5 Fundamental Categories of Metal

If you are entering into the world of scrap metal recycling, it will help to learn which metals you will likely come by and how their particular properties can affect your overall profit. Although there are various kinds of metals and metal alloys, most can fit into one of five basic categories. The top five fundamental categories arguably include ferrous, nonferrous, precious, base, and noble metals.

Continue reading to learn some facts about each category, as well as, how to get started with earning money for your scrap metal.

Indianapolis Scrap Metal Buyers 1-888-586-5322
Indianapolis Scrap Metal Buyers 1-888-586-5322

❶ Ferrous Metals

The word “ferrous” translates to “of iron”, so ferrous metals are those that contain iron. Iron retains magnetic properties, which means that magnets will attract to commodities that are primarily comprised of iron. However in some cases, the concentration of iron is too weak to attract a magnet, so additional equipment would be necessary in determining its true composition. The most common types of ferrous metals include wrought iron, cast iron, mild steel, carbon steel, and stainless steel.

❷ Nonferrous Metals

In contrast to ferrous metal, non-ferrous metals do not contain any iron content. If a magnet does not attract to an item, you can safely assume that it is nonferrous. Common types of nonferrous metals include copper, aluminum, lead, nickel, zinc, and brass.

❸ Precious Metals

Precious metals can be either ferrous or nonferrous, as they are any metal that retains high economic value and is a rare, naturally-occurring element. Common precious metals include gold and silver, but others high in value include platinum, zirconium, tungsten, cobalt, ruthenium, palladium, iridium, osmium, and rhodium.

❹ Noble Metals

Noble metals are still a debated category, as they are not always well-defined. However, for those who side with the categorization, noble metals are best defined as those that filled electron d-band. Under this definition, examples of noble metals would include gold, silver, and copper. Others suggest noble metals are those that resists oxidation and corrosion in moist air, which would exclude copper, but add in certain precious metals, like rhodium, palladium, ruthenium, osmium, and iridium.

❺ Base Metals

Base metals are metals that cannot, and are not, noble nor precious. In fact, a base metal is the opposite of a noble metal. On the other hand, silver could be an exception to this rule since it is sometimes used as a base metal for gold and platinum coatings. See our blog, “What are Base Metals?” to learn more about this category of metal.

Looking for a Scrap Metal Buyer in Indiana?

Call Garden City Iron & Metal at 1-888-586-5322 to recycle scrap metal in Indianapolis, Indiana. We buy and recycle any and all scrap metal and metal-containing commodities, regardless of condition. Whether it is covered in rust or not, we will accept anything with metal, including appliances, vehicles, auto parts, farm equipment, construction equipment and materials, boats, watercrafts, scooters, motorcycles, RVs, and more! Request a free estimate, today.

Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322
Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322
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