Metal and steel are regularly used in the same sentence. This is because steel, which is a hugely popular material for construction, has the appearance and feel of a hard metal, although the truth is that they are not the same.
Yes, that’s right. Despite it often being overlooked, there are differences between metal and steel which mean that they should not be used interchangeably.
In short, these differences are those listed below:
Metal – This is a chemical element made up of various opaque, fusible, ductile and lustrous substances, with some of the most commonly used metals being titanium, copper and nickel.
Steel – By contrast, this an alloy of iron that contains various amount of carbon content. As steel is an alloy, it is not a pure element and is, as a direct result, not actually a metal. Instead, it is actually a variant of a metal. Although steel is composed of iron – which is a metal – the non-metal carbon within its chemical make-up means that it is not a pure metal, so it cannot be classed as one.
So, there you have it. Steel is not a metal.
That’s one to remember for any future pub quizzes that you attend!