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What is Non Ferrous Metal?

Posted on 14 September 2018

Have you ever wondered what non ferrous metal is as opposed to ferrous metal is?

By definition, non-ferrous metals are types of metals and alloys that don’t contain iron. They include numerous metal families, such as well-known nickel, lead, and brass; precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver; and more exotic metals such as cadmium, cobalt, and lithium.

Understanding the differences between ferrous and non ferrous metals can have a significant impact on the selling, buying, or recycling process of scrap materials. Generally, ferrous metals are in good supply, and therefore are often cheaper. On the other hand, the demand and the price for non ferrous metal scrap are higher, since non ferrous metals are less abundant in nature.

Overall, certain scrap metal prices remain more or less constant, while others fluctuate quite a lot in response to market needs. It can be difficult to distinguish between ferrous and non ferrous types when simply looking at a piece of metal, but it is important to understand the different types of metals and alloys and constantly monitor prices to attain the best revenue from metal recycling.

How to Tell Ferrous Metal from Non Ferrous Metal?

Ferrous metals include iron and steel. Often, small amounts of other elements are added to give the metal the desired properties. The main advantages of using ferrous metals are structural strength and durability that they offer. Ferrous metals are used in a large variety of applications, including transportation, construction, domestic tools, home hardware and more. For example, Carbon Steel is used to build the longest bridges and the tallest skyscrapers.

So how can you tell if the metal is ferrous? If it has rust present, it is definitely ferrous! Except stainless steel and wrought iron, any ferrous metal is susceptible to rust and corrosion due to high carbon content present. You could also check if the metal you’re examining is magnetic – most ferrous metals are magnetic, which makes them ideal to be used in motors and various appliances. If you ever put a magnet on your refrigerator door, you should now know that it is made of ferrous metal.

Ferrous metals are readily recyclable, just like non ferrous metals.

What are Some Characteristics of Non Ferrous Metals?

Unlike ferrous metal, non ferrous metal is very light, making it suitable for any application where strength is needed, but weight should be kept to a minimum.

Common non ferrous metals include copper, aluminum, brass, lead, nickel, zinc, and precious metals, such as gold or silver.

Because non ferrous metals are iron-free, they have high resistance to rust or corrosion, making the metal perfect for roofing materials, water pipes, and outside road signs. Furthermore, these metals are non-magnetic and are widely used for industrial applications.

Non ferrous metal offers benefits that become attractive to industrial manufacturers, and, therefore, is often more expensive as compared to other types of metals. For example, the light weight of aluminum makes it ideal for the automotive industry; good conductivity of copper makes it perfect for electronic manufacturers; and zinc’s resistance to corrosion makes a great material for battery production.

Another great thing about non ferrous metals is that they are readily recyclable. For example, aluminum, lead, copper, tin, and zinc are used and reused more than any other metal material. For instance, aluminum car or plane parts made from aluminum are most often melted down, reshaped, repurposed, and remade into the same item as before, except for a different structure this time.

Now, look in your pocket, and you will likely find zinc coins, which could be battery components in the previous life. Non ferrous metals are all around us – you just have to look and be ready to distinguish them from other materials.

It is Important to Properly Recycle Any Non Ferrous Metal

Unfortunately, the mining or excavation process of non ferrous metals results in environmental pollution – we have all seen news reports full of such stories and are well aware of the extensive nature of theses pollutants.  The extraction of non-ferrous metals may result in toxic gases being released into the atmosphere.

This is why recycling non-ferrous metals wherever possible is so important. Because non ferrous metal is widely used in everyday products, and the demand is continuously increasing, non ferrous scrap is quite often recycled. Non ferrous scrap metal is taken for processing or recycling from numerous sources, with a large proportion of industrial waste.

Just think about all the scrap metal produced by the automobile industry, or the amount of obsolete appliances or computer ware that we discard every day. With the amount of waste that currently exists and the increased commercial demand for non ferrous metals, the ideal formula of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” can be easily fulfilled.

Here are some of the key reasons you should take non ferrous metal recycling seriously:

  • Non ferrous metal recycling creates more free space.
  • Non ferrous metal recycling reduces pollution and increases energy savings.
  • Non ferrous metal recycling gives more employment opportunities.
  • Non ferrous metal recycling makes work environment safer.
  • Non ferrous metal recycling creates additional materials that can be reused in manufacturing.
  • Non ferrous metal recycling brings you extra cash.

For the Best Non Ferrous Metal Recycling, Visit Tal Metal

Luckily, all metals, both ferrous and non ferrous, can be indefinitely recycled without losing any of their properties. If you are searching for a place to sell, buy, or recycle non ferrous metals, just visit Tal Metal. Located in the GTA, we have been providing the best recycling service for non ferrous metals and other metals since 1997.

Today, Tal Metal offers the most competitive rates on the market and the highest service efficiency for every project.  We buy and sell all over Canada and even internationally, providing respectable and reliable service every time. We focus on sustainability and make every effort possible to support the environment.

If you need non ferrous metal recycling services, visit www.talmetal.ca or call 905-660-7081 for more information.

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