Uses: Iron, Copper, Aluminium, Zinc


Uses of Iron, copper, aluminium, zinc, and many more are very important for our daily life usages as well as in industrial scale. Earth's crust is composed of several minerals and some of the metals and its ores are determined as the major resources for humanity.

Metals such as Iron, Copper, Aluminium, and Zinc are inorganic compounds that are found below the earth’s surface and are easily identified by evaluating their properties. These metals can be identified through their properties like hardness, toughness, ductility, malleability, elasticity, tensile strength, brittleness, and compressive strength.

What are p-block and d-block Elements?

Metals like copper, iron, and zinc are referred to as d-block elements and have different atomic numbers including Cu- 29, Fe- 26, and Zn- 30. The atomic number of Aluminium is 13 and this metal is generally placed in the p-block element in the periodic table. Metals can be divided into several types including ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are cast iron and steel whereas non-ferrous metals are copper, zinc, and aluminium.

Figure 1: Non ferrous Metal Working Waste from Barton upon Humber

The Portable Antiquities Scheme/ The Trustees of the British Museum, Non ferrous Metal Working Waste from Barton upon Humber (FindID 434597), CC BY-SA 2.0

The metals that do not have any iron content are denoted as Non-ferrous metals. These metals do not get attracted to magnets and remain rust-free even if they get exposed to moisture. All these metals are good conductors of electric current, heat, and have wide applications in domestic as well as industrial fields based on their physical and chemical properties.

Properties of Iron, Copper, Aluminium, Zinc

Some common physical and chemical properties of Iron, Copper, Aluminium, and Zinc are stated below.

  • Metal like zinc and its alloys including brass and German silver has several commercial importances and is the major component of various electrochemical cells.

  • Aluminium, which is symbolized as Al, is the chemical element, a lightweight silvery white metal belonging to Group 13 of p-block in the periodic table. The abundant metallic element is generally identified as non-ferrous metals within earth's crust.

Figure 2: Common Metallic Materials

  • Zinc is referred to as the trace mineral that is usually present in red meat, poultry, and fish essential for the body to maintain metabolism, growth and development.

  • Copper is referred to as a chemical element that is symbolized by Cu with an atomic number, 29. It is identified as a soft, malleable, and ductile metal that has a higher rate of thermal and electrical conductivity.

  • Iron is identified as a strong, hard magnetic silvery-grey metal that is a chemical element with an atomic number of 26. It is generally utilised in manufacturing and construction fields mainly in form of steel.

Uses of Iron

Some common uses and benefits of iron (Fe) are stated below.

  • Iron helps in the preservation of several essential functions of the human body. Iron mainly provides gastrointestinal processes, general energy and focus, the immune system.

  • Iron also helps to maintain the body temperature and regulation of blood within the body. The major food sources of Iron (Fe) include fortified cereals, beans, lentils, tofu, spinach, dried fruits, prune juice, enriched bread, broccoli and nuts.

  • Iron (Fe) is utilized as a catalyst that is incorporated in the production of ammonia through the Haber process.

  • Cast iron can be determined as ferrous metals that are generally picked up by a magnet and are highly prone to rust when exposed to moisture.

Uses of Zinc

Some common uses and benefits of Zinc (Zn) are stated below.

  • Zinc is identified as the main component of electrochemical cells that is used in the manufacturing of electrical cells and batteries extensively.

  • The alloys of Zn including brass and German silver are used to make machines and industrial tools.

  • Zinc (Zn) can be used for the production of dyes, paints, anti-dandruff shampoos, and dietary supplements.

  • The zinc layer helps to protect other metals from corrosion. Zn is mainly used in hot-dip galvanization where galvanised steel is the best and cheap substitute in the case of stainless steel.

Uses of Copper

Some common uses and benefits of Copper (Cu) are stated below.

  • Copper has vast applications in plumbing and roofing materials.

  • Copper helps in the manufacturing of various musical instruments, circuits, PCBs, pipes, gutters, vaults, and doors.

  • Copper is the best conductor of electric current that is widely utilized in electric wires and cables.

Uses of Aluminium

Some common uses of Aluminium (Al) are stated below.

  • Malleable metals like aluminium are widely used in the production of utensils, as they can be transformed into flat sheets through rolling, moulding, and twisting processes.

  • Malleability is also determined as one of the properties of the metal that allows it to transform into flat metallic sheets when beaten. For example, aluminium sheets are utilized in the order to manufacture aircraft body, and doors, as it has high durability and strength.

  • Aluminium is used for producing utensils, as it is lightweight, malleable, and good conductor of heat and electric current.


All metals Iron, Copper, Aluminium, and Zinc look shiny and give the products a better appearance when polished with chemicals. As metals have a high durability rate, strength and deformability, they can be applied in various structural applications.

Metals can be found in both solid and liquid states. The metals that are present in a solid state are iron, copper, bronze, iron, and aluminium. In order to produce or manufacture several materials including satellites, cooking utensils, automobiles, satellites, and many more these metals are utilised widely.


Q1. What is the major use of metals like aluminium, copper, iron and steel?

Ans. Metals are good conductors of electric current and heat energy. Metals like aluminium, copper, iron and steel are often used in order to make various materials like household appliances, electrical machines, aircraft bodies and doors, automobiles, and many more.

Q2. What is the necessity of Iron (Fe) in humans?

Ans. Iron (Fe) can be found in several food products including meat, fish and poultry. It helps to provide energy to the body, regulates blood pressure and body temperature, and helps to increase the level of haemoglobin.

Updated on: 17-Apr-2023


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