Non Ferrous in the Metalworking Industry

Non ferrous metals have been used substantially longer than most metals, dating back to around 5000BCE. Techniques were used to create bronze by smelting copper and alloying it with tin and arsenic – marking the end of the Stone Age and heading into the Bronze Age. With so many different types of metals ranging from hard to soft, choosing the right one for an application can be confusing if you are new to the metalworking industry. What makes aluminum so important in this industry? Non Ferrous is known for its durability and strength, as well as its malleability.

What is Non Ferrous?

Non ferrous refers to metal that does not have a significant amount of iron in its chemical composition. Most metal alloys have some trace, or a small amount of iron in their composition. This does not make them ferrous alloys. Non ferrous alloys have iron compositions of less than one percent (>1%), measured by weight. If iron is a large percentage of metal, then the metal is considered ferrous.

Aluminum can be considered non ferrous, but has its own wide range where it can qualify as a separate entity depending on the type.

The most common types we see in the industry are:

Aluminum Brass, Bronze, & Copper
Tin Silver & Gold
Zinc Magnesium

non ferrous brass cast instrument

Advantages of Non Ferrous

There are many advantages, so what are the main selling points to Non Ferrous?

Recyclable & Eco-Friendly
As a result of the eco-friendly transitions as of late, global demand for non ferrous metals is now expected to increase more quickly for any other raw material – from 7 to 19 gigatonnes per year by 2060.

High Strength
Non ferrous metals can be known for their strength, such as lead, tin, and zinc. For a more lightweight material, aluminum and copper are the way to go. Copper is also highly malleable with high electrical conductivity.

Market Advantages
Non ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, and zinc are important to many manufacturing industries. They are irreplaceable for many products in the automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, and construction sectors.


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