Although there are very many metallic elements it is customary to divide metals and alloys into two major categories, ferrous and non-ferrous. The former category covers the element iron and its alloys, while all the other metallic elements (some 70 in number) and their alloys are classified as non-ferrous. The division is not quite as unbalanced as might at first appear, because iron occupies a very special position among metallic materials, owing to its availability, its comparatively low cost, and the very useful ranges of alloys that are formed when iron is alloyed with carbon and other elements. Some 94 per cent of the total world consumption of metallic materials is in the form of steels and cast irons. On the other hand, out of all the non-ferrous metals, only a few, aluminium, copper, lead, magnesium, nickel, tin, and zinc, are produced in large quantities. Many other metallic elements are produced and used in engineering, both as alloying elements and as metals in their own right, but they are outside the scope of this volume.
KeywordsTitanium Magnesium Welding Manganese Steam
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