How to Identify Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals for Recycling Purposes

Blog | December 4th, 2019

Recycling is one way of promoting a sustainable community and it has been gaining popularity due to the many impacts of climate change widely felt nowadays. However, recycling is not as simple as it is perceived by many. There are things to consider and precautions to follow. That is why if you are looking to recycle some of your scrap metal, it’s important that you understand what kind of metal you have. There are two types of metal namely ferrous and non-ferrous. Below is information on how to identify ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling purposes.


Ferrous metals usually contain iron and carbon. Typical examples include engineered materials such as steel and cast iron, combining an iron base with small amounts of other metals or elements added in. On the contrary, non-ferrous metals do not have iron.


Ferrous metals are easily identified by their magnetic properties. You can easily identify this by using a magnet, even one from your fridge to test the scrap metal that you have. If it sticks, it means the metal is ferrous. If it does not stick, then it is definitely non-ferrous.

Corrosion Resistance

Ferrous metals have a poor resistance to corrosion and rust. If it is not alloyed, it can easily corrode or rust. On the other hand, non-ferrous metals are more resistant to corrosion than ferrous metals. They do not easily rust unlike ferrous metals.


Ferrous metals have a high durability and strength. That is why it is often used in architectural and industrial fabrication. For instance for ships, cars, bridges, railroads or steel beams for skyscrapers. Non-ferrous metals are characterised by their softness and malleability. This means they can be reshaped and reused, often without losing their valuable properties. This makes them ideal for an extensive range of commercial industries. Recycled non-ferrous metals can be found everywhere: from cable and wiring in electronics, transport infrastructure, house-building, canned food, batteries, and countless other applications.


Examples of ferrous metals include mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron and wrought iron. Non-ferrous metals, on the other, include aluminium, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc, brass and precious metals.

Know more about recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metals from Melbourne Metal Recycling. You can bring in small to large quantities of scrap metals and get paid either by bank cheque or electronic money transfer, wherein you will have access to your funds almost immediately. Your vehicle will be turned around quickly with immediate payment either by bank cheque or electronic money transfers. Our metal recycling company is dedicated to providing the best possible service to our customers, either at our recycling yard, at your site for regular bin collections, or a one off pickup. We will work out a solution to best suit your needs.