Metal Strength: Types and Strongest Metals

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Metal Strength: Types and Strongest Metals

steel bars construction materials stacked together

Within the use of all metals, strength is a vital factor. Particularly in fields like construction, transportation, heavy industry and tool making, metal strength is of huge importance.

At Wasatch Steel, we’re proud to house steel that’s tested for durability and strength. Let’s go over what we actually mean when we talk about metal strength, and what some of the strongest metals out there are.

Types of Strength

There are several different measures of the strength of a given metal:

  • Yield strength: This measures the lowest stress that will result in a permanent deformation.
  • Compressive strength: The amount of squeezing stress that will cause defects.
  • Tensile strength: The amount of pulling stress that will cause defects.
  • Impact strength: The amount of impact energy that needs to be present to cause a fracture in the metal.

Which type of strength is most important to your project depends on both the type of metal being used and the intended use.

Strongest Metal Types

Four metals stand out as the strongest across multiple applications:

  • Steel: Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, one that’s often combined with other elements. It’s made by heating iron ore in furnaces, removing impurities and adding carbon. Raw iron is weak, but the addition of other elements gives strength and hardness. Steel is one of the most common metals in the world, with over 1.3 billion tons produced every year. It’s widely used in numerous industries, from transportation and infrastructure to large modern buildings.
  • Titanium: Titanium is a low-density, high-strength metal that’s colored silver. It has very high tensile strength compared to its density, but it’s not as hard as steel.
  • Tungsten: Tungsten is a rare metal found in the form of chemical compounds. It’s tough, but its toughness is significantly increased by alloying it with steel.
  • Inconel: This is a kind of superalloy made from austenite, nickel and chromium. It’s high-strength and also corrosion resistance, commonly used in chemical processing plants and other extreme environments.

To learn more about different metal strengths, or to buy steel from our experts, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.