Ferrous vs. Nonferrous Metals

How can you tell the difference between Ferrous (Steel) and Nonferrous metals? Perform a magnet test! If the magnet sticks to the material, it is likely Steel. If it does not stick, it is likely a Nonferrous Metal.

Ferrous metals

Ferrous metals are alloys of iron, and they usually stick to a magnet… BUT a common misconception is that steel is the only metal that attracts a magnet. There are actually three common elements that pull to a magnet, and those are iron, nickel, and cobalt. Examples of ferrous scrap: old automobiles, farm equipment, household appliances, structural steel, and anything else that was made from iron and steel.

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Nonferrous Metals

Nonferrous metals are generally non-magnetic (except for nickel and cobalt). Examples of nonferrous scrap: aluminum, brass, copper, zinc, lead, and nickel.

For information regarding Ferrous or Non-Ferrous, contact:
André Pujadas, Executive Vice President – Commercial
apujadas@pscmetals.com
1-800-624-2216