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Are you a manufacturer? If some materials of your products are metals, you will always be torn between two types of metals. These are ferrous vs non-ferrous metals.

What is the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals? Which one is the best between them? In this article, we are going to attempt to answer such questions. Read on as we highlight everything you should know about ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Difference between Ferrous Metals vs Non-ferrous Metals

The main difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is the presence of iron (Ferrum). Ferrous contain iron while the non-ferrous metals don’t contain iron.

The presence of Ferrum in the metal causes physical, chemical and structural differences between them. This means that they also differ in terms of their properties. The key distinctions between these two classes of metals are what might have motivated you to choose one type of metal over the other.

Properties of Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals encompass a wide range of alloying elements. These elements include nickel, chromium, manganese, vanadium, and molybdenum.

The presence of these elements gives ferrous metals desirable material properties. Some of the most notable properties of ferrous metals include:

-Strong and durable; This explains why they are used for heavy-duty engineering applications

-High tensile strength

-They have silver-like color

-Are good conductors of heat

-Excellent conductors of electricity

Advantages of Ferrous Metals

By looking at the properties of the ferrous metals, there are several benefits that you stand to gain.

The structural and strength of these metals make them applicable to those physically demanding applications. Most engineering applications depend on the ferrous type of metal.

Also, the fact that these metals are strong makes them durable. Ferrous metals will serve you for long without getting damaged.

Ferrous metals are known for their versatility. In simple words, they have a wide range of applications. The versatility of these metals is because of their numerous desirable properties. These metals are used for both simple applications and large or sophisticated industrial applications.

By having good magnetic properties, ferrous metals are compatible with most electrical and mechanical applications. Of course, this is compounded by them being good conductors of electricity.

Ferrous metals are good for the environment. This is mainly due to the fact that they are recyclable. A study carried out on the ferrous metals revealed that a good percentage of the ferrous metals are made from recycled metals.

Examples of ferrous Metal

Commonly use ferrous metals include:

Carbon Steel: This type of steel has the highest carbon content. It is mainly used for making blades, machine tools, drills, springs, and taps.

Alloy steel: This type of metal alloy comprises elements such as chromium, manganese, nickel, silicon, titanium, vanadium and molybdenum.

Mainly used for electric components and construction tools.

Cast Iron: This is an alloy that comprises of iron, silicon, and carbon. The metal has a brittle texture. It is mainly used for making machine tools and automotive parts.

Wrought Iron: This is always considered as a pure iron due to very little carbon content in it. It has some slag on its surface hence has a high resistance to corrosion and oxidation. Wrought iron is used for making products such as ornaments, barbed wires, and chains.

Steel: Steel is a ferrous metal that is made when carbon is added onto the iron. The primary function of carbon is to strengthen the metal. Steel is used on heavy-duty industrial applications.

What are Non-Ferrous Metals

These are metals that do not contain any element of iron. They are softer than the ferrous metals hence very malleable.

These metal types are also strong hence are relevant for some industrial applications. Most non-ferrous metals are used for their aesthetic features.

Properties of Non-Ferrous Metals

Here are some of the critical features of the non-ferrous metals;

-High resistance to corrosion

-They are easy to mold and fabricate due to their malleability

-Excellent conductors of electricity

-Colorful hence have an aesthetic value

-They are non-magnetic

Advantages of Non-Ferrous Metals

There are numerous advantages that you stand to gain from the non-ferrous metals. First, non-ferrous metals are easy to process. You will have an easy time applying different processing methods on these metals.

These metals have excellent visual appeal. They come in attractive colors hence can be used for making decorative products.

The anti-resistant nature of these metals protects them against the adverse effects of chemicals and other elements. It also ensures that they retain their visual appeal for long.

Examples of Non-Ferrous Metals

Copper: Copper is a highly malleable metal that has a wide range of applications. It is used for making electrical and telecommunication cables.

Aluminum: Although this is a lightweight metal, it is quite reliable and relevant for industrial applications. It is commonly used for manufacturing components of aerospace.

Lead: This is a malleable metal that has a low melting point. However, it can resist the effects of corrosion. Lead is mainly used for making and electronics.

Zinc: This is a medium-strength metal that can be easily machined into different products. Zinc is mainly used for galvanizing where it protects other metals such as iron and steel

Tin: As a ductile non-ferrous metal, tin is also used for coating steel. It is also used for manufacturing food packages.

A Table Showing Difference Between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

Ferrous MetalsNon-Ferrous Metals
Contains ironDoes not have iron
Highly prone to corrosionResistant to corrosion
MagneticNon magnetic metal
Enjoys abundance inn supplyVery scarce hence valuable
Strong and  rigidSoft and Malleable

Roche Industry: Machining Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

From the differences between ferrous metals vs. non-ferrous metals, you can see that its unique features define each one of them. You only need to specify what you would like to do with the metal, and then you can proceed to pick the right one.

Whichever type of metal that you choose, you will want it processed into a more useful form. It can be metal stamping, molding, die casting, fabrication, among others.

This is where we at Roche Industry can come to your aide. We provide different metal processing or machining services. We can work on both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Just contact us, and we will be there to meet your needs.