So what’s the difference between ferrous and non ferrous metals?
In metallurgy, a non-ferrous metal is any metal, including alloys, that does not contain iron in appreciable amounts. Generally more expensive than ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals are used because of desirable properties such as low weight, higher conductivity, non-magnetic property or resistance to corrosion.
Ferrous metals include mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and wrought iron. These metals are used for their tensile strength and durability. Ferrous metals are found in housing construction, industrial containers, piping, automobiles, railroad, most of tools and hardware, and cooking knives. High amounts of carbon make most ferrous metals and alloys vulnerable to rust. Generally speaking, if it rusts, it’s a ferrous metal. Ferrous metals also tend to have magnetic properties. Ferrous metals are the most recycled materials in the world.
Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, tin, lead, zinc, gold and silver. While non-ferrous metals can provide strength, they are primarily used where their differences from ferrous metals can provide an advantage. Non-ferrous metals are much more malleable and lighter. They contain no iron, so they have a higher resistance to rust and corrosion. Finally, they are also non-magnetic, making them good for use in small electronics and wiring.