Difference Between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal
Written by Brian Waters

What’s The Difference Between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal?

You may be asking yourself “What’s the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metal?” The most candid answer is ferrous metals have iron in them, and non-ferrous metals don’t. The more thorough answer is that each of the metals have their own unique properties. These properties specify the applications they are most appropriate for.

Non-ferrous metals became of use since the start of civilization. The finding of copper in 5,000 BC brought an end to the Stone Age and the onset of the Copper Age. A later invention of bronze, a blend of copper and tin, brought on the Bronze Age.

Ferrous metal use began around 1,200 BC when iron production began to become run of the mill. This brought about the Iron Age.

Which Metals Are Ferrous?

Some general ferrous metals comprise of alloy and carbon steel and cast and wrought iron. These metals are favored for their tensile strength and longevity. Carbon Steel – sometimes called structure steel – is essential in the construction industry and is utilized in tall skyscrapers and long bridges. Ferrous metals are also utilized in shipping containers, industrial piping, vehicles, rail-road tracks, and many commercial and household tools.

Ferrous metals have a high-carbon content in which generally makes them susceptible to rust when moisture exposed. There are 2 exceptions: wrought iron is rust resistant because of its pureness and stainless steel is safeguarded from rust by the existence of chromium.

A lot of ferrous metals are magnetic making them very useful for machinery and electrical applications. The utilization of ferrous metals in refrigerator doors enables consumers to pin their grocery list on it with a magnet.

Types of Ferrous Metals

  • Steel – Steel is an alloy comprised of iron, with usually a 10th of a percent of carbon to increase its sturdiness and fracture resilience.
  • Carbon Steel – Carbon steel is a type of steel having carbon content with around 0.05% up to 3.8% by weight.
  • Alloy Steel – Alloy steel is a steel that is mixed with a range of elements in complete amounts between 1% – 50% by weight to increase its mechanical attributes.
  • Cast Iron – Cast iron is a collection of iron-carbon alloys having a carbon content of more than 2%.
  • Wrought Iron – Wrought iron is a type of iron alloy with a quite low carbon content; less than 0.08%, in comparison to cast iron; 2%.

Which Metals Are Non-Ferrous?

Non-ferrous metals comprise of aluminum, lead, copper, zinc, and tin, in addition to other metals such as gold and silver. Their primary advantage over ferrous materials is their pliability. They also don’t contain iron, giving them a greater resilience to rust and corrosion, and making them perfect for gutters, liquid pipes, roofs and outside signs. Furthermore, they aren’t magnetic, in which is important for a lot of electronic and wiring applications.

Types of Non-Ferrous Metals

  • Aluminum – Aluminum is the most substantial metallic element in the planet’s crust and the most abundantly used non-ferrous metal.
  • Copper – Copper is a softer, malleable, and ductile metal having an extremely high thermal and electrical conductibility.
  • Lead – Lead is a soft and malleable non-ferrous metal and comes with a somewhat low melting point.
  • Zinc – Zinc is a somewhat brittle metal at room-wise temperature and comes with a silver-greyish appearance when oxidation removed.
  • Tin – Tin is a soft, pliant, ductile, and high-crystalline silverish-white metal.

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