Metalwork - Materials - Elements

We've all heard of an element being in a kettle, but that's only the part that heats the water. The Elements that engineers and scientists talk about are totally different. A good definition of an Element is : "A pure substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substance by ordinary chemical means." Elements are made up of only one kind of Atom, and all of the Atoms in an Element have the same properties and characteristics. To see all of the Elements you must look at The Periodic Table Of The Elements. There are 92 naturally occurring Elements, and of these 8 Elements make up 99% of the Earth's crust and only 6 make up 99% of your bodyweight.
Element %
Oxygen 46
Silicon 28
Aluminium 8
Iron 5
Calcium 4
Sodium 3
Potassium 3
Magnesium 2
The Eight Most Common Elements In The Earth's Crust
Element %
Oxygen 65
Carbon 19
Hydrogen 9
Nitrogen 3
Calcium 2
Phosphorus 1
5 others 1
The 6 most common Elements That Make Up Your Bodyweight

Elements are the building blocks that all materials are made from. They rarely found in their pure state in nature, but mixed with other Elements forming what are called Compounds or Molecules. For example water is made up of two Elements : Oxygen and Hydrogen. They have joined together to make a different material with properties that differ from the properties of both Elements.

There are even some Elements that those clever people in the scientific world have managed to create. There is more information about these Synthetic (man made) Elements and all of the other Elements on the Periodic Table Of The Elements page.

We all laugh at people who go on about trying to change lead into gold, don't we ? Well it looks like you'll have to stop..... modern nuclear physics has made it possible to make gold from cheaper metals by particle bombardment. (No, I don't know what that means either). Unfortunately, this method costs a lot more to do than the gold is actually worth!