What is Hardest Metal? (with photos)

A disc made of alloy steel, the hardest metal.

The hardest known metal is alloy steel, which is usually made even harder with the addition of carbon and other elements. With a tensile strength of 0.84 GPa (122,000 psi) and a yield strength of 0.64 GPa (67,000 psi), carbon steel is surpassed in hardness only by very hard nonmetals such as rubies, diamonds, or carbon nanorods. aggregate diamond. Hardness is defined as the resistance of a material to abrasion or indentation. The Mohs scale ranks elements according to comparative hardness, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest. The best high carbon steels have a rating of 8 to 9 on the scale, with ruby ​​at 9 and diamond at 10. Harder metals are still somewhat soft compared to stronger nonmetals, based on strongest bonds in chemistry, the sp 2 bond between carbon atoms.

Carbon steel

Titanium is routinely used in the construction of military submarines such as the Soviet/Russian Typhoon class ships.

High-strength carbon steel undergoes a quenching and annealing process, which uses heat to make it harder. While heat makes metal stronger, it also makes it less ductile, meaning it is less able to bend and move when under stress. Carbon is also added to steel, at which point the steel alloy becomes carbon steel, or reinforced steel, the hardest metal available. Carbon contents of up to 2% may be present in the hardest metal.

Tungsten carbide is a popular choice for men’s wedding rings.

Carbon steel is one of the most common types of steel, the other most common type being stainless steel. Due to its high melting point of 2,800°F (1,537°C), most carbon steels are used in construction tools such as rock drills and construction billets. Sometimes very hard metals such as carbon steel are undesirable because of their other properties; carbon steel, for example, is notoriously subject to corrosion. Although it is the hardest metal, it is not necessarily the most useful material for all jobs.

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Other Hard Materials

Although often confused with the hardest metal, tungsten carbide is actually a composite material made from tungsten and carbon, often with added cobalt. It is used in both the army and weapon reloading equipment and is also a popular choice for men’s wedding bands.

Iridium and titanium are also sometimes incorrectly called the harder metals; although they are difficult, they are not the most difficult. Titanium has been used to build the world’s deepest diving submarines, however, and iridium is known to be the most corrosion resistant metal. Chromium, which scores 8.5 on the Mohs scale, is also extremely hard and is often added to alloy steels for this quality. Depleted uranium, the preferred metal for tank shells, is not harder than tungsten carbide or carbon steel, but it is denser, which is preferable for projectiles. The strongest element is carbon, but only when it is in the form of a diamond.

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