Understanding Metal - A Metal Glossary

For anyone who doesn’t live and breathe metal every single day, the industry terms can be extremely confusing. Some of the terms used within the metal context have very different meanings and interpretations in other industries. So, to help minimise confusion and make it as simple as possible, we’ve put together this basic metal glossary!

Ablasion: Removal of a material from the surface of an object through an erosive process.

Brittleness: describes a material’s tendency to break

Compressive Strength: The capacity of a material to resist compression

Ductile: This means the metal is able to be spun out into a thing wire.

Elasticity: Also known as flexibility, elasticity is the materials ability to bend, stretch, deform and return to its original shape once the added stress is gone.

Erosion: Surface processes that remove bits of materials from one location and relocates it to another. Erosive agents include water, wind, ice etc.

Galling: Wear caused by friction between sliding surfaces 

Hardness: this describes the materials resistance to abrasion, scratching or indenting.

Impact Resistance: The materials ability to resist shock with minimal deformation

Malleable: able to be bent, hammered and bent into shape without breaking or cracking. The shape of it can be easily changed.

Plasticity: A materials ability to mould or deform in a way that does not return to its original shape

Shear Strength: resistance to transverse or cutting motions

Strength: is the resistance to permanent deformation or tearing. It is also known as rigidity

Structural Integrity: The materials ability to withstand a large load without fracturing

Tensile Strength: The capacity of a material or structure to be able to stretch

Thermal Conductivity: the rate which a metal conducts electricity. A high thermal conductivity means the metal can conduct lots of electricity. 

Toughness: Is the materials ability to resist fracture. Toughness can increase as strength decreases because bendy materials are unlikely to break.

Wear Resistance:  This is the materials ability to resist erosion, galling, ablation or spalling

Yield Strength: The point at which the material begins to deform and become permanent

Spalling: Where flakes of materials are broken off through corrosion or weathering.

These are some of the most common and essential key metal glossary terms to look out for! A comprehensive list can be found here.