The transition metals (in blue).
The transition metals are found in the large block between
Groups 2 and 3 in the periodic table.
Most of the commonly used metals are placed here,
including iron, copper, silver, gold, titanium, nickel, zinc, platinum
[ Note however: aluminium, lead and tin, amongst others, are not
transition metals. ]
The transition metals have the following properties in common. They:
- are metals
- form coloured compounds
- are good conductors of heat and electricity
- can be hammered or bent into shape easily
- are less reactive than alkali metals such as sodium
- have high melting points (except for mercury, which
is a liquid at room temperature)
- are usually hard and tough
- have high densities.
Some uses of a few transition metals
||Iron is usually made into steel, which is stronger and more easily
shaped than iron. Steel is widely used as a structural material,
for example to make bridges, buildings,
ships and cars.
||Fighter aircraft, artificial hip joints, pipes in nuclear power
||Copper is a very good conductor of electricity, so it is used
for electricity cables. It is easily bent into
shape and it does not react with water, so it is used for
||Used in alloys for coins, armour plating, batteries
||Silver does not corrode in air or water, and it is a very good
conductor of electricity. It is used for jewellery,
printed circuit boards and electrical contacts.
||Gold does not corrode in air or water, and it is a good conductor
of electricity. It is used for jewellery, connecting
wires for computer chips and electrical contacts.
[ This page has been adapted from www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science