No, platinum is not stronger than steel.
Let us explain.
Is Platinum Stronger than Steel? (EXPLAINED)
When it comes to choosing a metal for the right project, strength can be an important factor.
For metals, tensile strength, durability, and scratch resistance all determine how strong a metal is.
In the case of is platinum stronger than steel, steel will be a stronger metal.
However, depending on what your project is, it might not be the most suitable metal for the job.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is a metal that is a chemical element in the periodic table of elements, meaning it occurs naturally on Earth with the same chemical components throughout.
It is number 78 on the periodic table, and has a weight of 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter.
Platinum is a rarer metal that isn’t abundantly present in Earth’s crust.
However, it has been written about since the 16th century and has been used in jewelry in South America since that time.
Natural platinum can be found in the alluvial sands of rivers.
These are sands are made up of loose clay, silt, or sand deposited by rivers.
Like steel and other metals, it appears as a solid metallic white to silver-gray color.
What is Steel?
Steel is not a natural element, but rather an alloy or combination of alloys from different metals.
Steel is made primarily of iron and carbon.
Because of the many different combinations of metal alloys in use today, steel is plentiful and can be heat-treated for use in different building projects.
Although steel is made using modern machinery, it has been around for almost 4,000 years and has been used in different weaponry, machinery, and other construction uses.
How Strong is Platinum?
Platinum is a rare metal, and it is malleable as well as ductile, meaning it can be dented and formed into thin wiring.
Unfortunately, this makes Platinum a far weaker metal than steel.
Platinum has a tensile strength of 125-165 MPa or 18100-23900 psi.
This is the amount of pressure that it can withstand before it finally breaks, and is measured in pounds per square inch.
In addition, Platinum is also susceptible to scratching, although it is considered a durable metal.
Platinum even scratches easier than 14k gold.
However, when Platinum is scratched, it creates a patina look that is highly desirable for some jewelers.
How Strong is Steel?
Unlike platinum, steel has an extremely high tensile strength, with the average strength of structural steel being 400 MPa, which translates to about 580,000 psi, or pounds per square inch.
This is about 3 times the strength of Platinum!
Carbon steel, made of around 2.1% carbon as the name suggests, is even stronger than regular steel and has a strength of 841 MPa.
Steel has a variety of uses due to its high strength and also its resistance to scratching.
However, although steel is strong, if treated to have another characteristic, such as being rust-resistant or scratch resistant, this can affect its strength.
What are the Benefits of Platinum?
As mentioned earlier, Platinum is a precious metal that is also considered a noble metal on the periodic table of elements.
Platinum is rare, and so it is pricier and therefore more valuable than steel.
Platinum is extremely heat-resistant, and incredibly stable due to its chemical structure.
This makes it a good candidate for uses such as in the automotive industry, jewelry, dental work, and even in the science and health industries.
Platinum is corrosion-resistant, and can be used in laboratory equipment as well as thermometers, electrodes and electrical contacts.
Amazingly, Platinum is also used to save lives, being used in chemotherapy to fight against certain cancers.
In the industrial field, Platinum is used to make electrical components, in the production of textile glass fiber, LCD screens, and in silicones and computer hard disks.
What are the Benefits of Steel?
As we mentioned, steel does have a higher tensile strength than Platinum, and has been well-established as one of the most essential metals in the construction industry.
Steel has many varieties, including carbon steel, stainless steel, alloy steel, and tool steel.
All these different types of steel have their own benefits and, unfortunately, downfalls.
Unlike Platinum or other precious metals, steel is susceptible to corrosion and rusting even if it is considered “stainless.”
When used in construction projects, steel can be painted over to make it more corrosion-resistant.
However, this comes at the cost of extra time and maintenance to upkeep it.
Steel is, however, far cheaper than Platinum or other precious metals to use in building projects.
It is also abundant, and can be ordered to meet the exact specifications of different building projects.
How Do I Choose a Metal?
Depending on the type of project you’re doing and your budget, you might have to choose between Platinum or steel.
It’s not enough to simply know is Platinum stronger than steel when choosing what metal to use.
For instance, Platinum is a pure metal so it is hypoallergenic.
This makes it a good candidate for use in jewelry, unlike steel which has the common allergenic nickel in it.
However, steel is more than likely to be the best candidate for those looking for overall strength, such as in civil engineering projects.
If your project is in the medical or science industry, such as making rods, wires, sheets, and micromachined parts, then Platinum will be the best option.
Platinum is already used in the drugs cisplatin and carboplatin, which treat breast, lung, ovarian, and testicular cancer.
When it comes to platinum vs steel, the right metal really depends on the project and its purpose.
Obviously both metals have their advantages and downfalls.
Steel is highly versatile, and can be used in a variety of construction projects on top of being affordable.
However, it is not perfect for every project, and is prone to buckling as well as corrosion.
Like Platinum, steel can be easily shaped for a variety of uses, including metal sheets, rods, wiring, and other designs.
However, Platinum has very specific uses in the medical and science industries.
It has less tensile strength than steel, although it is highly durable.
This metal is also fairly precious and expensive, making it cost prohibitive to use much of it.
If you’d like to learn more about the world that we live in, check out our blog for our latest articles about rocks, minerals, and science!