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Difference Between Nonferrous and Ferrous metals

The two types of metals ever known are ferrous and nonferrous metals with a vast difference and few similarities. They have different qualities, properties, and uses due to what they are made of. Nonferrous metals don’t contain iron whilst ferrous contain iron in them. In this article, you’ll get to know the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals, including their uses, types, and properties.

ferrous and nonferrous metals

Read more: Different types of metals and their classifications

Difference between nonferrous and ferrous metals

Ferrous Metals

These are metals containing iron. They are used mostly in fabrication industries and shops in the production of items such as skyscrapers, bridges, vehicles, and railroads. They are also used in engines due to their mechanical properties, they also have high carbon content, which makes them prone to rust. Ferrous metals are magnetic which makes their applications to electrical appliances. Some metals like stainless steel contain wrought iron and chromium which makes them high pure iron.

ferrous metals


Some types of ferrous metals include:

Carbon steel: this is an exceptional hard metal, containing higher carbon content added to iron.

Stainless steels: these types of ferrous metals are completely free from rust even when exposed to moisture. they are made of alloy steel and chromium.

Cast iron: it is also a very hard metal that can resist wear. Cast iron is the combination of iron, chromium, and silicon.

Read more: Process of Heat treatment of ferrous metals

Steel: these types of ferrous metals are widely used in metal fabrication and construction sites. They are made of iron and carbon.

Other alloy steel: these are added to metals in order to strengthen them without weight. These lightweight metals include chromium, nickel, titanium, etc.

Read more: Everything you need to know about sheet metals

Nonferrous metals

Nonferrous metals are types of metals or alloys that do not have an appreciable amount of iron in them. These metals are special due to their properties that include: malleability, non-magnetic, high conductivity, resistance to corrosion, and low weight.

Even though nonferrous are costly than ferrous metals, they are used in industrial applications such as roofing pipes, electrical and gutters. The nonferrous metal types are suitable for highly corrosive environments such as liquid, chemical, and sewage pipelines. Due to the non-magnetism of nonferrous metals, they are used in many electrical and electronic appliances. Some nonferrous metals like Aluminum have low weight, Copper has higher conductivity, zinc is non-magnetic, and is resistant to corrosion.

Read more: Different Types of Nonferrous Metals and their Uses

The most common and important types of nonferrous metals include Aluminum, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Tin, Titanium, Zinc, and Brass. They are used in industrial processes. Some precious nonferrous metals include Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

The diagram below shows the difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals:

difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals

Read more: Heat Treatment of nonferrous metals

And that is all for this article, where the difference between nonferrous and ferrous metals is discussed. I hope you get a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you next time!

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