Whether you have a business that has a lot of scrap metal waste or you are just an average person who collects scrap metal for recycling, it is helpful to get to know a bit about ferrous and nonferrous metals. Here is a look at a few of the most common questions. 

What is the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metal?

Ferrous metals contain some level of iron, but more than that, they are usually stronger and more durable than nonferrous metals. Nonferrous metals do not contain iron, which means they are often more malleable or bendable. A few good examples of nonferrous metals include copper, zinc, and aluminum, all of which are considered more as a softer type of metal. Although valuable and useful, these metals can bend and stretch far easier. 

What is the easiest way to tell if a metal is ferrous or nonferrous?

One of the common things most people do to determine if a metal is ferrous or nonferrous is to use a magnet. If the magnet sticks, then the metal is considered ferrous. However, there are exceptions to this rule because magnets sometimes do not stick to stainless steel. There are different types of stainless steel; one of which is magnetic and the other is not. 

Is steel a ferrous metal or a nonferrous metal?

All types of steel are ferrous, such as carbon steel, stainless steel, or mild steel. In general terms, any metal that contains iron is ferrous, and steel is actually what is referred to as an alloy of iron. Therefore, pretty much all types of steel will be ferrous, but the degree that steel is ferrous can depend on how much iron and how much carbon was used in the production process. During the recycling process, steel is often divvied up depending on how ferrous it is, but, basically, it is separated by type. So, stainless steel would be separated from carbon steel and so on. 

Can both ferrous and nonferrous metals be recycled?

Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals are recyclable, and the recycling processes do look a lot alike. However, nonferrous metals do tend to be more valuable simply because they are found in smaller quantities. For example, a recycling center will likely take in a lot more ferrous steel than they will nonferrous copper simply because the steel is more commonly used in large quantities than the copper. 

For more information, contact ferrous steel recycling services in your area.