The most common use of manganese is as a component of steel, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry. Manganese is too fragile to use alone as a pure metal.
Typical steel contains about 1 percent manganese, which improves the strength of the material, notes the Royal Society of Chemistry. Manganese steel contains about 13 percent manganese and is much stronger. Railway tracks, personal safes and rifles all use manganese steel. Some prison bars are made of manganese steel, as well. Aluminum cans that people use for drinking also contain about 1.5 percent manganese so as to prevent deterioration and corrosion.