Non-ferrous metals can commonly be found in roofing, water pipes, gutters, road signs, small electronics, aircraft, and bottle tops.
They’re also in our televisions, mobile phones, jewellery boxes, electrical cables, and kitchen drawers. Here’s a quick introduction to non-ferrous metals and how to tell them apart from ferrous metals:
Characteristics of non-ferrous metals
Unlike ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals do not contain any iron, which means they have a higher resistance to rust and corrosion. They are also more malleable, non-magnetic and weigh less than ferrous metals, which means they are ideal for lighter projects like airplanes and spacecraft.
Types of non-ferrous metals
- Aluminium is a lightweight metal. Its strength increases at high temperatures and it is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.
- Copper is a malleable metal with high toxicity. It is most commonly used for electrical products because of its high conductivity and slow corrosion rate.
- Zinc burns in air with a bluish-green flame and is commonly used in products like sunscreen, make-up, paints and lotions.
- Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It is valued for its ability to bend and mold with ease while retaining its strength. It is commonly used for nuts, bolts, jets, and taps.
- Nickel is the fifth most common element on earth. It has a high melting point, resists corrosion, and is magnetic at room temperature.
- Tin is a malleable metal that can be highly polished. It resists oxidisation, but will dissolve in acid, and produce a slightly acidic oxide when heated.
- Lead is a highly poisonous metal and is very resistant to corrosion. It is a poor conductor of electricity and is commonly used as shielding from radiation (e.g. in x-ray rooms).
- Precious metals, like gold and silver, have a relatively high melting and boiling point. They are also less reactive, softer, and easily moldable.
Recycling non-ferrous metals
Non-ferrous metals are among the few materials that do not degrade or lose their chemical properties when they are recycled. For this reason, they can be recycled an infinite number of times. Recycling scrap metal is an environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient way to create brand new products without wasting precious resources and valuable raw materials.
Do you have old scrap parts? Non-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.