What’s the difference between ferrous and a non-ferrous metal?

The basic answer is that non-ferrous metals do not contain iron while ferrous metals do contain iron. The more complex answer is that ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals have their own chemical make-up and mechanical properties that put them in either the ferrous or non-ferrous category.

So, you may be asking which metals are non-ferrous?

Aluminum, brass, bronze, and copper are non-ferrous metals along with precious metals like gold, silver, and titanium. These metals contain no iron which allows them to have a resistance to rust. One main feature of these metals compared to the ferrous metals is that they are highly malleable.
You can typically see these metals in uses for outdoor signs, gutters, electronics, house siding, and so many more applications. Most of these are light weight metals that are easy to bend, cut, and machine.

And which are ferrous?

Most ferrous materials are in the steel or iron family. They have high durability and tensile. Ferrous metals have many uses in the construction industry. Ferrous metals are used for both architectural and industrial fabrication. Many builders choose to use them for framing a building, piping, vehicles, train tracks, and many more commercial uses.
You may notice when a new building is being built that they are using iron beams that are already rusted. The reason for this is that ferrous metals have a lot of carbon which makes it easier for them to rust when they are exposed to moisture. Granted there are some exceptions to ferrous metals which don’t rust, like stainless steel. Stainless has a chemical makeup with includes chromium, molybdenum, and nickel that aids in helping it not to rust. Another trait of most ferrous metals is that they are magnetic.

What is Admiral able to provide?

At Admiral, we are primarily non-ferrous metals but have recently introduced some ferrous metals to our metal family. We have carried stainless steel but in 2019, we added steel to our line-up since there are so many uses our customers have for different alloys of steel. In the non-ferrous category we carry aluminum, brass, bronze, and copper.

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