Ferrous metals are pure iron or an alloy which typically consists of iron. The term ‘ferrous’ has been derived from the Latin term ‘ferrum’ meaning iron. The most common ferrous alloys are steel. Ferrous metals contain little amounts of other metals or components added, to render it the requisite properties. These metals are magnetic and offer only slight resistance to corrosion.
All commercial forms of iron and steel bear carbon, which has become an integral part of the metallurgy of iron and steel. The preference for ferrous metals is quite strong, thus also making scrap metals highly merchantable. Most recycling companies pay fairly for scrap metals.
Types of Ferrous Metals and Features
Currently, There are Different Forms of Ferrous Metals Available in the Market. Some of the Major Types and Their Characteristics are Stated below:
Stainless Steel – Resistance to Corrosion
Cast Iron - Hard, brittle, strong, self-lubricating, economical
Mild Steel – Ductile, tough, high tensile strength. Due to low carbon content, it cannot be toughened and tempered. It should only be case hardened.
High Carbon Steel - The hardest of the carbon steels. Tough and malleable but less ductile.
Other available types of ferrous alloys and ferrous material include free cutting steel, construction steel, high temperature steel, low temperature steel, high strain steel, and spring steel
Manufacturing Process of Ferrous Metals
Ferrous metals need to be extracted from basic iron ore. The original source for iron ore is the earth's crust, which bears metals and metal compounds such as iron oxide. However, the ore is commonly mingled with other materials. For the purpose of optimizing the usage of the metal, it has to be derived from the mixture.
The method principally used to derive metals from the ore depends on their reactivity. With respect to iron, a less-reactive metal, it can be derived by reduction with carbon or carbon monoxide. Iron is then extracted from iron ore in a big container known as a blast furnace. Oxygen should be eliminated from the iron oxide to leave the iron behind.
Applications of Ferrous Metals
Ferrous metals are used in a variety of applications. Listed below are its some major uses:
Sturdy crushing machinery
nuts, bolts girders and plates
Car cylinder blocks and gear wheels
machine tool parts, machine handle and engine parts
vices, brake drums, and plumbing fittings
Gears and shafts
Cutting equipments for lathes
Kitchen draining boards and cutlery
Aircraft and pipes
Chisels, files and lathe tools
garden tools, hammers, drills, dies and taps
Metal ropes, springs and wire
Environmental Impacts of Ferrous Metals
Recycling of ferrous metals enables in decreasing the quantities of solid waste accumulated in landfills, which have become costlier. As these metals are magnetic, scrap can be gathered with the help of a magnet and sent to a recycling unit.
Source of Ferrous Minerals
One of the massive sources of scrap steel is the reprocessing old automobile bodies. The automobile body is crushed and compressed, and is then macerated into small pieces using hammer mills. Ferrous metals are isolated from the shredder residue by heavy magnets while other substances are sorted manually or with high-pressure air flows and liquid floating systems.
Applications of Recycled Ferrous Metals
Studies reveal that recycled steel contains the same strength as new steel. Now, a large variety of appliances contain about 75% recycled steel.
Properties of Ferrous Metals
Ferrous metals may include a variety of alloying elements. Some examples are nickel, chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, and manganese. Those provide ferrous steels properties that make them extensively used in engineering.
Following are Ferrous Metal Properties:
Durable with Great tensile strength
Very Low resistance to corrosion
Excellent conductors of electricity
These properties make them workable in constructions of long-lasting skyscrapers. Besides, they are utilized in manufacturing tools, containers, pipelines, automobiles, vehicle engines, cutlery etc.
Non-Ferrous Metals and Their Uses
Non ferrous metals include every metal and alloy which do not contain iron. Examples of a few common non-ferrous metals will include:
Precious metals like gold, silver and platinum
Copper and its alloys such as brass and bronze
Nickel, Platinum, Titanium, Palladium
Tin, Lead, Zinc
With such a huge array of materials in this grouping, many of the mechanical properties which suggest iron can be unearthed in non-ferrous metals. For example, alloys of aluminum or titanium could be alternated for steel in different cases, if it were not cost-restrictive to do so. Iron’s magnetic abilities could be parallelized with cobalt, nickel, or rare earth elements alloyed with other metals.
However, since non-ferrous alloys are often expensive, they tend to be chosen for their distinctive attributes, instead for the ways they can act like steel.
Properties of Non- Ferrous Metals
These properties also make the metal to be more prefered. Some metals are prized exactly as they are rare: before extensive aluminum manufacturing was possible, aluminum has been a luxe metal employed in high-end tableware.
Difference Between Ferrous and Non Ferrous Metals
In reference to ferrous (ferrum=iron) metals, the base metal is iron. They take into account a huge part of the overall metals in use today. This has become possible by their properties that are suitable for various industries and use-cases.
On the contrary, Non-ferrous metals do not include iron. This differentiation is made because it brings along a certain characteristic change which non-ferrous metals do not offer.
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