What Is a List of Soft Metals?

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According to the Mohs hardness scale, a list of soft metals includes lead, gold, silver, tin, zinc, aluminum, thorium, copper, brass and bronze. Gallium might also be considered a soft metal, as it melts at 85.57 degrees Fahrenheit. Mercury is a metal that’s liquid at room temperature.

In many cases, a metal’s softness is what makes it valuable. The softness of copper allows it to be drawn into thin wires and made into both flexible and rigid plumbing pipes. Copper is too soft for other applications, but it can be alloyed to make somewhat stronger metals like brass and bronze.

Lead can also be made into plumbing pipes, and some of those pipes have been in use since the time of the Roman emperors. One reason for this is that lead is so soft that it can be easily patched by hammering or by the application of molten lead. Since the melting point of lead is about 621 degrees F, it can be melted over a regular fire.

For other metals, softness is a drawback. Precious metals like gold and silver are considered too soft to be worn every day, so they are nearly always alloyed with another metal to make them stronger.