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What’s the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metal?

The simple answer is that ferrous metals contain iron and non-ferrous metals do not. The more in-depth answer is that ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals each have their own distinctive properties. These properties determine the applications they are most suited for.


Ferrous Metals

Some common ferrous metals include alloy steel, carbon steel, cast iron and wrought iron. These metals are prized for their tensile strength and durability. Carbon Steel – also known as structure steel – is a staple in the construction industry and is used in the tallest skyscrapers and longest bridges. Ferrous metals are also used in shipping containers, industrial piping, automobiles, railroad tracks, and many commercial and domestic tools.

Ferrous metals have a high carbon content which generally makes them vulnerable to rust when exposed to moisture. There are two exceptions to this rule: wrought iron resists rust due to its purity and stainless steel is protected from rust by the presence of chromium.

Most ferrous metals are magnetic which makes them very useful for motor and electrical applications. The use of ferrous metals in your refrigerator door allows you to pin your shopping list on it with a magnet.

 

Steel

Steel is made by adding iron to carbon which hardens the iron. Alloy steel becomes even tougher as other elements like chromium and nickel are introduced. Steel is made by heating and melting iron ore in furnaces. The steel can is tapped from the furnaces and poured into molds to form steel bars. Steel is widely used in the construction and manufacturing industries.

 

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel has a higher carbon content in comparison to other types of steel making it exceptionally hard. It is commonly used in the manufacturing of machine tools, drills, blades, taps, and springs. It can keep a sharp cutting edge.

 

Alloy Steel

Alloy steels incorporate elements such as chromium, nickel and titanium to impart greater strength and durability without increasing weight. Stainless steel is an important alloy steel made using chromium. Alloy steels are used in construction, machine tools, and electrical components.

 

Cast Iron

Cast iron is an alloy made from iron, carbon, and silicon. Cast iron is brittle and hard and resistant to wear. It’s used in water pipes, machine tools, automobile engines and stoves.

 

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is an alloy with so little carbon content it’s almost pure iron. During the manufacturing process, some slag is added which gives wrought iron excellent resistance to corrosion and oxidation, however, it is low in hardness and fatigue strength. Wrought iron is used for fencing and railings, agricultural implements, nails, barbed wire, chains, and various ornaments.

 

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and tin, as well as precious metals like gold and silver. Their main advantage over ferrous materials is their malleability. They also have no iron content, giving them a higher resistance to rust and corrosion, and making them ideal for gutters, liquid pipes, roofing and outdoor signs. Lastly they are non-magnetic, which is important for many electronic and wiring applications.

Aluminum

Aluminum is lightweight, soft and low strength. Aluminum is easily cast, forged, machined and welded. It’s not suitable for high-temperature environments. Because aluminum is lightweight, it is a good choice for the manufacturing of aircraft and food cans. Aluminum is also used in castings, pistons, railways, cars, and kitchen utensils.

Copper

Copper is red in color, highly ductile, malleable and has high conductivity for electricity and heat. Copper is principally used in the electrical industry in the form of wire and other conductors. It’s also used in sheet roofing, cartridge cases, statutes, and bearings. Copper is also used to make brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.

Lead

Lead is a soft, heavy, malleable metal with a low melting point and low tensile strength. It can withstand corrosion from moisture and many acids. Lead is widely used in electrical power cables, batteries, building construction and soldering.

Zinc

Zinc is a medium to low strength metal with a very low melting point. It can be machined easily, but heating may be required to avoid cleavage of crystals. Zinc is most widely used in galvanizing, the process of applying a protective zinc coating to iron or steel to prevent rust.

Tin

Tin is very soft and malleable, ductile with low tensile strength. It’s often used to coat steel to prevent corrosion. Tinplate steel is used to make tin cans to hold food. In the late 19th century, tin foil was commonly used to wrap food products, but has since largely been replaced by aluminum foil. Tin is can also be alloyed with copper to produce tin brass and bronze.

 

The Environmental Impact of Recycling Your Car

Did you know that recycling auto parts diverts dangerous items and materials from landfills? Seems simple, but most people don’t know what can actually be recycled in order to make a difference.

Here are 4 of the top things that you can recycle from your vehicle to make an environmental impact.

 

1.) Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are devices incorporated in the exhaust system of a motor vehicle, containing a catalyst for converting pollutant gases into less harmful ones. They’re made using some of the most precious materials on earth, including platinum and palladium, as well as copper, nickel, cerium, iron and manganese. By recycling materials like this, you can reduce the need for mining, which uses even more of the earth’s precious resources. Mining requires a lot of energy and produces even more greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s important to recycle as much as we can.

 

2) Wiring Harnesses

Copper is one of the most in-demand natural resources, and the demand is only growing. Copper is used throughout the auto industry for wiring, and large amounts of copper are used in the wiring for hybrid vehicles, which are becoming more popular. The value of copper is incredibly high, and this demand means that recycling your car’s wiring can help us keep copper out of landfills and recycle it for reuse.

 

3) Engine Blocks & Transmissions

Aluminum is used in your car’s engine blocks and transmissions because it’s a fast, safe and cost-effective way to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. Aluminum is also highly recyclable – up to 90% of the aluminum in your car can be recycled. Recycling just one ton of aluminum can save the energy equivalent of up to 21 barrels of oil.

 

4) Body & Frame

Up to 85% of your car can be recycled, and a large part of that is your car’s body and frame. We recycle your car’s body and frame to use it for scrap metal – that is, metal that can be re-fabricated and turned into a new item. This reduces the need for producing more metals, and reduces the amount of energy needed to produce new car parts and other items.

By understanding the ways you can recycle your car, you can help reduce the amount of metals that end up in landfills, reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the amount of energy needed to mine and produce metals. 

Manville’s mission is to preserve our future by recycling today. We believe that everyone benefits from recycling. When you recycle your parts with us, you contribute to the well being of our planet, 

 
 
copper recycling toronto

Recycling Copper: What You Need to Know

Most of us have the tendency to see trash… and simply throw it away. The waste is then taken to landfills, covered with earth and sadly, forgotten.

 
Landfills across the country are running out of space and most of them are filled with items that can easily be recycled. Most consumers know about basic recycling such as paper, plastic and aluminum – but what many of us do not realize is that copper can be recycled too.

 
Copper and related alloys have been recycled for centuries. Copper is a reddish orange colour, is non-magnetic, and an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. Its primary users are in electrical wiring and piping of plumbing application.

 
It is also used for platting of eaves troughs, printed circuit boards, and is the main ingredient in brass. In fact, everyday consumer products still use copper and it is a critical component in electronics. While scrapped copper cannot be used right away, after proper preparation, companies can reuse copper to create new and different products.

 

What Are The Benefits of Recycling Copper?

 

There are numerous economic and environmental benefits to recycling scrap metals. Some of the benefits of recycling copper include:

          • Limiting Impact on the Environment – During mining and refining of metals, dust and waste gases are emitted into the environment. While metal producers work hard to minimize these gases, any amount of harmful gas emitted is a cause for concern.

 

          • Landfill Costs are Reduced – For example copper is in more products than consumers realize; from cell phones to rice cookers to steamers, and more. Copper products that are not discarded into a landfill can reduce how much waste landfills deal with each year and trim down the costs associated with running these landfills too.

 

          • Conservation – While there is an abundance of copper resources, copper ore is considered a finite resource; therefore, it makes more sense to conserve it than mine it.

 

          • Cheaper – It is cheaper to recycle copper than it is to extract and refine new copper ore. In fact, recycled copper is almost as high in value as recently extracted copper, but without the costs of mining and refining, which helps keep the costs of creating consumer products down.

 

          • Saves on Energy – Recycling takes much less energy and leads to the conservation of all energy reserves (including oil, gas and coal). It also reduces how much carbon dioxide is released into the air.

 
Recycling copper will reduce your carbon footprint. Metal recyclers not only recycle copper products, but purchase them from those that wish to recycle, encouraging consumers even more to improve sustainability.

 
As a leading Canadian recycler, Manville Recycling accepts and collect all of your recyclable material. Contact us today to learn about your options for recycling your copper materials.