We know that people need all types of waste collections to take place to follow the UK laws in place. If your business happens to produce metal waste, we want to help you understand why collection scrap metal is an important process for your business to participate in. So, in this article, we have compiled everything you would like to know about scrap metal collection.

What is Classed As Scrap Metal For Collection?

The types of scrap metal can be any metal composition, whether it is a piece or sheet of scrap metal of any shape and size. All metal is also suitable for recycling and safe to dispose of whether it is ferrous or non-ferrous.

Perhaps you’re wondering what does ferrous and non-ferrous metal mean? What’s the difference between them? We’re here to tell you!

Ferrous Metals

This type of metal is usually magnetic and very often contains iron. They are often used in housing construction, industrial applications, or large-scale piping due to their tensile strength and durability.

Examples of Ferrous Metals

  • Cast Iron – used in a massive range of items, such as machine tools, cookware, and even water pipes.
  • Wrought Iron – unlike other ferrous metals, this resists corrosion, so it is frequently used for railings and fencing.
  • Steel – widely used in construction and manufacturing industries because of its machinability and strength.

Non-Ferrous Metals

Unlike ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals do not usually contain any iron; therefore, they aren’t magnetic. An example of what they are used in could be the aircraft industry because non-ferrous metals have the required strength with a lighter weight.

Example of Non-Ferrous Metals

  • Stainless steel – this is commonly used in cookware, medical equipment, and architecture due to its corrosion resistance and hard-wearing nature.
  • Tin – the ability to have a highly polished finish and non-corrosive nature means it is often used to coat other metal items, like food containers. It is also commonly used for soldering.
  • Copper – very ductile and malleable and an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, so it is used for electrical wiring.
  • Aluminium – can be readily welded due to its lightweight property, and it is often used in food cans, kitchen utensils, and aircraft manufacturing.
  • Nickel – resists corrosion at high temperatures, so it is used for kitchen utensils like pots and pans, rechargeable batteries, coins, water faucets, and jewelry.
  • Lead – used for soldering, batteries, and electrical power cables because of its low tensile strength and melting point.
  • Brass – it is commonly used for musical instruments, locks, gears, valves, hinges, and ammunition. This is because of the corrosive resistance and low friction properties.
  • Bronze – its low friction properties, natural lubricity, and high strength make it very versatile. It can be used for door and window hardware, marine architecture, sculpture, and creative projects because of the high quality and aesthetically pleasing finish.

Property Differences of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal

Corrosion

Ferrous metals have a high carbon content which makes them more susceptible to corrosion. The only exception to this would be wright iron because the iron content in it is much higher. This means it is significantly more critical to recycle ferrous scrap metal responsibly, and we can help you there! Non-ferrous metal contains no iron. Therefore, it is far more resistant to corrosion, so it is often used for roofing and gutters.

Magnetic Properties

Like previously mentioned, the main difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is that ferrous metals are magnetic. This is what makes them so useful for use in motor and electrical manufacturing. On the other hand, a non-ferrous metal is used for actual electrical applications and wiring because of its non-magnetic properties.

Weight

Ferrous metals are heavier than non-ferrous metals. So ferrous scrap metal may require a bigger skip hire for scrap metal removal!

Cost

You may think ferrous metals have a more expensive metal price due to their weight, but it’s the opposite! Non-ferrous metals are often have a more costly metal value because they are in higher demand, so there is a lesser supply and more competitive prices.

Recycling

Both types of scrap metals can be recycled. But there are still crucial differences, mainly in the processing stage of recycling. Non-ferrous metals can be repeatedly recycled because none of their chemical properties degrade. However, ferrous metals need to be melted, purified, and compacted in the process.

As non-ferrous metal is in high demand, therefore, scarce, so they need to be recycled.

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