The difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is that ferrous metals contain iron, while non-ferrous metals do not. This distinction means that ferrous metals are suitable for some things that non-ferrous metals are not, and vice versa. In this article, we’ll go over some of the characteristics of these two categories of metals and what they’re most commonly used for. 

Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals contain iron. These metals are known for their durability and firmness, making them useful in a wide range of applications such as buildings, bridges, appliances, motors, industrial containers, tools, construction materials, and much more. Ferrous metals are usually magnetic, and they’re good conductors of electricity. One downfall of ferrous metals is that they can rust easily because they contain lots of carbon. For this reason, ferrous metals are often sealed in a protective coating to combat rusting & corrosion. Wrought iron and stainless steel are two ferrous metals that do not tend to rust. Wrought iron doesn’t rust because it’s purely iron, and stainless steel is rust-resistant because it contains chromium. Below is a list of some of the most common ferrous metals:

  • Non-Alloy Steels
  • Carbon Steels
  • Chromium
  • Cast Iron
  • Some ferrous metals contain alloys like chromium, titanium, and nickel

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals do not contain iron. These metals are lightweight, malleable, easy to fabricate, and are highly resistant to rusting and corrosion. For these reasons, non-ferrous metals are often used in engineering and aesthetic applications. All pure-metal forms, other than iron, are non-ferrous. Non-ferrous metals are not magnetic, but they are good conductors of electricity. Below is a list of some of the most common non-ferrous metals:

  • Precious metals like gold, silver, & platinum
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Titanium

Are Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals Recyclable?

Yes, all metals, including both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, are recyclable. In fact, both categories of metal can be recycled an infinite amount of times without losing any of their properties. For this reason, it’s crucial that we as a society recycle as much metal as possible to benefit our environment. Scrap metal recycling reduces the strain on natural resources that are required to create new, virgin metals.

Contact Middleboro Recycling!

If you have any questions about scrap metal recycling, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We provide a wide variety of scrap metal recycling services to southeastern Massachusetts, including scrap metal purchasing, roll-off dumpster rentals, and junk vehicle pickups! Give us a call today at (508) 946-2383, or fill out the contact form on our website!