The fastest way to distinguish ferrous from non-ferrous metals is the iron component. Ferrous metals contain iron, while non-ferrous metals do not. These metals also hold their distinct properties that define how they can and cannot be used:
History of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals
Bronze and copper are the most popular non-ferrous metals. Copper was discovered at the end of the stone age.
Around 1,200 BC, along with the origin of iron production, the use of ferrous metals became more conventional.
Properties of Ferrous Metals
Ferrous metals are primarily used in piping, construction, shipping containers, automobiles, and more. Since they are resistant to rust, the best long-term options include stainless steel and wrought iron.
Most ferrous metals possess magnetic properties and are used in producing motor and electrical pieces or refrigerators.
It is one of the most durable ferrous metals due to its ability to self-heal. It is heat and corrosion-resistant, making it more durable than most steels.
Apart from stainless steel, wrought iron is also quite durable in ferrous metals. It is an alloy with very little carbon content. It is resistant to corrosion and oxidation due to slag addition during manufacturing. It is often used in barbed wires, chains, and railings.
Cast iron is strong and brittle. It is used to manufacture manhole covers and engine blocks.
Carbon steel has higher carbon content as compared to other steels, which is why it is used to manufacture drills, machine tools, and blades.
Properties of Non-Ferrous Metals
The lack of iron in non-ferrous metals gives a few advantages over ferrous metals: their malleability and higher resistance to rust and corrosion. Non-ferrous metals are often used for liquid pipes, gutters, roofing, and more.
The lightweight aluminium makes it great to use manufacturing aircraft, food cans, utensils, and cars.
Copper’s malleability and high conductivity make it useful in the electrical industry. It is also a naturally occurring substance used in barring, roofing and statues.
Brass is a blend of copper and zinc. It is commonly used in ornaments and for electrical fittings.
Zinc has a low melting point and is often used in galvanising or adding a protective coating to steel or iron to prevent it from rusting.
KP Fabrication & Welding has various commonly used ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Contact us today for any more information!