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Metals are part of both everyday life and a luxurious lifestyle. They are used in the most advanced technology as well as in the most basic packaging material. Our exhibition explains the sophisticated technology that lies behind all metal products.

Exhibition closed

The second half of the museum is currently being renovated, which is why this area has been closed since July 2022. The modernisation of the exhibition is scheduled to be completed in 2028, the 125th anniversary of the museum's founding.

Foundry and Metals

People have been working with metals for around 10,000 years. At first, only “native metals” were found on the surface of the earth. These pieces of metal attracted attention because of their great weight, lustre and malleability. Then around 6,000 years ago at the latest, people began to extract metals from their compounds, the ores. Thanks to their special material properties, metals have since become indispensable to mankind.

The exhibition chronologically traces the evolution of the production and further processing of metals.

72Of the 94 natural chemical elements, 72 are metals – ca. 50% of these have technical applications.

2,000°CThe highest temperature reached in a blast furnace during the production of pig iron.

1,000kgAnnual global production of osmium – one of the world’s rarest metals – is only around 1 tonne.

Metals – Exhibition Themes

View of the Historical Metallurgy exhibition area

Historical Metallurgy

This exhibition area gives visitors an idea of just how long people have been processing metals.

Historical Metallurgy
Near life-size diorama. Iron production at a blast furnace in the Siegerland region of Germany in 1810.

Siegerland blast furnace

A near life-size diorama depicts iron production at a blast furnace in the Siegerland region of Germany in 1810.

Siegerland blast furnace
Model of a modern blast furnace plant.

Iron and Steel Production

A model of a modern blast furnace plant serves as an impressive introduction to the area on steel production.

Mild Steel
A section from the tracery of Cologne Cathedral made from zinc sheet with an iron core.

Special Metals

Special metals for special requirements: a section of the bar tracery from Cologne Cathedral in Germany made from zinc sheet with an iron core.

Non-Ferrous Metals
Pieces of recycled stainless steel joined together as a work of art.

Powder Metallurgy / Stainless Steel

Stainless steels can be found everywhere and are a sustainable material. They have a long life and are very easy to recycle.

Stainless Steel


Demonstration Foundry

Here, visitors can watch an actual casting process live! The function of the aluminium melting furnace is explained before the casting process starts. Liquid metal is then poured into prefabricated casting moulds and the result is a finished casting. For group bookings, a mould can also be made from sand first and then filled with metal.

Participation in this demonstration is free of charge for individuals and families, registration is not necessary. The meeting point is beside the Demonstration Foundry. Check the schedule on the day of your visit to see when the demonstration will take place.

Groups should book a foundry demonstration in advance of their visit.

Any Questions?

Do you have organizational questions?