What’s The Difference Between Ferrous And Non-Ferrous Metals?

Iron is the easiest way to distinguish ferrous from non-ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals don’t contain iron, while ferrous metals do. Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals have their own unique properties that determine their uses.

History of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

  • Bronze and copper are the two most common non-ferrous alloys. The discovery of bronze marked the end of the Stone Age.
  • Iron production and the increased use of ferrous materials around 1,200 BC led to the beginning of the Iron Age.

Properties of Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals are commonly used in automobiles, construction, shipping containers, and piping. Wrought iron and stainless steel are the best options for long-term use because they are resistant to rusting when exposed to moisture.

Here’s a look at how ferrous metals are classified. The majority of ferrous metals used in refrigerators, motors, and electrical parts are magnetic.

Stainless Steel has the ability to self-heal, making it one of the strongest ferrous metals. It is heat and corrosion-resistant, durable, and has a longer lifespan than other steels.

Wrought Iron is another strong member of the ferrous metal family. Wrought iron is a low-carbon alloy and is resistant to corrosion and oxidation due to the addition of slag. It is used in railings, chains, and barbed wire.

Cast Iron is used in the manufacture of engine blocks and manhole covers. It’s strong but also very brittle.

Carbon Steel, which is harder than other steel due to its higher carbon content, is used to manufacture machine tools, drills, and blades.

Non-Ferrous Metal Properties

Non-ferrous metals are malleable and have a greater resistance to corrosion and rust. Non-ferrous materials are used in gutters, liquid pipes, roofing, and other applications.

Aluminum: The light weight of aluminum makes it ideal for aircraft, automobiles, utensils, and food cans.

Copper: Used in the electrical industry, copper is malleable and has high conductivity. Copper is a naturally occurring material that can be used to make statues, bearings, and roofing.

Brass: Often used for ornaments and electrical fittings, is a mixture of zinc and copper.

Zinc: This is used to galvanize iron and steel or to apply a protective layer to prevent rusting.

North 2 South Ironwork is experienced in fabricating and welding a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Contact us today to learn more about ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

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