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The Melting Point of Metals

Melting Point of Metals

Last updated: 05/02/2023 | Author: Nick Nolan | Posted in: Materials

You already know that most metals have a very high melting temperature. You know a bar of chocolate will melt in your car on a hot day, and you know your car won’t start melting. 

The majority of metals don’t melt under 1,000°F, and many have melting points well above 2,000°F.

It’s important to understand the melting point of different metals so you use the right metal to manufacture parts and components for high-temperature applications. There’s another temperature at which the metal doesn’t turn into a liquid, but it starts to deform and lose the majority of its strength. For example, aluminum alloys melt around 1,000°F, but they begin to deform around 400°F. That means most aluminum parts aren’t suitable for environments over 400°F.

We’ve also included the melting points for various alloys. Some alloys use more or less of specific elements to increase the melting point. In some cases, adding alloying elements can increase the melting point by 300°F. Copper C360 has a melting point of ~1650°F and C230 has a melting point of ~1980°F.

Melting Points of Aluminum Alloys

Alloys Melting Point (°F/°C) Deformation Temperature (°F/°C)
Aluminum 2011
1160° (627°C)
350° (177°C)
Aluminum 2024
930° (498°C)
400° (204°C)
Aluminum 6061
1080° (582°C)
400° (204°C)
Aluminum 6262
1080° (582°C)
400° (204°C)
Aluminum 7075
890° (477°C)
420° (216°C)

Melting Points of Stainless Steel Alloys

Alloys Melting Point (°F/°C) Deformation Temperature (°F/°C)
SS 303
2650° (1454°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 304
2550° (1399°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 304L
2550° (1399°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 310
2550-2650° (1399-1454°C)
1100° (593°C)
SS 316
2500° (1371°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 316L
2500° (1371°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 410
2725° (1496°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 416
2700° (1482°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 430
2650° (1454°C)
1000° (538°C)
SS 440C
2750° (1510°C)
1000° (538°C)

Melting Points of Steel Alloys

Alloys Melting Point (°F/°C) Deformation Temperature (°F/°C)
Steel 1008
2710° (1488°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 1018
2710° (1488°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 1045
2700-2800° (1482-1538°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 1137
2760° (1516°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 1215
2760° (1516°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 11L41
2750° (1510°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 12L14
2750° (1510°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 4130
2580-2650° (1416-1454°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 4140
2600-2650° (1427-1454°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel 8620
2600-2800° (1427-1538°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel A2
2580° (1416°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel M2
2550° (1399°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel M35
2550° (1399°C)
1400° (760°C)
Steel M42
2550° (1399°C)
1400° (760°C)

Melting Points of Titanium Alloys

Alloys Melting Point (°F/°C) Deformation Temperature (°F/°C)
Ti Grade 5
3038° (1670°C)
1700° (927°C)
Ti Grade 23
3038° (1670°C)
1700° (927°C)

Melting Points of Copper Alloys

Alloys Melting Point (°F/°C) Deformation Temperature (°F/°C)
Copper C360
1650-1720° (899-938°C)
600° (316°C)
Copper C353
1650-1720° (899-938°C)
600° (316°C)
Copper C230
1980° (1082°C)
650° (343°C)
Copper C464
1720° (938°C)
650° (343°C)
Copper C443
1900-1980° (1038-1082°C)
650° (343°C)

Melting Points of Brass Alloys

Alloys Melting Point (°F/°C) Deformation Temperature (°F/°C)
Brass 353
1650-1720° (899-938°C)
600° (316°C)
Brass 360
1650-1720° (899-938°C)
600° (316°C)

Why Do Metal Melting Points Matter?

Understanding the melting points of metals is crucial for a wide range of applications, from engineering and construction to electronics and aerospace. The melting point of a metal is the temperature at which it transitions from a solid to a liquid state. This helps engineers and designers determine which materials are best suited for specific applications based on their performance under extreme heat or cold conditions.

In the construction industry, a metal with a high melting point may be more desirable for use in building infrastructure, as it can withstand higher temperatures without losing its structural integrity. This is particularly important in areas prone to fires or extreme heat. On the other hand, metals with lower melting points can be more useful for applications that require frequent heating and cooling, such as soldering or casting.

In the electronics industry, the melting points are vital for selecting materials for components that may be exposed to high temperatures during operation, such as computer processors or power supplies. Using a metal with an appropriate melting point ensures that the component will remain functional and not fail due to excessive heat.

What is Thermal Expansion?

Thermal expansion occurs when a material expands or contracts in response to changes in temperature. This expansion and contraction can have significant implications for the performance and longevity of materials in various applications. For instance, when building a bridge or constructing a building, it’s essential to account for thermal expansion to prevent structural failure due to the stress caused by temperature fluctuations.

Different materials have different rates of thermal expansion, and this characteristic must be considered when designing structures or components that will be exposed to temperature changes. 

Metals, in particular, are known for their varying rates of thermal expansion, making it crucial to select the appropriate material for each specific application. Engineers and architects must also account for thermal expansion when joining different materials, as the differential expansion rates can lead to stress and potential failure at the connection points.

What is Thermal Conductivity?

Thermal conductivity is the ability of a material to transfer heat. It’s an essential property to consider in various applications, particularly when it comes to heat management and energy efficiency. Metals, in general, have high thermal conductivity, making them excellent conductors of heat. This property is particularly useful in applications such as heat sinks, radiators, and heat exchangers, where efficient heat transfer is critical.

However, not all metals have the same thermal conductivity, and this can have significant implications for their suitability in specific applications. For example, copper is an excellent conductor of heat and is often used in electronics for heat dissipation. In contrast, stainless steel has relatively low thermal conductivity, which can be advantageous in applications that require thermal insulation or reduced heat transfer.

Understanding the thermal conductivity of metals is crucial for optimizing energy efficiency and managing heat in various applications. By selecting the appropriate material with the desired thermal conductivity, engineers and designers can ensure that components and structures perform optimally, maintain their structural integrity, and have a longer service life.

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