Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals | Ferrous Metals List | List of Non-ferrous Metals

Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals | Ferrous Metals List | List of Non-ferrous Metals

Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals | Ferrous Metals List | List of Non-ferrous Metals

Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals | Ferrous Metals List | List of Non-ferrous Metals

What are Ferrous Metals and Non Ferrous Metals

 Ferrous metals can be described types of metals that contain iron (ferrite), while non-ferrous metals  are  a metal, including alloys, that does not contain iron (ferrite) in appreciable proportion or amounts. It simply means that ferrous metals has iron as one of its components (Ferrous = Contains iron)  and non ferrous metals does NOT contain iron (Nonferrous = No iron).

Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals came into existence around 1200 BC when iron production became more critical during the Iron Age.

Commonly used ferrous metals include:

Ferrous Metals List

  1. Mild Steel
  2. Carbon Steel
  3. Stainless Steel
  4. Cast Iron
  5. Wrought Iron

These metals possess high durability and tensile strength and are also very vulnerable to rust, though there are two exceptions; wrought iron and stainless steel.

Most ferrous type of metals is also magnetic, making them useful in motor and electrical appliances.

Types of  Ferrous Metals.

Mild Steel

Mild steel is a common metal used in schools and industry. Mild steel has a carbon content of 0.1 to 0.3% and an iron content of 99.9 to 99.7%.

Properties of Mild Steel

It is tough and has a high tensile strength, which means it can withstand forces acting against it. This metal can be case hardened, making it even tougher.

However, it rusts very easily if in direct contact with water, although it can be coated to protect it against water and moisture in the earth.

Uses of Mind Steel

It is used in the manufacture of general metal products and is a very useful engineering material.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is very useful as a metal from which tools are manufactured. It has a carbon content of 0.6 to 1.4% and an iron content of 99.4 to 98.6%.

Properties of Carbon Steel

As you would expect, it is very tough and is often hardened and tempered when used in tools.

Uses of Carbon Steel

Most cutting tools, such as drills, are manufactured from this metal.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, nickel, and chromium. It was invented in the Victorian era in Sheffield, England.

It is extremely tough on resistant to rust and stains.

Uses of Stainless Steel

This means that it is ideal for cutlery, medical instruments, kitchen sinks, pipes, furniture, car bodywork, plumbing components, pots and pans, and many more practical applications.

Our modern world would not be the same without rust and corrosion-resistant stainless steel.

Cast Iron

Cast Iron is a product of the early industrial revolution. It is composed of 2 to 6% carbon content and iron content of 98 to 94%.

Properties of Cast Iron

  • It is strong, but it is brittle, which means its uses are restricted.
  • It will not bend or flex without breaking or even shattering, however, its compressive strength is very high.
  • Low melting temperatures with good fluidity
  • Low-cost material (low-cost raw material & tech.)
  • Higher compressive strength, damping capacity, wear resistance, rigidity, machinability
  • Alloy CIs – high corrosion and heat resistance
  • Not ductile to be rolled, drawn, or mechanically worked

Uses of Cast Iron

It is used for castings, manhole covers, gates, outdoor furniture, stoves for heating pots on some decorative work.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is almost 100% iron. It is fibrous, tough, ductile on, resistant to rusting.

It tends to be used to manufacture individually designed ornamental gates and railings because it can be repeatedly heated and worked by a skilled blacksmith.

Properties of Ferrous Metals

  1. Ferrous Metals are extremely durable.
  2. Ferrous Metals have excellent tensile strength.
  3. Ferrous Metals are usually magnetic.
  4. They have low resistance to corrosion.
  5. A silver-like colour.
  6. They are Recyclable.
  7. Ferrous Metals are good conductors of electricity.

Difference Between Ferrous and Non Ferrous Metals

Non-Ferrous Metals

Common non-ferrous metals include copper, aluminum, lead, tin, zinc, and precious metals like golden silver.

The main advantage of these Ferrous types of metals is their malleability. No iron content also means they have higher corrosion resistance.

Unlike ferrous metals, these non-ferrous metals are nonmagnetic. This is important for wiring and electronic applications.

It is important to note that corrosion-resistant stainless steel is a ferrous metal.


Non Ferrous Metals Examples

Non-ferrous metals are metals that do not contain iron. Examples of non-ferrous metals are aluminum, copper, brass, silver, lead, and many more.

Some non-ferrous metals are very useful in the manufacture of parts or components for commercial projects.


Aluminum is a light grey metal widely used in many industries, and it contains 4% copper and 1% manganese.

Properties of Aluminum

Most of it is a ductile, soft, and malleable metal that machines well, making it highly suited to engineering. It is also relatively lightweight compared to many other metals.

Uses of Aluminum

Current uses are found in the aircraft industry, kitchenware, car engines, shutters, drinks, cans, boats, trains, and tubing.


Ferrous Metals

Copper is a significant metal, as it is used widely in the home and by industry. It is estimated that only 60 years of copper is left on the earth to be mined.

Properties of Copper

It is not an alloy, which means that it has no other metals combined with it. Reddish-brown in color, it is ductile and can be shaped and machine relatively easily.

It conducts electricity and heat efficiently, and that is why it is such a valuable and useful metal.

Uses of Coper

Current copper uses electrical wiring, electrical circuits, tubing, kettles, pipes, engine parts, and pots pans.


Brass is an alloy composed of 65% copper and 35% zinc, which is the most common ratio it casts and machines well.

Brass Properties

Although the surface tarnishes when exposed to air, brass is a good conductor of electricity.

Uses of Brass

It is often used for electrical fittings, musical instruments, ornaments on decorative fittings such as door handles.


Silver is a well-known precious metal. It is sometimes combined with copper, resulting in sterling silver.

Properties of Silver

Silver is ductile, malleable, resists corrosion, and has a desirable appearance.

Uses of Silver

It is often used to skillfully manufacture  expensive jewelry. Pure silver has the highest conductivity of all metals.

It is a relatively rare metal and expensive.


Lead is a bluish-grey color and was once used widely. However, it has been replaced by other metals and plastics because it is poisonous.

Uses of Lead

It was once used in petrol to help engines run smoothly. It was also used in paint to help the paint spread smoothly over a surface. The lead was once commonplace in the form of pipes for water distribution. However, due to its toxicity, this has now changed.

Properties of Lead

It is not an alloy but a metal in its own right. It is soft, heavy ductile, and loses its shape under pressure. It is a relatively expensive metal, often used as flashing for buildings. It is found in batteries and used in the form of pellets in shotgun cartridges.


Properties of Non-Ferrous Metals

  1. Non-Ferrous metals are highly corrosive resistance
  2.  They are easy to fabricate –casting, machinability, welding etc.
  3. Nonferrous metals have excellent thermal conductivity
  4. Are good electrical conductors
  5. They have low density (less mass)
  6. Mostly colorful
  7. Non-ferrous metals are non-magnetic

Properties of Various Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals


Strength is the ability to withstand load in tension,


Hardness is the ability to resist plastic deformation, usually via penetration, also described as resistance to scratching or abrasion.


Toughness is the ability to absorb energy.


Ductility is the ability to deform without fracture.


Fatigue is the weakening of metal caused by a repeatedly applied load.


Formability is the ease with which metal could be molded into the final product.


Machinability is the ease with which metal can be processed into the final product with cutting tools.

Weld ability

Weld ability the ease with which metal can be joined.


Corrosion is the ability to withstand chemical reactions through oxidation.


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