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The main component of ferrous metals is iron but it also contains other metals and elements though in small amounts. These metals are magnetic since they have a large iron content that attracts a magnetic field. There are several advantages of using ferrous materials in engineering applications these include; the raw materials for their production are found abundantly on the earth’s crust (Callister,2000).Secondly they can be produced easily through an economical extraction process, alloying, refining as well as fabrication techniques. Finally they are versatile when it comes to physical and mechanical properties. There are also some limitations when using these ferrous materials in engineering application and these are; the fact that they have a relative high density, they have a low corrosion resistance and hence they require coating and finally they have low thermal and electrical conduction properties.
1B.Advatages and limitations of non-ferrous alloys in engineering application
Non-ferrous metals are alloys with no iron in them. Their properties differ from those of ferrous metals. Their properties are a result of the metals that are not present in ferrous metals but are present in them. Some of their advantages when used in engineering applications are that they are easily fabricated, their ductile nature, they have a light weight, they are corrosion resistant and they are very strong at temperatures which are elevated (DeGarmo, Black &Kohser,1997).There are also some limitations to their use and they include a low modulus of elasticity, they are expensive when compared to iron and steel, they have a high density, they can be susceptible to corrosion in certain environments and their electrical and thermal conductivity is medium (Crook &Farmer, 2002).
These are substances that are made up of a mixture of many compounds. Their properties are therefore dependent on the rate of loading as well as temperatures. Polymers have many properties due to the mechanical behavior that they posses. Therefore there exist different polymers each with different characteristics. Polymers are advantageous when it comes to engineering applications because they are light in weight, resistant to corrosion, formability, have a low energy content, versatility in design, range from soft to hard and they have optical properties. The limitation of using polymers is its low thermal conductivity.
Ceramic are materials whose nature and properties is determined by they bonding that is found within the atoms. These are traditional materials made from substances that occur naturally as well as those which are highly refined or chemical, magnetic and electrical applications. Ceramics are advantageous in engineering application since some of them have high thermal conductivity while other have a low thermal conductivity. They are chemically stable in a wide range of temperatures. They resist high temperatures, high melting point and chemicals (Lahiri &Majumder, 2012). There exist ratios that are high between weight and strength. They also have a low rate of corrosion. When it comes to their limitations they posses low toughness as a small crack leads to their eventual fracture. It is quite difficult to make predictions of their strength of interfacial bond .they have a limited repair ability when damaged.
Ferrous metals posses different properties that are put into use in various industries. They have different specifications when it comes to mechanical and physical properties. For instance iron mild steel is malleable and ductile and hence used for production of bolts, nuts and screws. Iron can also be used as tool steel since it is hard and very ductile hence used in producing shears, drills and hammer heads.
Alloy steels have high hardenabilty compared to plain carbon steels. This is because alloy steels are made up of many elements and hence they have improved properties. The alloy steels are stronger, resistant to erosion and have improved harden ability ( DeGarmo, Black &Kohser,1997).One the other hand carbon content in the plain carbon steel determines its strength since carbon content is inversely proportional to ductility. Therefore a low hardenability results from a decrease in plain carbon. This means that the quality of the steel go down through impairing in low and high temperatures resulting to a loss in embrittlement and strength. Therefore if other elements are added to steel then their hardenability will be improved (DeGarmo, Black &Kohser, 1997
The non-ferrous metals have many properties but there are some of the non-ferrous metals whose applications are more suitable than others. Aluminum is suitable in Aircraft industry, road signs, cooking utensils because it is light. Aluminum use is increased in motor vehicles, engine blocks where the low weight increase fuel economy. Copper is a good electrical conductor hence used in electrical wiring. Zinc is used in decorative articles since it is ductile and malleable in hot and cold temperatures. Lead is highly resistant to corrosion hence used in mild steel as a protective coating.tin can be used to coat mild steel hence put into use in canning industry (DeGarmo, Black &Kohser, 1997).
Non-ferrous alloys exist in both cast and raw forms. The principal behind the existence of these two forms is cast non-ferrous alloys need high temperatures to be melted and then the liquid is poured into a mould and cooled before other parts are added. These alloys are thus brittle and hence they can not be easily formed through deformation. Wrought non ferrous alloys are shaped through pressing and shaping and hence this makes them more tensile and stronger. They can thus go through mechanical deformation.
Polymers have specific properties from their families like thermosets, thermoplastics and elastomers alongside general properties. Due to their characteristics they can be applied in materials which require moderate strength, low thermal and electrical conductivity, variety of colors are light in weight, and are easily fabricated. Their common use is household appliances such as containers. Those polymers that are pliable and soft can be used as materials for cushioning. Other can also be used for the insulation of electrical appliances.
There are two types of composite materials namely dispersion strengthening and fiber strengthening. The dispersion strengthening materials have a uniform dispersion of some substances that give motion of dislocations plastic in nature and hence reducing the plastic deformation in a solid. On the other hand fibers strengthening entail the inclusion of fibers with plastics and hence this combination has an influence on the strength and thermal conductivity dependent on their ration (Vernon, 1992).
Ceramics have many properties that can not be found in metals or plastics. They are used as non-reactive materials in chemicals erosive and corrosive fluids of low temperatures and corrosive gases and melts that have high temperatures. They can be used for thermal, optical, electrical and magnetic applications. They are used in mining and chemical engineering since they are non-reactive to erosive or corrosive fluids. They can also be used in heat engines and exchangers as they can resist thermal shock, corrosion and oxidation that involve high temperature (Richerson, 1988).
Ceramics are of two types industrial or engineering and domestic. Engineering ceramics is whereby ceramics are used for making materials in industries like automotive industry. On the other hand domestic ceramics are used for constructing as tiles for floors and walls in interior design.