Base metal

Base metal

In chemistry, the term base metal is used informally to refer to a metal that oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid (HCl) to form hydrogen. Examples include iron, nickel, lead and zinc. Copper is considered a base metal as it oxidizes relatively easily, although it does not react with HCl. It is commonly used in opposition to noble metal.

In alchemy, a base metal was a common and inexpensive metal, as opposed to precious metals, mainly gold and silver. A longtime goal of the alchemists was the transmutation of base metals into precious metals.

In numismatics, coins used to derive their value primarily from the precious metal content. Most modern currencies are fiat currency, allowing the coins to be made of base metal.

In mining and economics, base metals refers to industrial non-ferrous metals excluding precious metals. These include copper, aluminium, lead, nickel, tin and zinc.

ee also

*Reactivity series
*Philosopher's stone
*London Metal Exchange

External links

* [ Live base metal prices - USD/lb]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Base metal — Base Base (b[=a]s), a. [OE. bass, F. bas, low, fr. LL. bassus thick, fat, short, humble; cf. L. Bassus, a proper name, and W. bas shallow. Cf. {Bass} a part in music.] 1. Of little, or less than the usual, height; of low growth; as, base shrubs.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Base metal — Metal Met al (? or ?; 277), n. [F. m[ e]tal, L. metallum metal, mine, Gr. ? mine; cf. Gr. ? to search after. Cf. {Mettle}, {Medal}.] 1. (Chem.) An elementary substance, as sodium, calcium, or copper, whose oxide or hydroxide has basic rather than …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • base metal — base metals N VAR A base metal is a metal such as copper, zinc, tin, or lead that is not a precious metal. Ant: precious metal …   English dictionary

  • base metal — noun count a metal that is not worth a lot of money, for example iron ─ compare PRECIOUS METAL …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • base metal — n [U and C] a metal that is not very valuable, such as iron or lead …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • base metal — ► NOUN ▪ a common non precious metal such as copper, tin, or zinc …   English terms dictionary

  • Base metal — Base metal. См. Основной металл. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • base metal — noun a metal that is common and not considered precious lead, iron, copper, tin, and zinc are base metals • Hypernyms: ↑metallic element, ↑metal * * * ˌbase ˈmetal [base metal base metals] …   Useful english dictionary

  • base metal — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms base metal : singular base metal plural base metals a metal that is not worth a lot of money, for example iron • See: precious metal …   English dictionary

  • base metal — netaurusis metalas statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. base metal vok. Nichtedelmetall, n; unedles Metall, n rus. неблагородный металл, m pranc. métal bas, m; métal pauvre, m; métal vil, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

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