Home > Knowledge > Content

Non-ferrous metal

Jan 10, 2017

In metallurgy, a non-ferrous metal is a metal, including alloys, that does not contain iron (ferrite) in appreciable amounts. Generally more expensive than ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals are used because of desirable properties such as low weight (e.g. aluminium), higher conductivity (e.g. copper), non-magnetic property orresistance to corrosion (e.g. zinc). Some non-ferrous materials are also used in the iron and steel industries. For example, bauxite is used as flux for blast furnaces, while others such as wolframitepyrolusite and chromite are used in making ferrous alloys.

Important non-ferrous metals include aluminiumcopperleadnickeltintitanium and zinc, and alloys such as brassPrecious metals such as goldsilver and platinumand exotic or rare metals such as cobaltmercurytungstenberylliumbismuthceriumcadmiumniobiumindiumgalliumgermaniumlithiumseleniumtantalum,telluriumvanadium, and zirconium are also non-ferrous.They are usually obtained through minerals such as sulfidescarbonates, and silicates.Non-ferrous metals are usually refined through electrolysis.

Due to their extensive use, non-ferrous scrap metals are usually recycled. The secondary materials in scrap are vital to the metallurgy industry, as the production of new metals often needs them.Some recycling facilities re-smelt and recast non-ferrous materials; the dross is collected and stored onsite while the metal fumes are filtered and collected. Non-ferrous scrap metals are sourced from industrial scrap materials, particle emissions and obsolete technology (for example, copper cables) scrap.