What Are Nonferrous Materials and How Are They Processed?

December 25, 2018  

Most metal recycling operations focus on the recycling and processing of ferrous materials. However, nonferrous materials are important too and are desired by parties in numerous different industries. At Scrap Metal Services, LLC, we manage both ferrous and nonferrous metal processing.

What Does Nonferrous Mean?

Nonferrous materials are those materials that do not contain iron – on the contrary, ferrous materials are materials that do contain iron. There is a long list of valuable nonferrous materials, including:

  • Aluminum;
  • Nickel;
  • Zinc;
  • Tin;
  • Copper;
  • Lead;
  • Brass; and
  • Titanium.

What’s more, the metals that we think of as “precious metals,” like gold and silver, are also nonferrous. There are also numerous rare metals, like cobalt, that are nonferrous in nature.

What Do We Use Nonferrous Materials for?

Nonferrous materials are used in the iron and steel industries, and for the manufacture of consumer goods and more. They are desirable because they are flexible and lightweight, and may contain other properties, such as resistance to corrosion. Because these materials do not contain iron, they are not magnetic. This can be desirable for certain manufacturing jobs and other projects.

How Are Nonferrous Materials Processed and Recycled?

The recycling of nonferrous materials is critical; recycling is an economically viable option for most materials (i.e. aluminum) and is also environmentally sound. The process of recycling nonferrous materials starts with sorting – different materials types must be properly sorted in order to be processed correctly. It is critical that any non-recyclable materials, like plastic, are removed. The second step of the process is baling, where the nonferrous materials are compacted into large blocks. This makes their transportation easier.

After sorting and baling, shearing, or cutting, of the nonferrous materials is the next step. This is done using high-grade machinery. From there, ferrous and nonferrous materials are further sorted and separated, typically using magnetic forces. Finally, nonferrous materials will be melted and shaped.

We’re a Trusted Metal Recycler Near You

At Scrap Metal Services, Inc., we have been in the metal recycling industry for more than a decade, and are a worldwide leader in scrap processing. We specialize in metal recovery and the processing of both ferrous and nonferrous materials and are ready to help your company meet its recycling goals today.

To learn more about the process of recycling nonferrous materials, please call us today at 708-730-1400 or send us a message using the intake form on our website.