Scrap metal doesn’t refer to a single form of metal. Instead, there are two primary categories in which scrap metals can be grouped- ferrous and non-ferrous. If you participate in scrap metal recycling and do it to make some extra money or to re-purpose the material, it’s crucial that you know the type of metals that you are handling. Doing so could make your projects a success, or cause you to maximize your cash gain. Let’s take a closer look at the scrap metal classification and metal types that you should know about and understand.
Ferrous metals can be regarded as the most basic form of recycled metals. You can spot the difference between ferrous metals and other forms of metals by their attraction to magnets. These metals are known for their durability and strength. Containing high carbon content, ferrous metals are susceptible to corrosion and rust when exposed to the elements, with the exception being wrought iron, which resists oxidation, and stainless steel, which is protected by its high chromium content. Ferrous metals include, stainless steel, cast iron, alloy steel, carbon steel and wrought iron.
Ferrous Metal-Containing Items
There are many everyday items that people use that contain ferrous metal. These include: refrigerators, ovens, knives cast iron skillets and vehicles. However, ferrous metals can also be found in industrial containers, industrial piping, railroad tracks, bridges, tools and hardware items.
Non-ferrous metals aren’t magnetic or pack the same strength as ferrous metals. However, they have their unique advantages. These metals are lightweight and malleable are more resistant to corrosion and rust. Non-ferrous metals are commonly used in manufacturing industries where metal need be bent in particular shapes to make a product or packaging. Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, lead, copper, zinc, tin, brass, gold, nickel, magnesium and titanium.
Non-ferrous Metal-Containing Items
Non-ferrous metals have long been used to make gutters, water pipes, road signs and roofing, as well as packaging for beverages and can goods, car parts and kitchen utensil. Since non-ferrous metals are non-magnetic, they are ideal for electrical wiring and use in electronic applications and in the construction of aircraft.
Common Scrap Metals Types
Aluminum is known for being malleable and lightweight, aluminum is used to perhaps the most common scrap recycle metal that is used in aircraft manufacturing applications and commonly to make beverage and food cans.
Copper is used primarily in the electrical industry for wiring and conductor applications, copper is highly ductile and malleable. It’s also used for cartridge cases, bearings and sheet roofing.
Lead is characteristically heavy and malleable, with a low melting point. However, it is corrosion resistant and is commonly used in applications that include electrical power cables, batteries, and some soldering, cable sheathing, lead crystal glass and weights for lifting.
Zinc has medium-low strength and a low melting point, zinc is commonly used in galvanizing, which involves the application of a protective zinc coating to iron or steel to make it rust-resistant.
Tin is widely used to coat steel to make it corrosion resistant, and can also be combined with copper to create tin brass and bronze.
Carbide is hard and delivers unmatched abrasive and thermal resistance. This scrap metal is used in mining, jewelry and machining applications.
Iron is relatively soft and ductile in nature, iron is a moderately good conductor of heat and electricity. Iron is another common scrap metal and is common in numerous household items, from cast iron pots to backyard swings.
Brass is a combination of copper and zinc as well as other metals. It is a heavy metal which you can find in many items in and around the home, such as keys, door handles and knobs, light and bathroom fixtures, bed frames and brass-plated crockery.
Titanium is a versatile metal that is used in many applications, from jewelry to airplanes. Its value lends to it being corrosion resistant and durable.
There is value in scrap metals and if you make a trip to a scrap yard, you want to be able to correctly identify your metals. Local scrap metal services provide the opportunity to make some extra money if you can find the right scrap metal to do business.