The Best Documentaries About Metals

Nov 1, 2023 | Best Of, Nature

The way we interact with metals has been ever-changing. From weapons that have shaped wars and civilizations to the invention of cars and airplanes, metals have played a crucial role in mankind’s development throughout history. Whether it be aluminum used in airplanes or steel being crafted into skyscrapers, films about metal are captivating pieces of art. Here is our list of the 10 best documentaries about metals. Each of these films offers unique insight into the world of metal and how it shapes our lives, telling stories that captivate, educate, and inspire us. So let’s get started!


1. PLATINUM Documentary: Mining, Science and History

As one of the most prized metals in the world, platinum has captivated minds for centuries. This remarkable metal was initially dubbed ‘platina’ or ‘little silver’ by Spanish Conquistadors who were perplexed by its unique properties. But it soon became clear that this exclusive metal was much more than just another precious metal. In this documentary, we explore the secrets of platinum, from its discovery by miners and scientists to its wide and varied uses. We look at how it has been used in jewelry through time as well as its more industrial applications such as catalytic converters or hard drives. We also examine the role that platinum plays in our contemporary lives and its future potential.


2. Understanding Metals

It’s vital to have an understanding of the atomic structure of metals in order to effectively use them in engineering. In this video, we’ll gain insight into their microstructure and the various techniques used to enhance their properties, like grain boundary strengthening, solid solution strengthening, precipitation hardening and work hardening. We’ll also examine phase diagrams by focusing on the Iron-Carbon diagram to gain insight into the phases like ferrite, austenite and cementite found in steels. This will help us better comprehend their behavior under equilibrium conditions. By the end of this video, viewers will have a better understanding of metals at an atomic level and how they can be manipulated for various engineering applications.


3. From Rock to Copper Metal

I am a part of the new generation of metal miners. Instead of searching for gold, I set my sights on copper, unearthing it from an abandoned mine in California. After honing my skills over several months, I feel confident enough to try out electrowinning – a process that extracts metal from its ore form using electricity. My dedication and hard work have paid off, and I am now proud to have my own copper collection! My story is just one example of the many ways in which metal can be mined and turned into something beautiful. Discovering and harvesting metals from the earth has been an integral part of human history since the dawn of mankind – and it’s only getting more exciting. With new technologies like electrowinning at our disposal, the possibilities are endless. Who knows what new forms of metal we can create? The future is here and it’s time to explore!


4. Documentary on SILVER: Mining, History and Science

Silver is a metal that has been sought after for thousands of years. Its many uses, from currency to jewelry, have made it an integral part of human culture. In this video we take an in-depth look at silver and its fascinating history. We’ll explore the mining methods used to obtain this precious metal, as well as uncovering the science, technology and economics behind it. We’ll also consider the potential future of silver and how its use may continue to evolve. From the perspective of monetary value to its role in technology, we take a comprehensive look at this remarkable metal. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of silver!


5. Treasures of the Earth Metals Nova Documentary

Visit a world many rarely get to experience: the incredible abundance and variety of metals found on our planet. With DNBD, explore fascinating stories about the marvelous metals that can be found deep within our earth. Learn how different types of metal have been used in everyday life and find out what makes them so remarkable. From copper to uranium, discover the secrets that give metals their unique properties and uncover what makes them so indispensable. Step inside the world of metals, and find out why they are a true treasure of our Earth. Go on a journey to explore how metal is mined and processed – from the extraction methods used to get raw materials to the way metals are purified for use in manufacturing processes. Learn about the many different forms of metal and their unique characteristics, and find out how they are used in everyday life. Experience the full scope of metals from gold jewelry to high-tech alloys found in space telescopes and medical devices. Discover the fascinating history behind some of these materials, and marvel at the remarkable achievements made possible by utilizing them.


6. Documentary Film The Secrets of the Super Elements BBC Documentary

Rare earths elements, or rare earth metals, are the materials behind many of the modern marvels we take for granted. From batteries to smartphones, these super elements are vital components in countless products. However, it is China that holds a near monopoly over the extraction and supply of rare earths. Recent documentaries have attempted to explore this complex issue in more detail and offer insight into the implications for our future. By delving into the story behind these incredible materials, viewers can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the industry and the global impact it has. Through interviews with experts from both sides of the issue, we hear firsthand accounts of how different countries are attempting to secure rare earth resources and how its availability affects innovation around the world.


7. The Power of Metals On The Earth

Metals are a powerful force on our planet. From the majestic grandeur of skyscrapers to the advanced technology of space exploration, metals have helped shape modern civilization as we know it. DNBD takes you on a journey through documentary film to explore the many ways in which metals have impacted humanity from ancient times to today. This comprehensive look at metals features interviews with experts, archival footage, and experiential stories from those who have experienced a life surrounded by these minerals. Explore the secrets behind metallic alloys, the history of metal smelting and forging, how to identify different metals in nature, and more! We also takes you on an in-depth look at metal’s impact on our environment and why we should endeavor to protect it.


8. Copper and the dark side of the energy transition | DW Documentary

Copper is crucial for green energy, but it comes at an environmental cost. Mining companies like Aurubis earned over 530 million Euros pre-tax in 2022, but their operations, like Chile’s largest open pit copper mine in the Atacama Desert, consume excessive water, pollute the area, and lead to higher cancer rates. Germany considers reopening its copper mines, while Canada has invested in green technologies for mining. The challenge is to mine copper effectively without compromising the environment. Clean technologies and open dialogue among stakeholders are crucial for progress and resource preservation.


9. Why Extracting Metals For Your Smartphones Is A Dangerous Job

Metals are a cornerstone of modern society, from the space shuttle to your iPhone. Without them, our lives and economy would be drastically different. But what lies behind the production of metals? Mining is an essential process for creating metals but comes with its own set of risks and dangers – for both workers and local ecosystems. We follows miners as they venture into the depths of the earth, and explore how mining practices have evolved over time. Alongside this, we examine the environmental impact of metal production and take a look at some of its most innovative uses. This is an eye-opening exploration into the world of metals.

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David B