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There are many important temperatures that metals must reach in a manufacturing process, but one of the most critical is the melting point. The melting temperature is when a solid starts to transform into a liquid, and it’s an important point because once that happens, the material can no longer function as intended. For example, if a furnace component melts or jet engine fuel nozzles melt, the machine will be unable to perform its job.
The melting point of a metal is determined by the bond strength between the atoms in the crystalline structure. This means that if an alloy has a lower bond strength, it will have a lower melting point. However, the actual melting point is a complex measurement and it depends on the specific atomic structures in the metal as well as other properties like enthalpy of formation and bond dissociation energy.
A good example of a low melting metal is gold, which has a melting point of 1,064 degrees celsius. When heated to this temperature, gold becomes a liquid and can be cast into blanks for coins and bars. In addition, gold is used as a pure jewelry metal and in circuit boards to preserve conductivity. Another useful low melting metal is solder, which is a type of fusible low melting alloy. Fusible alloys are made of silvery-white metals like bismuth, tin and indium and can be used to join other metal parts together by melting them. These low melting metals are also ideal for safety devices like fusible plugs, which will melt at a predetermined temperature and relieve dangerous pressure or shut off power to equipment.