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Faculty of Technology Management and Business

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia

Department of Construction Management
There are two main categories of metals and alloys, ferrous and non-ferrous. The term
ferrous covers iron and its alloys, while about seventy of the other metals are classified as
non-ferrous. Irons that contain less than 0.1 percent carbon are usually referred to as
wrought iron. Those that contain 2 to 4 percent carbon are referred to as pig iron or cast
iron. Pure iron is a soft and ductile metal; the addition of carbon to iron increases its
hardness and strength, but lowers the ductility.
The physical properties of irons are governed by several factors:
1. The characteristics and composition of the iron ore used in smelting, the process
of melting or fusing the ore.
2. The percentage of carbon in the finished iron.
3. The inclusion of other elements, either in the iron ore or added during the melting
4. The manner in which the metal is allowed to cool from a liquid to a solid state.
5. The conditions of cooling after the iron have reached a solid state.
The properties of iron may be further altered by working, rolling, forging, and reheating.

4.1 IRON
Iron is widely available all over the world, but only in combination with other elements.
The most important iron-bearing minerals or iron ores are limonite (brown iron ore,
Fe2O3.nH2O) hematite (red iron ore, Fe2O3) and magnetite (magnetic oxide of iron,
The mined ore is crushed to small particles of size 1 in. (25mm) or smaller, and further
reduced to fine powder, which is later converted to pellets or sinters. Sintering is a
process of application of heat that results in the conversion of fine ore into hard and
porous lumps (of size 10-50 mm). Pelletizing is the process of forming balls (10-20mm)
in diameter in the presence of moisture and additives.
Blast Furnace
Iron is produced in blast furnace. Blast furnaces were developed in Europe around 1400.
The hot metal that was tapped in the furnace and cast in sand was termed as a pig if the
weight was less than 112lb (50.7kg), and hence the term pig iron was derived, which
represents iron produced in a blast furnace, that is not pure iron, nearly saturated with
carbon. The type and composition of pig iron depends on the composition of the ore.

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A blast furnace is a tall, circular shaft that increases in cross-sectional area from the top
to the base. The main function of a blast furnace is to reduce the ore to metal, followed
by separation of the metal from the impurities. The inside of the furnace is lined with
firebricks or carbon bricks (Figure 4.1). A tapping hole is located about 2-3 ft from the
bottom. The iron ore in the form of pellets or sinters is charged into the furnace with
coke (carboneous solid made from coal, petroleum etc.) and limestone (which acts as a
flux holding the silica and alumina impurities of the ore and coke).


Brick lining


Figure 4.1 Schematic view of blast furnace

A powerful air blast through the bottom raises the temperature sufficiently to burn coke,
melt iron, and burn off oxygen. As the ore in its transition stage moves to the bottom of
the furnace, the temperature increases to about 1650 0C, which is enough to melt iron.
The molten iron, which has a high carbon content, is collected at the bottom of the
furnace every few hours. It flows into hot metal cars, which are mainly transported to
steelmaking furnace, or made into cast iron.
A nonmetallic product, consisting mainly of silicates and aluminosilicates of calcium and
other bases, is produced simultaneously with the molten metal iron. This is called slag,
and floats to the top and is collected at the base of the furnace. It is collected in slag pots
for further processing. Crushed slag is used in the manufacture of special cements.


Iron products come in three commercial forms:
Wrought Iron
Cast Iron

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Wrought iron (besi tempa) has the least, and cast iron the greatest amount of carbon.
Increase in the amount of carbon decreases the melting point of the metal. Carbon, exerts
the most significant effects on the microstructure and properties of iron products. The
upper theoretical limit of carbon in steel is 1.7 %; in structural steel the carbon content <
0.25% by weight.

4.2.1 Wrought Iron (Besi Tempa)

Wrought iron is manufactured by melting and refining iron to a high degree of purity.
The molten metal is then poured into a ladle and mixed with hot slag. The fluxing action
of the slag causes a spongy mass to form which is processed by rolling and pressing.
Wrought iron is the only iron-bearing material containing slag (< 3%). The slag is
distributed throughout the metal and appears as long fibrous elements, distinguishing it
from steel with the same carbon content (< 0.1% by wt.). It contains small amounts of
manganese and silicon.
The mechanical properties of wrought iron are almost the same as that of pure iron, and
ductility is lower than steel. Its tensile strength along the grain varies between 310-380
Mpa, and lowers across the grain. Wrought iron can be cold worked, forged, and welded
like steel. Forging is working a metal to a definite shape by one or more processes such
as hammering, pressing, and rolling at a temperature above the recrystallization
temperature. Cold working is the process of working at a temperature that does not alter
the structural changes caused by the work or that is below the recrystallization
temperature. Wrought iron can be moulded easily and has good resistance to corrosion.
It is used to make pipes, corrugated sheets, grills, bars, chains, decorative ironworks, car
parts (due to resistance to corrosion) etc.

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Fig. 4.2: Examples of Wrought Iron Metal.

4.2.2 Cast Iron (Besi Tuang)

Cast iron is manufactured by reheating pig iron (besi jongkong) in a cupola and blending
it with other materials of known composition. Alternate layers of pig iron and coke are
charged into a furnace. Limestone is added to flux the ash from the coke. Heat
necessary, for the smelting is supplied by the combustion of coke and air supplied by the
blast. The function of the cupola is to purify the iron and produce a more uniform
product. When sufficient metal is accumulated at the bottom of the furnace, it is tapped.
Ordinary cast iron is called gray cast iron, due to the color of fracture. When the fracture
surface has a silvery white metallic color, it is called white cast iron. Gray cast iron
contains free carbon (graphite flakes), which make the metal weak and soft. It is the most
widely used cast iron. Carbon is combined chemically with iron in the form of cementite
in white cast iron. This makes the metal strong, hard, and brittle. Cast iron has high
compressive strength, but its tensile strength is low. Until 1800, columns in buildings
were built using cast iron and later beams. In 1850s, wrought iron was used in bridges
and multistory buildings, and steel dominated from 1900 onwards.

Fig. 4.3: Examples of Cast Iron Metal.

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Besi Tuang (Cast Iron):

Besi tuang dihasilkan dengan mencairkan semula jongkong besi dan cairan itu dituang
masuk ke dalam acuan-acuan mengikut bentuk yang dikehendaki. Beberapa jenis-jenis
besi tuang boleh dihasilkan secara menggabungkannya dengan unsur-unsur aloi atau
dengan mengawal kadar penyejukan supaya mengurangkan jumlah karbon yang
bergabung dan jumlah karbon bebas akan bertambah. Sekeping besi tuang yang
disejukkan perlahan-lahan akan terdiri dripada hablur yang panjang dan halus, berwarna
kelabu, dan apabila kadar penyejukkan ditambah, menghasilkan besi tuang putih dengan
kurangnya jumlah grafit (karbon dengan struktur hablur yang berlainan) yang bebas.
Besi tuang mudah-tempa mempunyai kekuatan yang tinggi dan kemulurannya sama
seperti besi tuang kelabu dan sifat-sifatnya hampir sama dengan keluli ditempa (forged).
Kegunaan Besi Tuang:
Besi tuang boleh dibentuk dengan mudah menggunakan acuan, ia lebih murah daripada
bentuk-bentuk keluli. Tetapi, disebabkan kekuatan tegangannya rendah dan sifatnya
yang rapuh, besi ini hanya sesuai digunakan untuk membina struktur yang akan
mengalami tegasan tegangan yang rendah dan tidak menganggung beban dinamik. Besi
tuang kelabu digunakan dengan meluasnya untuk rangka dan alas mesin, paip, acuan alat
percetakan, kepala silinder, roda etc.
Kecacatan Fizikal Besi Tuang:
Terdapat banyak kecacatan fizikal dalam besi tuang yang boleh melemahkan
kekuatannya. Di antaranya kecacatan yang biasa ialah lubang tiup (gelumbung gas
terperangkap digalakkan oleh kandungan sulfur yang tinggi, maka perlu menggunakan
pasir berliang), rekahan (pada permukaan besi berlaku jika acuannya tidak membenarkan
besi mengecut sewajarnya semasa disejukkan), pemisahan bendasing dan struktur ira

4.2.3 Steel
Steel is a combination of iron and carbon (0.01 0.1 %). Steel in addition contains
varying amounts of manganese, phosphorous, sulfur, and silicon, together with some 20
other alloys. The alloys are added to molten steel to produce steel of different
characteristics, such as hardness, tensile strength, and toughness. An alloy is a mixture
of metals or a mixture of a metal and another element. Alloys are used in a wide variety
of applications. In some cases, a combination of metals may reduce the overall cost of the
are steel, solder, brass, pewter, duralumin, phosphor bronze and amalgams.

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Wire rope made from steel, which is

a metal alloy whose major
component is iron,
with carbon content between 0.02%
and 2.14% by mass

Kinds of Steel:
There is an almost an infinite number of kinds of steel available. Steels are grouped into
a number of classifications, based on the content of modifying elements. They are as

Carbon Steel
A steel that owes its properties mainly to the presence of carbon, without substantial
amounts of other alloying elements, except manganese.

Fig. 4.4: Example of Carbon Steel.

Alloy Steel
So classified when the content of alloying elements exceeds certain limits or in which a
definite range of alloying elements is specified.

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Fig.4.5: Example of Alloy Steel.

High-Strength Low-Alloy Steel
One of a group with chemical composition specially developed to provide better
mechanical properties and better resistance to atmospheric corrosion that can be
obtained from normal carbon steels.

Fig. 4.6: Example of High strength Low-Alloy Steel.

Stainless and Heat-Resisting Steels
Steels which provide outstanding resistance to heat and corrosion by the addition of
chromium and nickel to the carbon steel.

Fig.4.7: Example of Stainless and Heat Resisting Steel.

Tool Steels

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Either carbon or alloy steels which are capable of being hardened and tempered for use as
cutting and stamping tools.

Fig. 4.8: Example of tool Steels.

Steel is produced in a basic oxygen furnace (BOF), open hearth furnace, or electric arc
furnace. The ingredients of the BOF and open hearth furnace are the same: one or more
of molten pig iron, iron ore, scrap metal, mill scale and limestone. Iron ore controls the
carbon content and limestone acts as a fluxing agent. The principal ingredient of the
electric arc furnace is scrap metal.
A charge consisting of iron-bearing materials is introduced into the furnace. In the BOF,
high-purity oxygen is blown at high velocity through the upright furnace to promote rapid
oxidation. This reaction generates enough thermal energy to raise the temperature to
required levels without using external fuel. The oxides either leave the furnace as gases
or combine with the slag. The slag-producing materials (limestone or lime) are added
after the oxygen blow. When the molten liquid has reached the specified composition,
the furnace is tapped into a ladle. During the tapping, alloying elements are added.
The charge in the open hearth furnace is melted through liquid fuel and gas with
preheated air for combustion. The flames reduce the amount of unwanted elements such
as carbon, manganese, silicon, phosphorous, and sulfur. The oxidizing agent is iron ore.
The electric arc furnace is used to produce regular carbon steel grades. These furnaces
also allow close control of temperature and refining conditions necessary in the
manufacture of some special steels. The charge consists essentially of scrap metal; some
iron ore and lime are added during the melting process. High-temperature electric arcing
generates the high temperatures required for melting and refining the steel. Modern
electric arc furnaces work on 100 % scrap, but some use a small amount of cold or
molten pig iron.

Properties of Steel
Steels usually contain < 1% carbon by weight. Structural steel has < 0.25 % of carbon.
Manganese is the main alloying element and is added when the steel is in molten
condition, up to about 1.6%. Cementite is the hardest and most brittle component of steel
and is found in high-carbon steel.
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Carbon has the most significant effect on the microstructure and properties of steel.
Increase in carbon content increases the hardness, strength, and abrasion resistance, but
decreases the ductility, toughness, and impact resistance. Ductility, as measured by the
percentage of elongation during the tension test, decreases drastically with increase in
carbon content. Toughness, as measured by the area under the stress-strain diagram,
decreases rapidly with carbon content exceeding 0.4%.
Tensile strength and yield point of steel are maximum when carbon content is about 1%
(Fig. 4.1). High-strength low-alloy structural steel is expected to have a tensile strength
of 60 ksi when the carbon content is 0.2%, and 80 ksi when the carbon content is 0.26 %.
With heat treatment, it is possible to change the properties of steel without changing the
chemical composition. Ductility is also affected by heat treatment.
In general, properties of steel are greatly affected by three factors:
Chemical composition
Heat treatment
Mechanical work
Carbon and alloying elements affect both physical properties (such as weldability and
corrosion) and mechanical properties (such as yield strength, tensile strength, and
The process of corrosion of steel by exposure to the atmospheric conditions can be
reduced by:
Painting (Mengecat)
Coating with metal (lapisan logam)
cathodic protection (Ketahanan kathod)
By alloying with increased Copper and Chromium (Aloi dengan menambah
kuprum dan kromium)
Properties of steel are greatly affected by high temperatures. Temperatures > 4800 C may
not only cause loss of cross-section but may also result in metallurgical changes and
severe deformation. Steel exposed to very high temperatures will have heavy scale,
pitting, and surface erosion. Exposure of steel to severe fire of nominal duration will
destroy the ability of steel members to sustain loads.

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Cold-drawn steel


Tensile strength




Yield Point







Strain (in/in)

Figure 4.9: Typical Stress-Strain Diagram of Steel

Failure Types
Typical failures in steel construction may be due to yielding of a member, failure of
connections, or buckling of a member. Connection failure is the most common cause of
collapse of steel buildings. Buckling of columns rarely has resulted in structural failure.
Hot-rolled steel shapes used in the majority of steel buildings are not prone to brittle
failure. When fracture occurs by cleavage at a nominal tensile stress that is below yield
stress, it is called brittle fracture. Increased strain rates or structures that are loaded at a
fast rate tend to increase the possibility of brittle fracture. Cold working and the
residual tensile stress (such as those caused by welding) may increase the likelihood of
brittle fracture. Welding may also leave notches or flaws in the parent metal, which may
promote brittle fracture. There is a temperature below which structural steel, when
subjected to tensile loads, may fracture by cleavage with little or not plastic deformation.

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Tensile Strength
and yield point ksi,
and elongation (%)

120 (60)

100 (50)
80 (40)

60 (30)
Yield point
% elongation
(2 in. gage length)

40 (20)
20 (10)






Carbon content (%)

Figure 4.10: Effects of Carbon Content on Mechanical Properties

of Steel

Investigations of earthquake damage have revealed that buildings of structural steel have
performed better than any other type of construction in protecting life and preventing
economic loss. This is due to the physical and mechanical properties of steel:

Light weight (compared to similar structures made of reinforced concrete)

High tensile strength

In addition, damaged steel buildings can be repaired relatively easily. All structures rely
on steel to supply the ductility and toughness needed to resist severe earthquakes.
Weldability is important for steel used in majority of building projects, and this property
decreases with increase in carbon content. Structural carbon steel, or A36 steel, has
good ductility and is weldable. In fact, all ASTM grades of structural steel are weldable,
and their carbon content is limited to about 0.25 %. In steel structures exposed to severe
environment, adequate corrosion resistance is required.

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Steel bridges and buildings are assembled by connecting the individual elements of
various shapes and sizes using bolts or welding or both. Connections between various
members in a structure are of many types: simple, eccentric, tension, shear, shear and
tension, and moment-resisting connections. When a beam transfers only the shear forces
to the supporting columns or girders, the connection is a simple or shear connection; if ,
in addition, it transfers the couple, the connection is moment-resisting.

Reinforcing Steel
Concrete has low tensile strength and modulus of rupture, although its compressive
strength is high. To use concrete in places where the applied loads induce tensile or
bending stresses, such as in beams, slabs, walls and beam-columns, the tensile capacity of
the cross-section has to be improved. Steel reinforcement within the concrete c-s
enhances the bending capacity as well as the resistance to cracking from tensile forces.
The cost of steel reinforcement in a reinforced concrete structure is about 50-70% of the
total cost. Reinforced concrete is a composite material, made from steel, which has a
high modulus of elasticity and tensile strength, and concrete, which has superior
compressive and bond strengths. Adequate bond is ensured by using rebars with surface
deformation, called deformed bars. The bond capacity in these bars is mainly from the
surface friction and roughness.

Reinforcing steel is manufactured in three forms:

Plain bars
Deformed bars
Plain and deformed wire fabric
Deformed bars are used in almost all types of reinforced concrete construction: slabs,
beams, columns, walls, footings, foundations, dams etc, and also in reinforced masonry
construction. The nominal dimension (c-s), or nominal diameter of a deformed bar is
equivalent to that of a plain round bar having the same weight per foot as the deformed
bar. Fabrics with welded joints, ore welded wire fabrics, are used as nominal
reinforcement in floor slabs, roof slabs, slabs-on-grade, and pipes. Welded fabric is used
as concrete reinforcement for crack control in residential slabs, driveways, sidewalks, and
slabs for light construction. In a slab on grade I(or ground-supported concrete slab),
cracking is due primarily to three causes:
Drying shrinkage
Change in temperature and moisture
Weak subgrade or soil
In plain concrete slabs, crack control is accomplished by placing control joints at
spacings less than 15 ft., however, when reinforcement wire fabric is used (for 4-6 in slab
place fabric 2 in from top surface; see method statement provided in specifications) the
control joints can be placed further apart.

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Fig.4.11: Image of Reinforcing Steel bars.

Rusting and Corrosion of Steel
When steel is exposed to atmosphere, it is subjected to action of atmospheric agencies. The humid air
causes the rusting of steel (the formation of oxides on the surface of steel), also the atmospheric
conditions along with rain produces oxidation and corrosion. Consequently, the physical and
mechanical properties are affected. In due course of time cracks and discontinuities may form in the
oxide film, due to electro-chemical action on the metal surface, providing a fresh source of
atmospheric action resulting in further corrosion. Once rusting is initiated, it gradually increases and
corrodes iron. Rusts in the form of scales are peeled off from the swelled surface of iron. It is serious
problem as the surface becomes rough with rusted iron projections. This may injure users. Also, the
loss of steel sectional area may cause failure of structural elements.
Of the various theories of corrosion, the acid theory is applicable to the corrosion of iron. According
to this theory rusting is caused by action of oxygen, carbon di-oxide and moisture converting the iron
into ferrous bicarbonate. Further, the ferrous bicarbonate on oxidation changes to ferric bicarbonate
and subsequently to hydrated ferric oxide.
Fe + O + 2CO2 + H2O = Fe (HCO3)2
2Fe(HCO3)2 + H2O + O = 2Fe(OH)CO3 + 2CO2 + 2H2O
Fe(OH)CO3 + H2O + Fe(OH)3 + CO2
To safeguard iron and steel from rusting and corrosion some of the prevalent methods are enamelling;
applying metal coatings galvanizing, tin plating, electroplating; and applying organic coating
Painting and coal tarring. Of these methods painting is the most common. Enamelling consists in
melting a flux on the surface of iron in muffle furnace and then coating it with a second layer of more
fusible glaze. Galvanising is the process of coating iron with a thin film of zinc, whereas in tin plating
a film of tin is coated. Painting consists in applying a coat of red lead and then applying a coat of
enamel or aluminium paint. For the use of the iron or steel in substructures instead of enamel paint
coal tar is applied on its surface. In electroplating some metal plating such as chromium, nickel or zinc
is applied on the surface of the iron.

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Fig.4.12: Image of difference in appearance after Corrosion of Steel Metal.

Non-Ferrous Metals
1. Aluminum:
The principal constituents of bauxite (Al2O32H2O) which yield aluminium on a commercial scale are
hydrated oxides of aluminium and iron with some silica. Some of the other aluminium ores are
corundum, kaolin or china clay, and kryolite. The ore is purifed by Bayers process and is reduced to
aluminium by Hall Hiroults process in two stages. In the first stage bauxite is converted into alumina
by roasting, grinding, heating (with sodium hydrate) and filtering. Then it is agitated for several hours
to precipitate the hydrate, which is separated, washed and calcined at 1000 C. In the next stage
aluminium is extracted by electrolysis of alumina in a molten bath (Fig. 4.1) of crystolite (a fluoride of
alumina and sodium). A flow diagram for extraction of aluminium is shown in Fig. 4.2.

Fig. 4.13

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Uses: Pure aluminium is very soft and is unsuitable for structural purposes. Satisfactory properties
are derived by alloying copper, manganese, zinc, silicon, and nickel with aluminium. It is most
suitable for making door and window frames, railings of shops and corrugated sheets for roofing
system. Aluminium sheets are used over doors in bathrooms to protect them from getting rot and for
stamping into a variety of shapes. Aluminium powder is used for making paint. Aluminium is
extensively used in making parts of internal combustion engine, airplanes, utensils and packings for
medicines, chocolates, etc. Aluminium alloys are widely used for the manufacture of rolled sections,
such as angles, channels, I-sections, round and rectangular pipes, rivets and bolts.

Fig.4.14: Image of Aluminium metal.

Copper is extracted form ores, e.g., copper pyrite, such as, chalcopyrite (CuFeS2, 34.5 per cent
copper), malachite (CuCO3 + Cu(OH)2, 57.3 per cent copper) and copper glance (Cu2S, 79.8 per cent
copper). Nearly all the copper is extracted by smelting. After calcining the ore it is mixed with silica
and coke. Then it is oxidized in Bessemer converter where removal of major portion of iron and
sulphur compounds is affected. The crude copper thus produced is known as blister copper which is
cast into small pigs. The blister copper contains many impurities and is refined in the reverberatory
finance (Fig. 14.3) or by electrolysis. In reverberatory furnace the sulphides are oxidized and the
cuprous oxide exerts cleansing action on the base metals in the crude copper. A larger excess or a
deficiency of cuprous oxide in the copper makes it weak and brittle which make it necessary to
remove any excess which remains after the impurities have been skimmed off. This is achieved by the
addition of charcoal and green wood to the bath. Fire refining imparts malleability, toughness and
ductility. Electrolytic refining is used when pure grade copper is required for electrical purposes, and
where there is a considerable quantity of gold or silver associated with the crude copper.
Properties: Copper is a bright shining metal of reddish colour which turns greenish on exposure to
weather. Copper is malleable and ductile and can be worked in hot and cold conditions. It is not
weldable, except on red heat. It is soft and good conductor of heat and electricity. The electrical
resistivity of copper having less than 0.1 per cent non-metallic impurities lies between 0.1550.159
ohms per metre gram at 20 C. The resistivity increases with the content of impurities and with
amount of wire drawing. Its tensile strength is high.
Uses: Copper is extensively used for electrical purposes, tubes for condensers and for other
conductors which must withstand corrosion. In buildings copper is used for roofing, sheeting and
damp proofing. Its use is restricted in the appliances and connections used for water supplies in

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Fig. 4.15: Image of Copper Coin.

It is extracted from black oxide of tin, casseterite (SnO2,78.6 per cent tin). Tin is extracted from the
ore by crushing, roasting and melting to a temperature of about 1000 C in a way similar to that of
Properties; Tin is a silvery-white, lustrous, and extremely malleable metal. It is so soft that it can be
cut by a knife. Its specific gravity is 7.3 and it melts at 232 C. It is harder, more ductile and stronger
than lead. Tin is as ductile as soft steel. It is highly resistant to corrosion and has low tensile strength.
Uses; Sheets coated with tin are used to make cans, utensils and furnace pipes. Sheets coated with
lead-tin alloy are used for roofing. Tin is also used for making bronze and other alloys.

Fig. 4.16: Image of Tin Metal.

Mainly used in its pure form, lead is the densest, softest and the weakest metal. The principal ore is
lead sulphide, galena (PbS, 86.6 per cent lead). Lead is extracted by reducing the sulphur content by
roasting the raw ore in pots or sintering it in shallow pallets (Fig. 14.5). It is then smelt in a blast
furnace (Fig. 14.6) along with flux and coke. Lead, zinc, copper, arsenic, etc., are taken out of the
blast furnace and separated alternately on the basis of their different melting points.

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Properties: Pure lead can be scratched even with finger nail, highly malleable and can be rolled, into
thin foils. It has a blue grey colour and dull metallic lusture when freshly fractured. When exposed to
moist air it loses lusture due to oxidation. Its relative density is 11.34 and melting temperature is 327
C. The softness and specific gravity of lead are reduced because of the impurities such as antimony,
arsenic, zinc and copper. Magnesia (2 per cent) raises the hardness abruptly.
Uses: It finds its principal use in paints as base, lead pipes and joints in sanitary fittings and in

Fig. 14.19 Examples of Lead Metal.

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