Within the metal world, there are a number of different terms to know that mean a whole host of things. Many of these terms are opposites of each other and refer to important metal properties or processes, and one such term is “ferrous” metal versus “non-ferrous” metal.
At Wasatch Steel, we can help you with all these kinds of definitions and terms when you employ our steel services. Let’s look at the world of ferrous compared to non-ferrous metals, where steel comes in, and some examples of each.
To perhaps oversimplify things a bit here, ferrous metals are those that contain iron while non-ferrous metals are those that don’t The true definition is a bit more specific and speaks to distinct chemical properties of individual metal types to figure out which applications they’re best for, but this is a simple way of thinking about it for general purposes.
Humans first discovered and began using non-ferrous metals in ancient times, and this discovery actually marked a major historical transition. Most historians mark the period where copper was discovered – around 5,000 BC – as the final days of the Stone Age and the early beginnings of the Copper Age, which would later be followed by the Bronze Age when bronze alloy was discovered. Ferrous metals, on the other hand, were discovered in about 1,200 BC through iron production – and again, this marked the start of the Iron Age.
Here are some of the common examples of ferrous metals, plus how they’re made:
For more on ferrous versus non-ferrous metals, or to learn about any of our steel services or buy our steel online, speak to the pros at Wasatch Steel today.