Non-ferrous metals are any metals other than iron and alloys that don't contain a significant quantity of ferrous (iron). Non-ferrous metals can be crushed or hammered into thin sheets without breaking, which makes them very malleable and one of their defining characteristics. Iron is typically present in non-ferrous alloys in amounts less than 1% of the total weight. A metal is said to as ferrous if iron makes up a significant portion of it, for example, if it is the first or second most prevalent element in the metal's chemical nature.
Compared to ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals have a significant corrosion and rust resistance advantage due to their lack of iron. As a result, these materials are appropriate for highly corrosive situations, such as liquid, chemical, and sewage pipes.
Non-ferrous metals can be used in a wide range of electrical and electronic applications because they are non-magnetic as well. Non-ferrous metals like copper, zinc, aluminum, lead, nickel, cobalt, chromium, gold, silver and many more are frequently used in manufacturing.
Currently, the industry uses a variety of non-ferrous metals. Here are some common types:
Non-ferrous alloys like aluminum are quite popular. It is less strong than many sheets of steel and more ductile without the addition of alloying elements. However, aluminum may acquire extremely high strengths by adding alloying components and heat treatment or work hardening. Steel is heavier than aluminum. It creates a shield of protective oxide that aids in lowering the danger of damaging corrosion. Aluminum is frequently used in a variety of products, including cookware and aircraft, marine equipment like boat lifts and docks, and construction materials like beams and rails.
Another extremely popular non-ferrous alloy is copper. Color copper is a metal that lies midway between red and brown. It is similar to carbon steel in that it is less strong and more ductile when it is unalloyed. Copper may, however, be alloyed with a variety of elements, just like aluminum, to increase its mechanical qualities. Bronze is the result of alloying copper with tin. Brass is a copper alloy that contains a significant amount of zinc. Pure copper and its alloyed forms are frequently used in plumbing, tooling, and decorative work, as well as electrical components including wires, terminals, and other connector types; coating coins like the Canadian or US penny and pipe.
Zinc is a shiny, bluish-white metal. At room temperature, it is brittle and crystalline, but when heated to between 110 and 150 degrees, it becomes ductile and pliable. A substantial amount of metallic zinc is required to galvanize steel, although it is also required to create some alloys. Zinc is mostly utilized for galvanizing iron. Zinc is needed for the construction of buildings as well as to create the negative plates in some electric batteries.
Another well-liked non-ferrous alloy is nickel. The properties of nickel are resistance to corrosion, hardness, and performance in both high- and low-temperature situations. Similar to copper and aluminum, nickel is not frequently used in its pure form and is frequently alloyed with other elements to provide better chemical and mechanical qualities. Cryogenic equipment, such as tanks, hot-section aerospace equipment, such as combustion chamber components, and marine equipment are a few examples of common applications for nickel and nickel-based alloys.
One of the first metals utilized by mankind, lead has been around for a while. It is a poor conductor of electricity, extremely malleable, ductile, and dense. Lead has a high level of corrosion resistance. Since the Roman era, lead has been utilized to make corrosion-resistant paints and pipes. a key component of lead-acid batteries and is utilized in vehicle batteries.
Non-ferrous metals have a high corrosion resistance compared to ferrous metals. As a result, it lasts longer and can be applied in very corrosive environments. Other non-ferrous metals include tungsten, titanium, silver, gold, and platinum in addition to the ones already mentioned.