The thirteen metals before referred to have now to be considered, namely, Antimony, Bismuth, Copper, Gold, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Palladium, Platinum, Rhodium, Silver, Tin, and Zinc. Unlike iron and steel, they do not admit of being hardened beyond that degree which may be produced by simple mechanical means, such as hammering, rolling, etc, neither, (with the exception of platinum,) do they submit to the process of welding.
On the other hand, their fusibility offers an easy means of uniting and combining many of these metals with great readiness, either singly, or in mixtures of two or several kinds, which are called alloys. By the process of founding, any required form may be given to the fusible metals and alloys; their malleability and ductility are also turned to most useful and varied accounts; and by partial fusion neighbouring metallic surfaces may be united, sometimes per se, but more generally by the interposition of a still more fusible metal or alloy called solder.
The author intends therefore to commence with a brief notice of the physical characters and principal uses of the thirteen metals before named, and of their more important alloys. Tables of the cohesive force and of the general properties of metals will be next added to avoid the occasional necessity for reference to other works.
These tables will be followed by some remarks on alloys, which as regards their utility in the arts, may be almost considered as so many distinct metals: this will naturally lead to the processes of melting, mixing and casting the metals; a general notice and explanation of many works, taking their origin in the malleable and ductile properties, will then follow; and the consideration of the metals, and of materials from the three kingdoms, will be concluded by a descriptive account of the modes of soldering.
Technological Repository, in each of which the subjects are perhaps treated in a more practical manner than in many other works in which they are touched upon. The Journal of the Royal Institution, vol. ix. p. 319 to 333, contains much curious information upon alloys of steel with silver, rhodium, platinum, nickel, etc.