The answer to this question is actually really simple. Ferrous metals contain iron, whereas non-ferrous metals do not. However, there is more to it than that.

Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals both have their own unique properties which ultimately determine their uses and applications.

A little insight into the history of non-ferrous metals proves that they have been in use as far back as early ancient society. The discovery of copper in 5000BC ended the Stone Age and began the Copper Age. The Bronze Age then began after the advent of combining copper and tin to create the eponymous metal end product.

The Iron age really took off in 1200BC with the use of ferrous metals and prolific iron production then became run of the mill.

Ferrous Metals

Examples of ferrous metals include steel, stainless steel, carbon steel and cast iron. They all contain iron and are renowned for their strength and durability. Materials with these metal properties are a primary choice for architectural, industrial and construction applications and are particularly suited to tall skyscraper buildings, long bridges, vehicles and railway lines. Ferrous metals also have magnetic properties, making them extremely practical for use in home electrical appliances and motor engines. Ferrous metals also have a high carbon content which unfortunately makes them more vulnerable to rusting when exposed to external elements. The exception to this is stainless steel because of its chromium content and wrought iron due to its purity

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals are generally more resistant to corrosion than ferrous metals as they do not contain any iron. Aluminium, copper, zinc, lead and tin are all non-ferrous metals, as are the precious metals, gold and silver. These materials have some advantageous metal properties such as being lightweight, manipulable and sometimes non-magnetic, depending on the metal. Non-ferrous metals are used for a vast array of applications - everything from roofing and guttering to aircraft design and even electrical wiring.

Both of these types of metals have very different yet desirable properties in the metal industry. Austen Knapman sell a variety of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals in the form of steel and aluminium products, designed and cut to your exact requirements to suit a huge range of varied fabrications.

Post By Kelly Trethewey