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Sep 11 2022

Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals: What’s the Difference? 

Whether you work with scrap metal or are simply curious about the different types of metal and how to recycle metal, knowing the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals may come in handy. Fortunately, understanding the difference is very straightforward, and recycling both is easy when you choose Belson Steel. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team directly today!

The Difference Between Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals

Ferrous and nonferrous metals each have their own distinct properties, and these properties make some metals good for some applications and other metals well-suited for others. The simplest answer, though, is that ferrous metals are iron-containing metals, whereas nonferrous metals do not contain any iron. If you’ve heard of the Iron Age, then you’re hearing about a time when ferrous metals began to be used more commonly!

Metals By Type and Use

Now that you know that ferrous metals are metals that contain iron and nonferrous metals do not, the next step is familiarizing yourself with the different types of metals, their uses, and whether they’re ferrous or nonferrous. 

Common metals that are ferrous and contain iron include:

  • Steel
  • Carbon steel
  • Alloy steel
  • Cast iron
  • Wrought iron

These metals are used in a variety of applications, but are often found in construction, manufacturing, piping, and fencing.

A few metals that are nonferrous and do not contain iron include:

  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Tin

These metals are typically softer, and therefore aren’t used in jobs that require really durable, hard metals (like steel). They are more commonly used in food wrapping, the electrical industry, and for utensils and cans.

How to Recycle Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals

Whether we’re talking about ferrous or nonferrous metals, metal recycling is important! Both types of metals should always be recycled rather than sent to the landfill, as both types can be infinitely recycled. 

While both ferrous and nonferrous metals should be recycled, some metal recyclers require that these metals are separated in advance of being brought in. But this isn’t the case at Belson Steel—when you bring in metals for recycling, we’ll handle all metal separation and weighing on your behalf. 

Call Belson Steel Today

If you have more questions about ferrous and nonferrous metals, how to recycle metal, or why Belson Steel is a top metal recycler, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team directly. We have over 60 years of experience in the industry and are here to serve you. 

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