How to Identify Different Types of Scrap Metal

Selling scrap metal to a Calgary scrap metal recycling facility such as Federal Metals Inc. is a good way to make some extra cash. First, however, you need to be able to distinguish between some of the most common types of scrap metal. Knowing how to identify the different types of metals below can help you work more efficiently and get better scrap metal prices in Calgary.

- Copper 


Copper is one of the most valuable metals you can scrap. It is also highly identifiable due to its reddish appearance. When pure, copper is light red and almost pink in colour. When tarnished, it may appear more reddish-brown.

- Aluminum

Aluminum is a shiny, silver-grey metal used widely in a variety of industries, from packaging to automobile manufacturing. Aluminum does not rust, and it is also likely one of the lightest scrap metals that you will be working with.

- Brass

As an alloy of copper and zinc, brass can vary in colour from quite yellow to more yellow-brown. Another way to tell if you've got brass is to strike it and listen for a clear, ringing sound.

- Bronze

Bronze and brass are often mistaken for one another. Bronze tends to have the darker finish of the two, and does not have as much of a sheen as brass typically does. When struck, bronze should vibrate like a bell.

- Lead

Lead is a dull grey and very soft metal which can easily be carved into using a knife. Lead is also one of the heaviest metals you will likely be working with, and can usually be identified simply by its weight compared to other pieces of scrap.

- Iron

Iron is usually dull grey in colour, with any rust on its surface appearing reddish. One of the tell-tale signs that you've got iron is if a magnet will stick to it. As a ferrous metal, iron is worth less than the metals listed above. Nevertheless, because it can often be found in abundant supply, it can still be worth your time and effort to collect and scrap.

- Steel

As an alloy of iron, steel is also ferrous and also an abundant source of scrap metal. Magnets will stick to steel scrap metal, which tends to be silver in colour when polished and dark grey when unpolished.

- Stainless Steel

There are many different grades of stainless steel, some magnetic and some not, depending on the iron alloy. Stainless steel is typically silver and shiny, as it does not oxide. Stainless steel is sometimes mistaken for aluminum, which is also silver but usually duller than stainless steel.

Where to Sell Scrap Metal in Calgary

Once you've got your scrap metal identified and sorted, you can come sell it to the Calgary scrap metal recyclers and suppliers at Federal Metals Inc. Our SE Calgary recycling facility has been providing scrap metal recycling services for a variety of clients since 1950. Don't hesitate to visit Federal Metals Inc. for all of your Calgary copper and metal recycling needs.

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