Ferrous metals can commonly be found in housing construction, skyscrapers, bridges, cars, trucks, railways, and industrial containers.
We use them everyday when we cook, they help us get to work, they hold up our homes, and they even save our lives when we’re on the surgical table. Here’s a quick introduction to ferrous metals and how to tell them apart from non-ferrous metals:
Characteristics of ferrous metals
Ferrous metals are made up of mostly iron, so they’re liable to rust and they corrode when they’re exposed to the elements (except for wrought iron, which resists oxidisation altogether because it is so pure in iron). Ferrous metals are also magnetic, very strong and weigh more than non-ferrous metals.
Types of ferrous metals
- Cast iron consists of 93% iron, 4% carbon and other miscellaneous elements. It melts at 1200 degrees Celsius and is relatively brittle.
- Mild steel is a malleable and easily moldable metal. It rusts quickly when exposed to water and is commonly used for products like nuts and bolts.
- High carbon steel is a very strong and tough metal. It has a high resistance to corrosion, melts at 1800 degrees Celsius and is used for products like screwdrivers, hammers and other hand tools.
- Stainless steel is most commonly used for kitchen sinks, cooking utensils and surgical instruments. It is an alloy of iron and contains about 18% chromium, 8% nickel and 8% magnesium.
Recycling ferrous metals
Ferrous metals are some of the most recycled materials in the world, with steel being the most recycled metal per tonne. The ferrous metal recycling process begins with collection at scrap metal yards, where the metals are crushed and shredded, and the ferrous metals are sorted from the non-ferrous metals (usually through a magnetic separator). This system increases the recycled metal’s purity and quality. The metals are then melted in large furnaces and purified further.
Despite the energy costs of recycling scrap ferrous metals, the process actually requires less energy than manufacturing new metals from raw material. For example, making steel from recycled cans requires 75% less energy than producing steel brand new. Ferrous metal recycling is therefore great for the environment and good for the economy.
Do you have old scrap parts? Ferrous metals just lying around? Bring them into MetalBiz and we’ll recycle them for you. We even offer cash for old cars! Contact us today.