Is steel a pure substance?
Metals such as iron are useful for many purposes because of their unique properties. For example, they can conduct electricity and bend without breaking. However, pure metals may be less useful than mixtures of metals with other elements. For example, adding a little carbon to iron makes it much stronger. This mixture is called steel. Steel is so strong that it can hold up huge bridges, like the one pictured above. Steel is also used to make skyscrapers, cargo ships, cars, and trains. Steel is an example of an alloy.