performance can be obtained through a treatment that changes only the composition and strength of the surface. Metals are used in engineering structures e. This plasticity stems from the simplicity of the arrangement of atoms in the crystals making up a piece of metal and the nondirectional nature of the bond between the atoms.

Atoms can be arranged in many different ways in crystalline solids, but in metals the packing is in one of three simple forms. In the most ductile metals, atoms are arranged in a close-packed manner. If atoms were visualized as identical spheres and if these spheres were packed into planes in the closest possible manner, there would be two ways to stack close-packed planes one above another see figure.

One would lead to a crystal with hexagonal symmetry called hexagonal close-packedor hcp ; the other would lead to a crystal with cubic symmetry that could also be visualized as an assembly of cubes with atoms at the corners and at the centre of each face known as face-centred cubicor fcc. Examples of metals with the hcp type of structure are magnesiumcadmium, zincand alpha titanium. Metals with the fcc structure include aluminum, coppernickelgamma irongoldand silver.

The third common crystal structure in metals can be visualized as an assembly of cubes with atoms at the corners and an atom in the centre of each cube; this is known as body-centred cubic, or bcc.

Examples of metals with the bcc structure are alpha iron, tungsten, chromiumand beta titanium. Some metals, such as titanium and iron, exhibit different crystal structures at different temperatures. This allotropyor transformation from one structure to another with changing temperatureleads to the marked changes in properties that can come from heat treatment see below Heat treating. When a metal undergoes a phase change from liquid to solid or from one crystal structure to another, the transformation begins with the nucleation and growth of many small crystals of the new phase.

All these crystals, or grains, have the same structure but different orientations, so that, when they finally grow together, boundaries form between the grains. These boundaries play an important role in determining the properties of a piece of metal. At room temperature they strengthen the metal without reducing its ductility, but at high temperatures they often weaken the structure and lead to early failure.

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They can be the site of localized corrosionwhich also leads to failure. When a metal rod is lightly loaded, the strain measured by the change in length divided by the original length is proportional to the stress the load per unit of cross-sectional area. The strain here is said to be elastic, and the ratio of stress to strain is called the elastic modulus.Metal hypersensitivity is a disorder of the immune system. It can produce a variety of symptoms, including rashes, swelling, or pain due to contact with certain metals see the symptoms and complications section, below.

In addition to the local skin reactions, metal hypersensitivity can also manifest itself as more chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. There are numerous local and systemic symptoms that, when considered together, can be caused by metal hypersensitivities.

These types of reactions can be localized reactions that are limited to one area, but they can also be more generalized and affect other more distant parts of the body. The symptoms of metal hypersensitivity are caused when the body's immune system starts to view metal ions as foreign threats. The cells that make up the immune system normally kill foreign bacteria and viruses by causing inflammation.

If they begin attacking metal ions that you touch, eat, inhale, or have implanted in you, they can produce a variety of symptoms see the symptoms and complications section, below. Potential metal allergens triggers of allergic reactions are very common in everyday life. Typical sources such as watches, coins, and jewellery come readily to mind. However, there are also other less obvious sources of metal in our daily lives. For example, cosmetic products and contact lens solutions may also contain metals that can trigger a reaction at the area of contact.

Nickel is one of the most frequent allergens, causing significant local contact dermatitis skin reddening and itching. Cobalt, copper, and chromium are also common culprits. These metals can be found in consumer items such as jewellery, cell phones, and clothing items.

Aside from everyday items, medical devices also contain possible allergens such as chromium and titanium. Older dental implants and fillings are often made of metals. A few intra-uterine devices IUDs for birth control are made of copper and can also cause hypersensitivities. Implantable devices such as artificial knees, artificial hips, pacemakers, stents, and fracture plates, rods, or pins may contain metals that can cause metal hypersensitivity reactions.

These reactions are often more severe in nature when the allergens have been implanted within the body for an extended period of time. In addition, people who already have an autoimmune disorder a disorder where the immune system is overactive can have a higher risk of a metal hypersensitivity, as their immune system is in a constant state of activity.

Signs and symptoms of metal hypersensitivities can range from small and localized to more severe and generalized.

Limited reactions can appear as a contact dermatitis on the skin that has been exposed to the metal. The skin may appear red, swollen, and itchy. Hives and rashes may also develop. More severe metal hypersensitivity reactions usually occur from prolonged exposure to a metal allergen through implants or metal ions that are inhaled or eaten.

These reactions often cause chronic joint or muscle pain, inflammation, and swelling, leading to generalized fatigue and lack of energy. In addition, fibromyalgia pain without known cause and chronic fatigue syndrome can also be seen in people with metal hypersensitivities. The following symptoms and conditions have been linked to metal hypersensitivity.

If you have any of these conditions, you may wish to speak to your doctor about the possibility of a metal hypersensitivity:. Your doctor may suspect metal hypersensitivities based on a combination of your personal history and your signs and symptoms. To determine possible causes of metal exposure, your doctor may ask if you have any type of implants, if you smoke, or if you regularly use any cosmetics.

Aside from a thorough personal history, your doctor may also order laboratory tests to confirm whether you have a metal hypersensitivity. These tests usually involve giving a blood sample at a laboratory.

The laboratory technicians will test the white blood cells for their activity against metal ions by using radioisotopes and microscopically observing physical changes within the cells. If the test shows that the white blood cells have increased activity when exposed to the metal ions, it indicates the presence of a metal hypersensitivity. A dermatologist can also conduct an allergy test in which they expose various metal ions to your skin to test for a hypersensitivity reaction.

Metal Hypersensitivity

This allergy test, which is similar to a regular "scratch test," is often done as a "patch test.Hot-dip galvanized steel is well suited for use in a variety of environments and fabrications, and sometimes is placed in contact with different metals including, among others, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and weathering steel.

When two different metals are in contact in a corrosive environment, one of the metals experiences accelerated galvanic corrosion while the other metal remains galvanically protected. Metals near each other in the galvanic series have little effect on each other.

Generally, as the separation between metals in the series increases, the corroding effect on the metal higher in the series increases as well. Relative surface areas of contacting dissimilar metals is also relevant in determining which metal exhibits accelerated corrosion. It is undesirable to have a large cathode surface in contact with a relatively small anode surface. Galvanic corrosion occurs when two different metals are in contact in a corrosive environment: one of the metals experiences an accelerated corrosion rate.

The contacting metals form a bimetallic couple because of their different affinities or attraction for electrons. These different affinities create an electrical potential between the two metals, allowing current to flow. The metal higher in the galvanic series of metalsthe anode, provides protection for the metal lower in the series, the cathode. With respect to contacting surface areas of the two metals, although the corrosion current that flows between the cathode and anode is independent of area, the rate of penetration at the anode does depends on current density.

Thus, a large anode area in contact with a relatively small cathode area is generally not problematic. Regardless, environmental conditions remain large determinants of corrosion rates. Login Close. As can be seen from the galvanic series, zinc protects the lower-order steel. Galv KnowledgeBase Is there concern about galvanic corrosion when different types of zinc-coated steel are in contact?This page examines the reactions of the Group 1 elements lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium and cesium with oxygen, and the simple reactions of the various oxides formed.

Group 1 metals are very reactive, and must be stored out of contact with air to prevent oxidation. Reactivity increases as you go down the group; the less reactive metals lithium, sodium and potassium are stored in oil because of its density, lithium floats in oil, but because it is less reactive than the other metals in the group, the thin coating of oil that results is sufficient to prevent reaction.

Rubidium and cesium are typically stored in sealed glass tubes to eliminate contact with air. They are stored either in a vacuum or in an inert gas such as argon and the tubes must be broken open when the metal is used. Rubidium metal sample from the Dennis s. Image used with permission. Depending on the period of the metal, a different type of oxide is formed when the metal is burned.

The reactions are the same in oxygen and in air, but oxygen will generate a more violent reaction. Lithium is unique in the group because it also reacts with the nitrogen in the air to form lithium nitride.

Lithium burns with a strongly red-tinged flame if heated in air; in pure oxygen, the flame is more intense. It reacts with oxygen in the air to give white lithium oxide:. Lithium also reacts with the nitrogen in the air to produce lithium nitride and is the only Group 1 element that forms a nitride:. Small pieces of sodium burn in air with a faint orange glow.

Using larger amounts of sodium or burning it in oxygen gives a strong orange flame. The reaction produces a white solid mixture of sodium oxide and sodium peroxide. The equation for the formation of the simple oxide is analogous to the lithium equation:. Small pieces of potassium heated in air melt and convert instantly into a mixture of potassium peroxide and potassium superoxide without a visible flame.

Larger pieces of potassium produce a lilac flame. The equation for the formation of the peroxide is like the sodium equation above:. The equations for these reactions are analogous to the equivalent potassium superoxide equation Equation 6 :. Both superoxides are described as either orange or yellow, but rubidium superoxide can also be dark brown.

The more complicated ions are unstable in the presence of a small positive ion. The covalent bond between the two oxygen atoms is relatively weak. Now imagine bringing a small positive ion close to the peroxide ion. Electrons in the peroxide ion will be strongly attracted toward the positive ion. A simple oxide ion can be formed if the oxygen atom on the right "breaks off":.

Hence, the positive ion polarizes the negative ion. This is most effective if the positive ion is small and highly charged if it has a high charge density, or a lot of charge packed into a small volume. Larger Group 1 ions have less of an effect on the peroxide ion because of their low charge density. The larger metals form complicated oxides due to energetic factors. In the presence of sufficient oxygen, the compound which produces the most stable compound is dominant Table 1.Following separation and concentration by mineral processingmetallic minerals are subjected to extractive metallurgy, in which their metallic elements are extracted from chemical compound form and refined of impurities.

Metallic compounds are frequently rather complex mixtures those treated commercially are for the most part sulfides, oxides, carbonates, arsenides, or silicatesand they are not often types that permit extraction of the metal by simple, economical processes.

Consequently, before extractive metallurgy can effect the separation of metallic elements from the other constituents of a compoundit must often convert the compound into a type that can be more readily treated. Common practice is to convert metallic sulfides to oxides, sulfates, or chlorides; oxides to sulfates or chlorides; and carbonates to oxides.

The processes that accomplish all this can be categorized as either pyrometallurgy or hydrometallurgy. Pyrometallurgy involves heating operations such as roasting, in which compounds are converted at temperatures just below their melting points, and smeltingin which all the constituents of an ore or concentrate are completely melted and separated into two liquid layers, one containing the valuable metals and the other the waste rock.

Hydrometallurgy consists of such operations as leaching, in which metallic compounds are selectively dissolved from an ore by an aqueous solvent, and electrowinning, in which metallic ions are deposited onto an electrode by an electric current passed through the solution. Extraction is often followed by refiningin which the level of impurities is brought lower or controlled by pyrometallurgical, electrolyticor chemical means. Pyrometallurgical refining usually consists of the oxidizing of impurities in a high-temperature liquid bath.

metallurgy reaction

Electrolysis is the dissolving of metal from one electrode of an electrolytic cell and its deposition in a purer form onto the other electrode. Chemical refining involves either the condensation of metal from a vapour or the selective precipitation of metal from an aqueous solution.


The processes to be used in extraction and refining are selected to fit into an overall pattern, with the product from the first process becoming the feed material of the second process, and so on. It is quite common for hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical, and electrolytic processes to be used one after another in the treatment of a single metal.

The choices depend on several conditions. One of these is that certain types of metallic compounds lend themselves to easiest extraction by certain methods; for example, oxides and sulfates are readily dissolved in leach solutions, while sulfides are only slightly soluble.

Another condition is the degree of purity, which can vary from one type of extraction to another. Zinc production illustrates this, in that zinc metal produced by pyrometallurgical retort or blast-furnace operations is 98 percent pure, with traces of lead, ironand cadmium. This is adequate for galvanizingbut the preferred purity for die-casting Also to be considered in choosing a processing method is the recovery of particular impurities that may have value themselves as by-products.

One example is copper refining: the pyrometallurgical refining of blister copper removes many impurities, but it does not recover or remove silver or gold; the precious metals are recovered, however, by subsequent electrolytic refining. Two of the most common pyrometallurgical processes, in both extraction and refining, are oxidation and reduction. In oxidation, metals having a great affinity for oxygen selectively combine with it to form metallic oxides; these can be treated further in order to obtain a pure metal or can be separated and discarded as a waste product.

Reduction can be viewed as the reverse of oxidation. In this process, a metallic oxide compound is fed into a furnace along with a reducing agent such as carbon. The metal releases its combined oxygen, which recombines with the carbon to form a new carbonaceous oxide and leaves the metal in an uncombined form.

Oxidation and reduction reactions are either exothermic energy-releasing or endothermic energy-absorbing.

metallurgy reaction

One example of an exothermic reaction is the oxidation of iron sulfide FeS to form iron oxide FeO and sulfur dioxide SO 2 gas:. This process gives off large quantities of heat beyond that required to initiate the reaction.

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One endothermic reaction is the smelting reduction of zinc oxide ZnO by carbon monoxide CO to yield zinc Zn metal and carbon dioxide CO 2 :.

As stated above, for those instances in which a metal-bearing compound is not in a chemical form that permits the metal to be easily and economically removed, it is necessary first to change it into some other compound.

The preliminary treatment that is commonly used to do this is roasting. There are several different types of roast, each one intended to produce a specific reaction and to yield a roasted product or calcine suitable for the particular processing operation to follow. The roasting procedures are:. Oxidizing roasts, which remove all or part of the sulfur from sulfide metal compounds, replacing the sulfides with oxides.

The sulfur removed goes off as sulfur dioxide gas. Oxidizing roasts are exothermic. Sulfatizing roasts, which convert certain metals from sulfides to sulfates. Sulfatizing roasts are exothermic. Reducing roasts, which lower the oxide state or even completely reduce an oxide to a metal.

Reducing roasts are exothermic.Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elementstheir inter-metallic compoundsand their mixtures, which are called alloys.

Metallurgy encompasses both the science and the technology of metals. That is, the way in which science is applied to the production of metals, and the engineering of metal components used in products for both consumers and manufacturers.

Metallurgy is distinct from the craft of metalworking. Metalworking relies on metallurgy in a similar manner to how medicine relies on medical science for technical advancement. A specialist practitioner of metallurgy is known as a Metallurgist.

The science of metallurgy is subdivided into two broad categories: chemical metallurgy and physical metallurgy. Chemical metallurgy is chiefly concerned with the reduction and oxidation of metals, and the chemical performance of metals.

Subjects of study in chemical metallurgy include mineral processingthe extraction of metalsthermodynamicselectrochemistryand chemical degradation corrosion. Topics studied in physical metallurgy include crystallographymaterial characterizationmechanical metallurgy, phase transformationsand failure mechanisms.

Historically, metallurgy has predominately focused on the production of metals. Metal production begins with the processing of ores to extract the metal, and includes the mixture of metals to make alloys.

Metal alloys are often a blend of at least two different metallic elements. However, non-metallic elements are often added to alloys in order to achieve properties suitable for an application. The study of metal production is subdivided into ferrous metallurgy also known as black metallurgy and non-ferrous metallurgy also known as colored metallurgy.

Ferrous metallurgy involves processes and alloys based on iron while non-ferrous metallurgy involves processes and alloys based on other metals. The production of ferrous metals accounts for 95 percent of world metal production. Modern metallurgists work in both emerging and traditional areas as part of an interdisciplinary team alongside material scientists, and other engineers. Some traditional areas include mineral processing, metal production, heat treatment, failure analysisand the joining of metals including weldingbrazingand soldering.

Emerging areas for metallurgists include nanotechnologysuperconductorscompositesbiomedical materialselectronic materials semiconductorsand surface engineering. The earliest recorded metal employed by humans appears to be goldwhich can be found free or " native ". Small amounts of natural gold have been found in Spanish caves dating to the late Paleolithic period, c.

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Certain metals, notably tin, leadand at a higher temperature, copper, can be recovered from their ores by simply heating the rocks in a fire or blast furnace, a process known as smelting.