Q & A details -What is the hardest Metal BUT NOT brittle and/or corrosive and/or toxic? (Alloy or pure doesn't matter to me)?
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What is the hardest Metal BUT NOT brittle and/or corrosive and/or toxic? (Alloy or pure doesn't matter to me)?

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I've tried to reasearch on it and haven't found it. 
These metals only came close: 

Carbon Steel Alloy 1090 is the hardest but is notoriously corrosive 

Tungsten Carbide is also very hard but is very brittle. 

Depleted Uranium isn't as hard as the ones above but is greatly toxic. 

Titanium is also very brittle and isn't very hard anyways. 

Vanadium is a soft and ductile metal. 

And please don't answer "DIAMOND" or even "Carbon Nanorods" because those aren't metals on the first place.

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  • 0861788249

    0861788249 2017-01-12 10:18:21

    Tungsten Carbide is not a metal either -- it is a ceramic. Various carbides (tungsten, tantalum, boron) are extremely hard (near diamond) but brittle, as are other ceramics like cubic zirconia and corundum (Al2O3). Several research groups are trying to make them less brittle by making composites with carbon-based materials (graphite or nanotubes). In some cases, the nanotubes which bind up the grain boundaries to decrease brittleness also result in electrical conductivity (none of the carbides or other ceramics above) are electrical conductors so are not metals but the composites are conductive (although that does not necessarily make them metals). Alloys are always going to be harder than pure metals. The hardness is determined not just by the elements present but also by the microstructure so second phases are used and grain size is kept small. Carbon steel alloy 1090 is normally quoted as the hardest true metal but it is also corrosive. To get really hard materials, people are coating metal parts with ceramics.

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