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The Importance of Separating Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals during Metal Recycling

07 January 2022

The recycling process aims to effectively reduce the need to extract raw materials, draw tons of energy, and reduce pollution. With the help of recycling centres, businesses are encouraged to turn in their scrap or waste materials to these facilities instead of discarding them in landfills.

One set of materials that are saved by recycling centres these days is metal. You see, a huge percentage of products that are being used by people today is made from metal. From compact devices to huge machines, most of their components are made from either ferrous or non-ferrous metals. Without recycling centres, the raw supply of metals may have been depleted by now. It would also be difficult for manufacturers to craft their parts and products without a stable supply of recycled metals.

Comparing Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

As mentioned earlier, most products today may be generated out of either ferrous or non-ferrous metals. Both types of metals are utilised by manufacturers due to their longevity and recyclability. They are likewise maximised for their appeal, strength, and resistance to elements. However, one factor that somehow affects their overall properties is their overall percentage of iron.

Ferrous metals are metals that have iron. The presence of iron makes ferrous metals magnetic. They likewise have high tensile strength and excellent electric conductivity. These metals, however, possess low corrosion resistance. Hence, they are often combined with other alloying elements like chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and manganese to increase their corrosion resistance. Some examples of ferrous metals are cast iron, wrought iron, alloy steel, and carbon steel.

Non-ferrous metals, alternatively, do not contain iron. The absence of iron makes these metals resistant to corrosion, easy to fabricate, lightweight, and non-magnetic. Non-ferrous metals also have excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, making them great for applications under extreme conditions. Some examples of non-ferrous metals are copper, aluminium, zinc, nickel, and tin. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are other types of non-ferrous metals that are being maximised by industries today.

Separating Metals During Recycling is Vital

While ferrous metals have been maximised in construction and assembly projects, they must still be separated from non-ferrous metals during recycling due to their differences in market value. Non-ferrous metals are known to have a higher price on the market compared to ferrous metals. And if they are not separated during the recycling process, their overall value might decrease significantly. Recycling centres will easily yield lower revenues if they will continuously combine both types of metals.

Keep in mind that recycling centres do not only separate ferrous and non-ferrous metals but must also break down all of them. Once ferrous and non-ferrous metals are separated, they have to further divide them based on various grades, specifications, and qualities to get the most out of their value.

Once they are sorted out, various types of metals have to go to different containers so they can be processed according to their accompanying qualities.

To know more about metal recycling processes, you can call us at Victorian Metal Traders.

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