Differentiating between ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals is always a difficult task for those who want to work with a scrap company. You cannot tell the difference by just looking at a scrap material. Two crap metals may resemble each other, but they might not be the same. Do you want to know the difference?

What are the characteristics of ferrous metals?

• They are heavy and strong

scrap metals

Ferrous metals are very common in our surroundings. Some of them include carbon steel, cast iron, mild steel, wrought iron and stainless steel. They are preferred by many people because they are durable and very strong. Mild steel, for example, is used in holding up bridges and skyscrapers. Other ferrous metals are found in industrial containers, automobiles, housing construction, rails and large scale piping.

• They are vulnerable to rust

Large amounts of carbon are used to manufacture ferrous metals and this is what makes them vulnerable to rust. However, stainless steel and wrought iron are an exception. Wrought iron normally resists oxidation while stainless steel has chromium, which protects it from rust. All in all, if you see a metal which has rusted, it is definitely ferrous.

• They are magnetic

Most of the ferrous metals have magnetic properties. This is why they are helpful in the manufacture of electrical appliances and large motors

What are the characteristics of non-ferrous metals?

• They are light

Examples of non-ferrous metals are zinc, brass, and aluminum, copper, tin, and silver, nickel, gold and lead. Compared to ferrous metals, they are far much lighter. This makes them suitable in areas which require strength without having to use heavy materials such as in the canning and aircraft industries.

• They do no rust

Because these metals do not contain iron, they have a very high resistance to corrosion and rust. It is for this reason why they are used in water pipes, road signs, gutters and roofing.

• They are non- magnetic

Non-ferrous metals are non-magnetic. This property enables them to be used in electrical wiring as well as in electronics.

What are their differences in pricing?

If you want to recycle metals in your home, you are concerned about the prices that you will get from them. The prices of ferrous scrap metals are a bit lower compared to those of non-ferrous scrap metals. This is because ferrous metals are easily available and they are recycled in large volumes all over the world. This makes their prices drop slightly year after year.

On the other hand non-ferrous scrap metals are difficult to create and this increases their demand. While the prices of aluminum rarely fluctuate, because it is highly recycled, brass and copper prices can drastically change based on their supply in the market.

Apart from all the differences mentioned above, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals have one major similarity. They are highly important in the recycling sector. By choosing to recycle scrap metals, new products are created every day. It is an excellent choice that makes a great difference in our lives.