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Toll Free: 877-774-5837
Alabama: 251-343-1838
Fax: 251-343-1848
Tennessee: 615-351-5407

Precious and Base Metals


It is a ductile metal, with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is rather soft and malleable, and a freshly exposed surface has a pinkish or peachy color. It is used as a thermal conductor, an electrical conductor, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys. Copper has many uses including wiring of all sorts, plumbing pipe,coinage,and coils of Air Conditioning units just to name a few.

Copper has a reddish, orangish, or brownish color owing to a thin layer of tarnish (including oxides). Pure copper, is pink- or peach-coloured. Copper, osmium (blueish) and gold (yellow) are the only three elemental metals with a natural color other than gray or silver.


Once again aluminum, like silver, will have your head spinning when thinking of all the uses for aluminum. Some of the many uses of aluminum range from everyday kitchen/cooking foil to printers lithographic aluminum plates. Aluminum may also be used in the making of street and highway signs to piping for canvas on boats. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances.

Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, and the third most abundant element, after oxygen and silicon. It makes up about 8% by weight of the earth's solid surface.Soluble aluminum salts have some demonstrated toxicity to animals if delivered in quantity by unnatural routes, such as injection. Controversy still exists about aluminum's possible long-term toxicity to humans from larger ingested amounts. From aluminum foil to aluminum soft drink cans, we can find aluminum in our everday life as we do all metals.


Well, the first thing that comes to mind about nickel's use is... well...a Nickel. We know it takes 20 nickels to make a U.S.dollar, but what is it and how else can it be used. To name a few, the long list is shortened for quick readers use. Nickel is corrosion-resistant, finding many uses in alloys, as a plating, in the manufacture of coins, magnets and common household utensils, as a catalyst for hydrogenation, and in a variety of other applications. Enzymes of certain life-forms contain nickel as an active center, which makes the metal an essential nutrient for those life forms.

The US nickel coin contains 0.04 oz (1.25 g) of nickel, which at the April 2007 price was worth 6.5 cents, along with 3.75 grams of copper worth about 3 cents, making the metal value over 9 cents. Since the face value of a nickel is 5 cents, this made it an attractive target for melting by people wanting to sell the metals at a profit. However, the United States Mint, in anticipation of this practice, implemented new interim rules on December 14, 2006, subject to public comment for 30 days, which criminalize the melting and export of cents and nickels.

Nickel is used in many industrial and consumer products, including stainless steel, magnets, coinage, rechargeable batteries, electric guitar strings and special alloys. It is also used for plating and as a green tint in glass. Nickel is pre-eminently an alloy metal, and its chief use is in the nickel steels and nickel cast irons, of which there are many varieties.

 It is also widely used in many other alloys, such as nickel brasses and bronzes, and alloys with copper, chromium, aluminium, lead, cobalt, silver, and gold.
Nickel is an important cause of contact allergy, partly due to its use in jewellery intended for pierced ears. Nickel allergies affecting pierced ears are often marked by itchy, red skin. Many earrings are now made nickel-free due to this problem.


Zinc is the fourth most common metal in use, trailing only iron, aluminium, and copper with an annual production of about 10 megatonnes.About 70% of the world's zinc originates from mining, while the remaining 30% comes from recycling secondary zinc. Zinc is most commonly used as an anti-corrosion agent. Galvanization, which is the coating of iron or steel to protect the metals against corrosion, is the most familiar form of using zinc in this way.A widely used alloy which contains zinc is brass, in which copper is alloyed with anywhere from 3% to 45% zinc, depending upon the type of brass. Brass is generally more ductile and stronger than copper and has superior corrosion resistance. These properties make it useful in communication equipment, hardware, musical instruments, and water valves.

Other widely used alloys that contain zinc include nickel silver, typewriter metal, soft and aluminium solder, and commercial bronze.Zinc is also used in contemporary pipe organs as a substitute for the traditional lead/tin alloy in pipes.

Zinc is the primary metal used in making American one cent coins since 1982.The zinc core is coated with a thin layer of copper to give the impression of a copper coin. In 1994, 33,200 tonnes (36,600 short tons) of zinc were used to produce 13.6 billion pennies in the United States. Zinc oxide is widely used as a white pigment in paints, and as a catalyst in the manufacture of rubber.Zinc is included in most single tablet over-the-counter daily vitamin and mineral supplements.It is believed to possess antioxidant properties, which protect against accelerated aging of the skin and muscles of the body, although studies differ as to its effectiveness. Zinc also helps speed up the healing process after an injury.


Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shots, weights, as part of solders, pewters, fusible alloys and as a radiation shield. Lead is a poisonous substance to animals. It damages the nervous system and causes brain disorders. Excessive lead also causes blood disorders in mammals.Lead has been commonly used for thousands of years because it is widespread, easy to extract and easy to work with. It is highly malleable and ductile as well as easy to smelt.

Lead is used in applications where its low melting point, ductility and high density is an advantage. The low melting point makes casting of lead easy, and therefore small arms ammunition and shotgun pellets can be cast with minimal technical equipment. It is also inexpensive and denser than other common metals. The hot metal typesetting uses a lead based alloy to produce the types for printing directly before printing.Lead is used to form glazing bars for stained glass or other multi-lit windows.

Lead is used as shielding from radiation (e.g., in X-ray rooms). Lead is used as electrodes in the process of electrolysis. Lead is used in solder for electronics, although this usage is being phased out by some countries to reduce the amount of environmentally hazardous waste.

 Lead is used in high voltage power cables as sheathing material to prevent water diffusion into insulation. Lead is added to brass to reduce machine tool wear. Lead, in the form of strips, or tape, is used for the customization of tennis rackets. Tennis rackets of the past sometimes had lead added to them by the manufacturer to increase weight. Once again we look around and find Lead like many other metals in our everyday life and never give it a thought.

Hopefully our METAL pages have inspired you to some degree in helping bring to mind recycling on a daily basis, at home or in your work place. May Metals Inc. is always looking for ways to reduce Americas carbon footprint with due diligence and forward thinking.

May Metals Inc. can assist you in enhancing your bottom line through Precious and Base Metal recovery. Serious inquires are best served by calling our toll free number at (877) 774-5837 or our Tennessee office at 615-351-5407.

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