Ferrous metal is any metal that contains iron, is magnetic and susceptible to rust.
Iron and steel in all forms are viewed as ferrous metals, for example mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron and wrought iron. Ferrous metals are durable and strong, specifically mild steel which is used in skyscrapers and bridges. Ferrous metals are also used in home construction, industrial containers, large-scale piping, cars and trucks, rails for railroad and transportation, household tools and hardware, as well as kitchen knives. Due to the carbon content in most ferrous metals, they are vulnerable to rust when exposed to the elements. Although this is not true of wrought iron, which is so pure that it resists oxidization, or stainless steel, which is protected because of its high chromium content, it’s a fair rule of thumb that if you see rust, it’s a ferrous metal.
Why Recycle Ferrous Metals?
Ferrous metals make up one of the most recycled materials in the world. The steel industry has been actively recycling for more than 150 years, mainly because it makes economic sense. Meaning, it is cheaper to recycle steel than to mine iron ore and manipulate it through the production process to form new steel. In addition, steel does not lose any of its inherent physical properties during the recycling process and has drastically reduced energy and material requirements compared with refinement from iron ore.
Examples of Ferrous Metals
Below are some examples of ferrous metals that we commonly see in our scrap metal yard.