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

Non-Ferrous and Ferrous Metals – What’s the Difference?
April 24, 2020 admin
Non Ferrous And Ferrous Metals

If you’re currently thinking about your next fabrication project, you’re probably considering what metal is best to use. You could be wondering whether to use a ferrous or non-ferrous metal so we’re here to help you make your decision. The basic difference between these two kinds of metals is iron. Ferrous metals have an iron content whereas non-ferrous ones don’t. There are also various differences in the composition of these metals which makes them unique. So, let’s find out more about ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Ferrous Metals

We know that ferrous metals contain iron. We also are aware that these metals are widely known for their durability and strength. For these reasons, they tend to be used in industrial and architectural fabrication. Ferrous metals are also magnetic due to their iron content. Some examples of these metals are:

  • Wrought iron. Often used for manufacturing railings, chains and barbed wire, wrought iron is an alloy that doesn’t contain much carbon. This metal has slag added during manufacturing so that it is resistant to oxidation and corrosion.
  • Stainless steel. Stainless steel is very durable because it can heal itself. Additionally, this material is both corrosion and heat resistant. Stainless steel fabrication Perth-wide is focused on creating appliances, tools and more.
  • Steel is created by adding carbon and iron together to effectively strengthen the iron. Steel is commonly found throughout the manufacturing and construction industries.
  • Carbon steel. Carbon steel has an elevated carbon content that makes it one of the hardest steels around. This is why it’s often used in blades and drills.
  • Alloy steel. Elements such as titanium, chromium and nickel are used to strengthen and enhance alloy steel without making it heavier. Alloy steel is often used in construction and civil engineering Perth-wide.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Generally speaking, non-ferrous metals are not as strong as their ferrous counterparts. However, the lack of iron has certain advantages. For example, non-ferrous metals are more corrosion and rust resistant. They’re also more malleable. Some examples of these include:

  • A combination of zinc and copper, brass is often used when making electrical fittings and ornaments.
  • Aluminium is highly malleable as well as very light although it has a low strength generally. Due to its light weight it’s often used for manufacturing food cans and aircraft.
  • Tin is a very malleable and soft metal that’s often used to coat steel so it doesn’t corrode. You can often find this metal in steel can plating for food items as well as in metals used for bearings.
  • Lead is particularly malleable and has a low tensile strength as well as a low melting point. Due to being extremely corrosion-resistant, it’s often used in construction, electrical power cables and batteries.

Although non-ferrous and ferrous metals have many differences, one is not necessarily better than the other. Everything needs to be looked at in context. All metals have their unique positive and negative points. What is key is finding the metal that is best suited to your specific project’s needs.