Identifying the Different Types of Scrap Metal

There are numerous different types of scrap metal, so when you are thinking of selling your own, you may find yourself wondering exactly what metal you are dealing with. The type of metal you bring in for metal recycling in Calgary will determine how much money you will receive in exchange. Also, if you are making collecting scrap metal a hobby, it is imperative you know the type of materials you are dealing with and which ones are considered valuable.


Tips for Identification of Metals

Non-ferrous metals are typically more valuable than ferrous metals; making it even more important to know the difference between the two. The easiest way to separate ferrous from non-ferrous is with a magnet. Ferrous metals are iron and iron-based steel; therefore, they are magnetic. Non-ferrous metals, such as copper and brass, are not magnetic. After you have categorized your scraps, you still need to properly identify the types of metal in those categories. You can do so by sight:


  • Aluminum - This is one of the easiest non-ferrous metals to identify. It is what you see in soda cans and the metal itself is very lightweight and rust-resistant.
  • Brass and Bronze - This is typically found in decorative pieces, pipes, and musical instruments. It features a yellow-like colour. It is a copper alloy.
  • Copper - Copper is one of the most valuable non-ferrous metals. You can find it in electronics, wiring and cookware. Pure copper will look pink, while tarnished copper has a brown to reddish hue. If oxidised, the copper will turn green.
  • Lead - This is a very toxic, heavy metal. It is rarely found in consumer products today, but is still used to make bullets and certain pieces of medical equipment.
  • Stainless Steel - Stainless steel metal comes in several grades, ranging from #200 to #400. Certain varieties of stainless steel can be non-magnetic, such as #200, which is an iron alloy with nickel, manganese and chromium present.


If you are unsure what type of scrap metal you are dealing with, bring it to trained metal recyclers in Calgary. The professionals at Federal Metals, Inc. can quickly identify the type of scrap you have and even classify that scrap material for you.


Federal Metals, Inc. buys and sells scrap metal in Calgary. From non-ferrous to ferrous materials and electronics, bring in your scrap today and see how much it is worth. Learn more about metal recycling. Give us a call at 403-236-0402 or contact us online.

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