A Comparison of Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals

Ferrous and nonferrous metals are used in endless industries for thousands of purposes. Many people wonder what the difference between ferrous metals and nonferrous metals, and why that difference means in terms of their use. If you are interested in learning more about ferrous metal and the types that exist, you are in the right place.

Continue reading and learn the definitions and types of nonferrous and ferrous metals found all across the world.

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Ferrous Metals

Simply put, ferrous metal is any metal that contains iron or steel. Things like construction scaffolding, automobiles, buildings, power tools, and more are made from ferrous metals. Carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, wrought iron, mild steel, and any other forms of steel and iron are examples of ferrous metals. Metal such as stainless steel are not entirely composed of iron and steel. It also contains nickel and chromium. In contrast, wrought iron is made of nearly 100 percent iron.

Ferrous metal is very strong and durable and even retains magnetic properties. This is why it is used to manufacture or construct things that can resist corrosion and remain strong and stable. It is used to make everything from skyscrapers to drill bits, and more. Large-scale piping, cars, trucks, yachts, planes, construction and farming equipment, motors, industrial containers, rail roads, and more are common large-scale commodities built from ferrous metals. Smaller items include everything from kitchen knives, to power tools, electrical appliances, and more.

Nonferrous Metals

Also simply put, nonferrous metal is metal that does not contain iron or steel compounds. Metals like copper, nickel, aluminum, brass, lead, tin, zinc, and more are all examples of nonferrous metals. Also, precious metals are nonferrous; such as gold, chromium, tungsten, silver, zirconium, mercury, cobalt, bismuth, cadmium, beryllium, and more. 

Nonferrous metals are used for their malleability and versatility.  They also have a higher resistance to rust and corrosion because they do not contain any iron compounds.  Jewelry, electrical wiring, canning, window frames, road signs, electrical fittings, pipe work, batteries, roofing, and millions of other items are made from nonferrous metal materials.

One of the easiest ways to determine if something contains ferrous metal is to hold a magnet to it. If the magnet sticks, it is made with ferrous metals like iron and steel. If the magnet does not stick, then it is made mostly or entirely of nonferrous metals like copper or aluminum. If the magnet pulls slightly but does not stick or stay, it is likely that the item is made from both ferrous and nonferrous metals.

How to Recycle Metal for Cash in Indianapolis

Call Zore’s Recycling at 317-244-0700 to recycle scrap metal and make some fast money at the same time. We are a professional Indianapolis scrap metal recycling center that accepts and recycles all metals in any condition. Best of all, we pay cash on the spot for them! Recycle all sorts of stuff, including sheet metal and beams, cars, boats, construction equipment, power tools, old electronics, and more! Request a free estimate, today.

How to Recycle Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal

If you are interested in contributing to the preservation of our Earth’s natural resources, all you have to do is start recycling! Many materials can be recycled, including plastic and paper; but one of the most important elements to repurpose is metal. All metal fits into one of two categories: ferrous and nonferrous. Regardless of your metal commodities, they can both be recycled and reused, over and over again.

Continue reading to learn more about ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including how to recycle them!

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700

Metal Recycling Center 317-244-0700


Ferrous metals are metals such as steel and iron. This includes scrap metal from cars, food cans, appliances, and more. This type of scrap metal is always high in demand, and continues to grow exponentially each year. Nonferrous scrap metal is made from the waste of metals like aluminum, copper, brass, lead, titanium, nickel, and more.

How to Tell the Difference

In order to distinguish ferrous from non-ferrous metals is to perform a manual test. To perform this test, all you need is a strong magnet. You see, as mentioned, ferrous metals retain magnetic qualities, and non-ferrous metals do not. So if a magnet sticks to your metal, it contains iron, which also means it is ferrous metal. If the magnet does not attract, the metal does not contain iron, which means it is non-ferrous.

Ferrous Metals:

Stainless Steel
Iron
Carbon Steel
Mild Steel
Cast/Wrought Iron
Iron

Non-Ferrous Metals:

Copper
Aluminum
Brass
Lead
Tin
Titanium
Zinc
Nickel

Non-Ferrous Precious Metals:

Gold
Silver
Platinum

Exotic Non-Ferrous Precious Metals:

Cobalt
Bismuth
Beryllium
Zirconium
Cadmium
Mercury
Tungsten

How to Recycle Metal in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Metal Recycling 317-244-0700

Indianapolis Metal Recycling 317-244-0700

Call Zore’s Recycling at 317-244-0700 to recycle metal in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only has Zore’s Inc. been a family owned and operated company for over 75 years, we pay cash on the spot for your metal commodities. We accept cans, sheet metal, appliances, vehicles, auto parts, equipment, and more! Request a free estimate, today.