We encounter metals on a daily basis but many of these can be found in our homes. Below we take a look at the top metals you can find around your household – some of them are more surprising than you think!
Stainless steel is a very popular material for household items, its use spanning everything from boilers to televisions sets. It is a very popular material for microwaves, usually making up the doors and inside panel. This will then be covered in acrylic enamel usually, in a light colour to give better visibility. In recent years it has become quite popular for kitchen appliances to be made in stainless steel, as opposed to plain white. These include fridges, freezers, dishwashers, ovens, hobs and even accessories such as kettles and toasters.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, copper pipes were commonly used for domestic water systems – that is, the plumbing in your house. It is still used today mainly for the supply of hot and cold water, but its high cost is a factor that has seen other materials such as plastic begin to be used in its place. The benefit of copper is its high level of resistance to corrosion and the fact that it is very ductile which makes it easier to bend and shape around obstacles in the path of the tubing.
This is a slightly more obscure one, but nickel can be found in almost every household as it is commonly used in toasters – let’s face it, if you don’t have one of these what are you doing? The heating elements in a toaster are made of a nickel-chromium alloy better known as nichrome wire in either ribbon or coils. An alloy is used as it gives better resistance to the flow of electric current. Certain kitchen utensils and cutlery can also contain nickel, as well as plugs and chains.
Aluminium is well known for being used in foil – a common staple of most kitchens! It can also be found in wiring throughout the house as well as indoor and outdoor furniture, door knobs and window frames. Another popular use is insulated aluminium cladding which is as efficient as stone or bricks and more versatile meaning carpenters and builders often prefer it.