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Scrap Metal Recycling: Types of Metal

Scrap Metal recycling can be a lucrative hobby for some individuals. With a little dedication and time you can be well on your way to making extra money by collecting and distributing desirable materials.

Anyone interested in learning more about scrap metal recycling is well advised to study the various types of metals. This information can help you make good decisions and it can help you find scraps of metal that can be recycled.

Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Classifications

Metals are classified as ferrous when they contain iron. These metals vary due to the other elements in their composition. The ferrous group members share the same properties.

The ferrous scrap metal recycling materials are magnetic. This makes them very easy to spot. A simple test with a magnet will determine whether you have a ferrous metal.

These materials tend to corrode easily. This may be due to the iron in their composition. Steel is a prime example of a ferrous metal. This material is dense, heavy and contains a high level of iron.

Non-ferrous metals contain no iron. Like the first classification, these materials vary according to the elements in their composition. They are pure in composition, meaning that they have no more than one type of atom.

Silver and gold are also pure but they are not commonly sent to scrap metal recycling facilities. These precious metals are typically sent to jewelers if they are no longer in use.

This classification of metals is usually more resistant to corrosion than its ferrous counterparts. Non-ferrous metals are not magnetic. You can easily determine whether a metal is in this classification by placing a magnet on it. If it does not stick to the surface, it is non-ferrous.

Scrap metal recycling is ideal for non-ferrous metals. Many materials that fall into this category are easy to reuse. Their compositions are cooperative and they are easy to work with.

Perhaps the most popular scrap metal recycling material is aluminum this non-ferrous material can be reused repeatedly without losing its quality. Aluminum takes relatively little time to recycle.

Another metal that falls into this classification is copper. Copper is in high demand for scrap metal recycling. This material can be found in plumbing and in some machinery, including air conditioners.


When metals are mixed together, they form alloys. These materials are specifically designed to have certain qualities. Two elements are brought together to create a third.

Scrap metal recycling is a very important aspect of environmental clean up. These materials can be reused a number of times. Some can be reused an indefinitely.


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