Transition Metals & Their Uses

Steel beams being manufactured.
••• Jupiterimages/ Images

The periodic table of elements has four main categories: main-group metals, transition metals, lanthanides and actinides. The transition metals bridge elements that fall on either side of them. These elements conduct electricity and heat; they form ions with positive charges. Their malleability and ductility make them ideal materials for the manufacture any type of metal-based item.


A titanium hip joint.
••• Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Titanium is found in the earth’s crust. It is the second most common transition metal following iron. Common uses include the production of airplanes, engines and marine equipment. Titanium alloys are also used for artificial body-part replacements, such as hip and bone implants. Titanium dioxide is an important ingredient in white paint.


The steel beams of a bridge.
••• Hemera Technologies/ Images

Iron ore is found in minerals such as goethite, hematite, limonite and magnetite. The earth’s crust is 5 percent iron. Iron is usually made into steel, which is essential in the construction of buildings, automobiles and ships. Cosmetics, paint, fertilizers, paper, glass and plastic also contain iron. Traces of this element are present in the bloodstream of animals and humans as part of the hemoglobin molecule.


A spool of copper wire.
••• Lucía de Salterain/iStock/Getty Images

Copper is one of the best electricity conductors next to silver. It allows electricity to travel through it without significant energy loss. Brass musical instruments are also made using copper. Lightning rods use copper to attract lightning and disperse its charge, preventing it from destroying a structure. Appliances and heating and cooling systems make use of copper because of copper makes a good heat conductor. Copper can also be found in the body. Pregnant women need to consume copper-rich foods, such as nuts, legumes and shellfish for the proper development of the fetus.


Platinum is most used in jewelry. This metal’s color, durability and tarnish-resistance make it valuable worldwide. Automobile catalytic converters, which control hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions, make use of platinum to convert these pollutant gases into water and carbon dioxide. The medical field uses platinum most commonly in anti-cancer drugs and neurosurgery equipment.

Related Articles

Raw Materials Used in the Manufacture of Electronic...
What Are the Uses of Cobalt?
Elements Found in Household Products
The Uses for Zinc, Copper, Silver, Iron and Gold &...
What New Uses Are Being Found for Rare Earth Elements?
Different Types of Alloys & Use
What Is Zinc Alloy?
Uses of Alkaline Earth Metals
Copper Wire Advantages & Disadvantages
What Is Inconel?
Properties of Hardened Steel
What Are the Uses of Carbon Dioxide Gas?
What Are the Uses of Tungsten?
Physical Characteristics of Aluminum Oxide
Physical and Chemical Properties for the Element Aluminum
Uses of Noble Metals
What Is Disodium Diphosphate?
Hazards of Copper Sulfate
Uses of PVC Plastic
List Of Conductors

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!