What is a Non-Ferrous Metal?

What is a Non-Ferrous Metal?

Most times, we hear about non-ferrous metals but don’t know what they mean.  But it’s crucial to identify them because they are used in many home equipment and even in building constructions. Various types of metals like copper, aluminum, etc, fall under this classification of metals. If you can’t identify the non-ferrous metals in your home, this article explains what non-ferrous metals are, their properties, and the varieties that exist.

What are Non-Ferrous Metals?

These are metals whose chemical composition consists of little or no iron. Shortly put, they are metals that are not iron-based. They are useful for industrial and aesthetic purposes. They are also commonly used in making home appliances. Old pieces of equipment that contain these metals are often scrapped and recycled to create new equipment.

Properties of Non-Ferrous Metals:

1.    Malleability

It’s easy to convert non-ferrous metals into other forms without breaking. This property makes them ideal for creating jewelry. Additionally, this property makes it possible for old pieces of equipment made of non-ferrous metals to be recyclable.

2.    Low Density

They are lightweight— this makes them portable and excellent materials for home and electrical appliances. Thus they are used in making pots, wires, food cans, etc.

3.    Good Conductors of Electricity

They are excellent conductors of heat and electricity.  Thus, they are great for making saucepan, electric cables, etc.

4.    High Corrosion Resistance

These are rust-resistant and don’t react with many chemicals. Therefore, they are used in making liquid pipes, roof materials, gutters, and downspouts.

5.    Non-magnetic

Non-ferrous metals are not magnetic. This property makes them excellent for wiring and electrical appliances.

Types of Metals Classified as Non-Ferrous Metals.

1.    Aluminum

Aluminum is a soft metal, and it is the most recycled of all metals. They are silver in their purest form. Aluminum is ductile and light in weight. However, they are not as solid as carbon steel. This metal is used in making drink cans, saucepans, pots, frying pan, foil, etc.

2.    Lead

Lead is a heavy non-ferrous metal. It is soft and malleable. They are resistant to corrosion and are best used in making acid tanks, bullets, and more. Lead uses vary, ranging from electric cables to batteries.

3.    Copper

Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. This metal is usually from their red or brown color.  They can be alloyed with other metals to create new ones. For instance, bronze is created when copper is alloyed with tin. Copper is also a crucial element in creating brass. Copper can be used in making electrical wires, plumbing fittings, currencies, etc.


In summary, non-ferrous metals are metals that are not iron-based. They are malleable, excellent conductors of heat and electricity, lightweight, non-magnetic, and have high corrosion resistance. Examples include aluminum, copper, lead, and zinc. Non-ferrous metals are generally best used for making home appliances.


Collecting scrap metals is a good business if you know what you are buying and how and when to sell it to maximize your profits. Consider the tips for collecting scrap metal mentioned above. For questions on how we can help scrap or buy your used vehicle, contact us today for a quick and transparent quote!

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