Identification of Metal and Metal Processing

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A metal is a solid material that is typically hard, opaque, shiny, and acts as good electrical and thermal conductivity.

 Types of Metal

There are two classifications of engineering metals. These are:

  1. Ferrous Metals
  2. Non-Ferrous Metals

Ferrous Metals are metals that contain iron, therefore they are magnetic. Ferrous metals are very strong, but they corrode easily. Examples of ferrous metals are: alloy steel, stainless steel, cast iron, tool steel, pig iron and wrought iron.


Non-ferrous Metals are metals that do not contain iron, so they are not magnetic. Non-ferrous irons have lower strength but higher ability to resist corrosion. Non-ferrous metals are attractive in colour. Examples of non-ferrous metals are: copper, brass, aluminium, zinc, bronze and lead. 

Properties of metal

·         Ductile (can be drawn into wires)

·         Good conductors of heat and electricity.

·         High density (heavy for their size)

·         High melting point.

·         Brittle

·         Lustrous (shiny)

·         Malleable (can be hammered)

·         Opaque as a thin sheet (can’t see through metals)

·         Usually solid at room temperature (an exception is mercury)

·         Lustre 

Metal Processing

Metals are obtained from iron ore, which is dug from the ground. Metals are extracted from the iron ore through a process of smelting in a special equipment called Furnace.

A furnace is a device where metals can be heated to a certain temperature.

Examples of furnace:

  1. Electric Furnace: used for producing other grades of metal and steel.
  2. Blast Furnace: used for producing pig iron.
  3. Reverberating Furnace: used for producing non-ferrous metals
  4. Open-heart Furnace: used for producing special steel, stainless steel
  5. Bessemer Converter: used for producing other grades of metal or steel.

Class Activity:  (a) Describe the following metals:

  1. Iron ore:
  2. Pig iron:
  3. Cast Iron:
  4. Alloy


(b) mention the uses of the following examples of metals:






Mild steel



Wrought iron



Cast iron






Bell metal








(c) complete the following equations:

  1. Copper +  _______________ = Brass
  2. Copper + ________________ = Pewter


  • Phosphorous + Tin  +  ________________= Bronze


  1. What is a metal?
  2. State two categories of metals,
  3. List three examples of each of the major categories of metals
  4. What is Metal Processing?
  5. Describe a furnace.
  6. Mention 4 examples of furnace
  7. Mention the names of 5 metals.
  8. State 5 uses of metals.
  9. What is an alloy?



  1. What are ceramics?
  2. What is pottery?
  3. Who is a potter?
  4. What are the three materials for making cement?
  5. What is clay?
  6. What is cement?
  7. What are glasses?
  8. What are 5 properties of ceramics?
  9. What are 4 differences between ceramics and metals?

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