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List of the 10 Heaviest Metals

10. Mercury 13.546 g/cm^3

Mercury is a metal in liquid form at room temperature, often referred to as quicksilver for its silvery-white appearance.

Mercury is very heavy. It weighs 13.6 times more than water in equal volumes. To put it in perspective: iron, stone, and lead can float on its surface.

This metal is used most popularly in barometers, thermometers, and other scientific instruments; it is very useful in conducting electricity. And mercury vapor is used in:

  • Streetlights
  • Advertising signs
  • Fluorescent lamps.

9. Americium 13.67 g/cm^3

Americium is not natural; it is a synthetic radioactive chemical element that was first produced by a research team in Chicago during the Manhattan project.

This actinide metal is used in your average household smoke detector, by using a form of the metal called americium dioxide to ionize the radiation.

8. Uranium 18.95 g/cm^3

Uranium also has a silvery-grey appearance and is referred to as an actinide metal. Uranium is used most commonly in the military for high-density penetration weapons.

At high impact speed, these projectiles of depleted uranium and other alloys have such speed, hardness, and density that they can cause massive damage to armored targets. Armor plates on tanks are also hardened with uranium depleted plated

7. Gold 19.32 g/cm^3

Everybody is familiar with the bright yellow metal, but in its purest form, it will look slightly reddish yellow. Despite its density, it is soft and malleable.

Gold is used in a lot of jewelry because of the softness of its pure form. Many times, it’s alloyed with other metals to change the ductility and hardness. One of most important uses of gold is in electronics; gold creates corrosion-free electrical connectors in electrical devices like computers.

6. Tungsten 19.35 g/cm^3

A very rare metal the is mined naturally in the Earth often found with many other elements and chemical compounds rather than isolated.

Tungsten is well known for its robustness, and the high density makes it the perfect metal to use in counterweights, ballast keels for yachts, and tail ballasts in commercial aircraft. Depleted uranium can also fulfill many of these uses, but the optimal element is tungsten.

5. Plutonium 19.84 g/cm^3

Plutonium is an actinide metal that has a silvery grey appearance that tarnishes and dulls when it becomes exposed to oxygen.

The isotope plutonium-238 emits a lot of thermal energy and has a low level of gamma rays and neutron rays. This isotope is an alpha emitter. It combines low penetration with high energy  which means it needs little shielding.

Being able to make so much heat, it can generate a lot of electricity as well. The half-life of this isotope is about 87.74 years which makes it a perfect power source for devices that need to function without maintenance for about an average human’s lifespan.

4. Neptunium 20.2 g/cm^3

This is a radioactive actinide metal that appears silvery and also tarnishes when it’s exposed to the air. Neptunium can be found accumulating within commercial household ionization chamber smoke detectors from decaying americium.

Neptunium is fissionable and can possibly be used as fuel in a nuclear weapon or fast neutron reactor. However, many believe that neptunium has never been used to make a weapon to this day.

3. Platinum 21.45 g/cm^3

A very dense, ductile, malleable, precious, unreactive transition metals that look silvery-white. Platinum is used in all sorts of processes:

  • Vehicle emission control devices.
  • Jewelry
  • Chemical Production
  • Electrical applications
  • Hard disk drives

Platinum is very resistant to wear and tear, and very tough all around. All the devices, appliances, and jewelry it’s used in have a spectacular lifespan. Platinum is very rare and expensive, however.

2. Iridium 22.4 g/cm^3

A brittle, hard, transition metal that shared a silvery-white appearance with platinum, iridium is the second densest metal following osmium.

Iridium is used primarily in electronics such as spark plugs and electrodes. Devices that need to withstand against extreme temperatures are usually made of iridium.

1. Osmium 22.6 g/cm^3

Similar to Iridium, osmium is a hard-brittle transition metal that looks bluish-white. This element is the densest, being found in rarely in platinum ores it is a pretty scarce element

Osmium is used very rarely in its pure state because of its toxic and extremely volatile. Osmium is alloyed very often into devices and machines that can need to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

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