Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals in Metal Fabrication: Understanding the Difference

When it comes to metal fabrication, one of the most common questions posed to fabricators is what makes ferrous and non-ferrous metals different. The most basic answer is that all ferrous metals contain some amount of iron and the non-ferrous metals don’t. As a result, each type of metal that is used for fabrication projects will have different users and qualities.

Ferrous Metals

Iron containing ferrous metals are known for their superior strength. Some examples include cast iron, carbon steel, stainless steel and steel. These metals are used for both architectural and industrial fabrication projects, including railroads, vehicles, bridges and skyscrapers. Ferrous metals also have magnetic properties, which is why they are often used in engines and appliances. A downside is that due to the high carbon content, items made of these metals are prone to rusting. The exceptions to this are stainless steel because of its chromium content and wrought iron due to its iron content. These types of metals are common in many metal fabrication projects.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Various types of non-ferrous metals have been around since the Copper Age, which occurred in 5,000 BC. These metals don’t contain any iron and they are typically more resistant to corrosion than their ferrous counterparts. Some of the most common examples of non-ferrous metals include copper, aluminum alloys and aluminum, which are used for various industrial applications such as electrical, pipes, roofing and gutters. These metals are durable, but not as durable as the ferrous options.

If you are planning a metal fabrication project, make sure to consider what type of metal is best. You need to ensure the right type is used, if you want to achieve quality results. In most cases, a professional fabrication service can help you figure out what type of metal is best for the project you have planned.

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