Metals are well known for their strong resistance to extreme conditions. They are used in manufacturing parts exposed to heavy loads and high-temperature environments. From furnaces to jet engines, metals are used in many industries due to their high melting point.
Several points should be considered when selecting a metal for a high-temperature application. One of the most important ones is the melting point which differs from metal to metal.
If you ask yourself – what temperature do metals melt at? We have covered you with the melting point and additional information for the most popular metals. At the end of the article, you can also find a chart designed to understand these points better.
What is a melting point?
The melting point of any metal represents the temperature where the metal begins to transform from a solid phase into a liquid phase. When this temperature is reached, there is a perfect balance between a metal’s solid and liquid phases.
Once this optimal temperature is reached, more heat can be added to melt the metal completely. However, this procedure will not raise the overall temperature.
Once the metal is in a liquid phase, additional heat can be added to raise the temperature further. Each metal has its melting point, and many factors influence this limit.
Is the melting point of metals high or low?
Metals have a high melting point because they are giant lattice structures. It means the number of electrostatic forces that must be broken down is extremely large and requires a high boiling point. Because of this, all metals will be in a solid state at room temperature.
But not all metals have high melting points. For example, gallium can melt in your hand. Bismuth will easily melt under low heat, such as the one produced by a kitchen stove. Because it can melt at a point that is below room temperature, mercury is the only liquid metal.
What are metal melting and boiling point?
The melting point depends on the project and the materials you are using. They will impact the final result. When you expose metals to extreme temperatures, you need to be aware of their melting point to avoid undesirable results.
For example, some iron alloys have a melting point of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit while copper alloys melt at 1,675 degrees. The boiling point refers to the temperature and pressure at which the liquid becomes gas.
While some metals can melt easily, the boiling process is much more complicated. But if you continue melting metal and continuously increase the temperature, it will eventually boil.
Aluminum has a melting point of 1,220 degrees Fahrenheit.
This metal is used in many industries because it is soft and malleable. Silver in color, aluminum is used to manufacture several products such as:
- kitchen utensils
- and window frames.
Because it is a lightweight material, it is also commonly used in the aviation industry.
Copper will melt at 1,985 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is a preferred material in many industries because it is a great conductor. That is why you often find copper in electric generators or household electrical wirings. Computers and TVs also use this material in abundance. For most applications, copper is used in its pure form and does not need any modifications.
The melting point of steel is relatively high, and it melts at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
This material is one of the most important worldwide, especially in the engineering and construction industries. It is used in cars, construction products, cargo ships, and washing machines. It is also a highly durable material and can withstand severe conditions. It does not break easily, which makes it a top choice for durable components.
Gold melts at 1,950 degrees Fahrenheit. Melting this metal is a common operation, especially in the jewelry industry.
It is a precious metal that is highly valuable. Gold is considered to be a symbol of luxury, and it also has an important place in our society. We use gold to manufacture medals, jewelry, and wedding rings. The value of gold is constantly increasing because of its rarity.
Tungsten is the metal with the highest melting point at 6,191 degrees Fahrenheit.
While it is not as popular as gold or silver, tungsten is used to create heating elements and filaments in light bulbs. Commonly used in heavy metal alloys, tungsten can also be used for manufacturing X-ray tubes or electrodes. It is also a good material for radiation shielding.
|Chemical||Tungsten is used as a catalyst in the production of chemicals. It includes things such as methanol and ammonia.|
|Glass production||Used as a material for glass manufacturing. It’s high melting point means it stays the same shape and won’t warp.|
|Jewelry||Used as a material for high-end.|
|Lighting||Used in the production of incandescent light bulbs.|
|Mining||Used in the production of mining equipment. It includes drilling tools and earthmoving equipment.|
|Nuclear||Used as a radiation shielding material in the construction of nuclear power plants.|
|Woodworking||Used in the production of cutting tools and router bits.|
Lead has one of the lowest melting points in metals. It will melt at 621 degrees Fahrenheit, way faster than aluminum.
This material has a silver-grey color and has been known by humans for centuries. In ancient times, it was used for pottery and pipes since it is highly resistant to corrosion. Nowadays, lead is used in batteries and pigments as well as in weights for lifting. Just like tungsten, lead is also used for radiation shielding.
Melting at 1,710 degrees Fahrenheit, brass has a low melting point compared to iron or steel. A special furnace is still required as the operation is quite complex.
Brass is commonly used for decoration due to its gold-like appearance. But this material is also efficient and used in locks and gears. It also has some plumbing and electrical applications. You can find brass in many musical instruments.
Melting at 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit, iron is one of the metals with a high melting point. They have strong intermolecular forces between their atoms, making them harder to change the solid state.
Iron is used in many industries and is the main ingredient for manufacturing steel. Civil engineering also makes use of iron, which is used to reinforce concrete and girders. Some alloys can be created with iron in combination with other metals, such as tungsten and nickel.
|Construction||Used as a structural material.|
|Automotive||Used in car body parts and steel alloys for car parts.|
|Transportation||Used in the production of transportation equipment.|
|Manufacturing||Used as a raw material.|
|Energy||Used in the production of pipelines and boilers.|
|Machinery||Used in the production of machinery and equipment.|
|Electronics||Used as a component in electrical equipment.|
Titanium has a higher melting point than iron, and this material will melt at 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is a very durable material used for engineering applications. Titanium is known for its corrosion-resistant features and is very light and strong. Being 40% lighter than steel, there is an increased versatility when working with Titanium.
- Tooth implants
- Hip joints
- Joint replacements
This material has a melting point of 1,761 degrees Fahrenheit and is considered a precious metal.
Silver is a precious metal often used for jewelry and tableware. Its applications are in industries where appearance is important, and its visual aspect is what matters the most. However, silver can tarnish over time and lose its features. The medical industry also uses silver, especially in dental alloys.
Being one of the metals with a low melting point, tin is easy to bring to a liquid state. It has a melting point of just 447 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tin is a soft metal that is silver in color. Widely used for food containers and plating steel cans, this material does well in polishing. Tin can be applied to other metals to strengthen their surface and prevent corrosion. Tin cans are made of steel which is coated with this material.
- Used to coat other metals
Being one of the metals with a high melting point, it has to reach 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit to change its solid state.
Platinum is considered a precious metal, and some people value it more than gold. This material is commonly found in the jewelry industry, but the automotive world also demands it. Platinum is the main ingredient in catalytic converters for cars, which is also the most expensive part of a vehicle.
Solder does not have a fixed melting point. Its state changes when it reaches a temperature between 190 to 840 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is a metal alloy used to create permanent bonds. For example, in circuit boards, the solder will be used to join copper together. Solder can also be in two different types, lead and lead-free. Other uses include electronics, heating, and air conditioning.
Stainless steel has a melting point between 2,550 and 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is mainly used for cookware and kitchen utensils due to its corrosion-resistant properties. Foods with high acidity can cause damage to some metals. Still, stainless steel is highly resistant to them and doesn’t affect their flavor.
Zinc has a melting point of 786 degrees Fahrenheit. You should wear protective equipment when melting this material because it releases zinc oxide smoke.
Many products use zinc, with three-fourths of this material being consumed as metal. It offers corrosion protection to iron and steel as a coating. Still, it is also used as an alloying metal to make bronze and brass.
Only one metal is liquid at room temperature, and that is mercury. While others have a relatively high melting point, this one melts at -37.89 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mercury has many uses, and surely you have already worked with it. Commonly found in thermometers and pressure measuring devices, mercury is always the top choice due to its high density. The electronics industry finds this material useful as it is used in various components and electrical switches. Other uses include dental fillings, batteries, and even soaps.
- Scinetific instruments
Because it is one of the hardest metals, nickel melts at a very high temperature. You need to reach 2,651 degrees Fahrenheit to transform it into a liquid state.
The electronics industry also uses nickel, which is commonly found in batteries. It includes the ones you have in your TV remote. It was also the main metal used for coins throughout history because it is not that expensive to extract and process.
- Armour plating
- Turbine blades
- Boat propeller shafts
Before you consider melting magnesium, it is important to wear protective equipment. When you burn this metal, fumes of magnesium oxide will make the air dangerous to breathe. The melting point of magnesium is 1,202 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because it is so lightweight, this metal is used in various applications. Many companies worldwide continuously demand magnesium, from luggage to laptops and cameras. During the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve, this metal is also responsible for lighting up the night sky as it is commonly used in fireworks and flares.
Although not as strong as steel, you will find out that bronze is still highly durable and has a high melting point. It melts at 1,675 degrees Fahrenheit and is considered one of the strongest metals resistant to corrosion.
In today’s world, you can expect to see bronze being used in musical instruments and wires. The naval industry makes great use of this material since it has high corrosion resistance, making it ideal for underwater applications.
With a lower melting point than steel, cast iron still takes a long time to change from a solid to a liquid state. You need to reach a temperature of 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
From expert cooks to kitchen enthusiasts, everyone is familiar with cast iron. It is mainly used for cookware that includes deep fryers and frying pans, thanks to its strength and durability. Cast iron can also be used to manufacture machine parts or hand tools.
There are 4 different types of this metal, and they are classified into low, medium, high, and ultra-high carbon steel. While the low one has a melting point of 2,570 degrees Fahrenheit, the ultra-high carbon steel melts at 2,800 degrees.
It is considered heavy duty thanks to its durability and strength. Carbon steel is mainly used in structural applications for buildings and bridges. Anything that requires immense strength and resistance will use this metal in its composition.
Melting point metals chart
Looking for several metals’ melting points manually can be annoying, especially if you are working against time. That is why we thought about your needs and created this chart where you can find the melting points quickly.
|Metal||Melting point (degrees F)|
|Steel||2500 – 2800|
|Solder||360 – 370|
|Stainless||2550 – 2790|
|Carbon steel||2500 – 2800|
Of all strong and durable metals, tungsten is famous for having the highest melting point. You will need to reach an incredible temperature of 6,191 degrees Fahrenheit to transform this durable metal into a liquid form.
On the opposite extreme, only one metal is liquid at room temperature. Mercury also has the lowest melting point at just -37.89 degrees Fahrenheit. To have this material in solid form, you need to expose it to very low temperatures.
If melting metals was a race, aluminum would be victorious. You can melt it faster than copper, with a melting point of 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is stronger and heavier, copper has a higher melting point of 1,984 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you go camping, there are several activities you can do around a campfire, like warming up or grilling tasty food. If you set your eyes on an aluminum can and a brilliant idea comes to mind, let us tell you that it is possible. Aluminum has a melting point of 1,221 degrees, while the flame in a wood fire can reach up to 1,900 degrees.
You can easily melt copper with a torch reaching 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. We expect you to know that this is a very dangerous operation and that you should perform it outside. Stay away from flammable objects and wear protective equipment.