Non-ferrous metals are what? Classification and their properties

All existing metals are divided into black and non-ferrous. The first category is iron and alloys based on it. In the modern world, non-ferrous metals are the most valuable material used in production. Due to their advantages, they are widely used in those industries where a high degree of resistance to aggressive environmental conditions is extremely important.

non-ferrous metals it


Non-ferrous metals are substances that do not contain iron. Used, as a rule, in the form of alloys. Due to their properties, they are very popular in leading industries: engineering, rocket, aviation, medical, electronic, instrument-making, etc.

Non-ferrous metals are often different types of rolled products intended for the subsequent manufacture of products. Contrary to their name, they do not always have bright colors and radiant shine.However, all non-ferrous metals are valuable material.

There is no clear classification, most often they are conditionally divided into the following groups:

  • heavy;
  • lungs;
  • small;
  • alloying;
  • noble;
  • rare

Each group contains many names of substances that have a different value. For example, in a receiving station for non-ferrous metal, a kilogram of copper scrap is bought on average for 300 rubles, and silver - 7-30 thousand rubles (depending on its category).

reception of non-ferrous metals

Extraction and processing

Getting valuable substances is a time consuming and cost-effective process. Their content in the crust is insignificant and in its pure form, they are extremely rare.

After mining, the ore is sent to the non-ferrous metal plant for processing. Despite the complexity of the enrichment processes and the subsequent manufacture of blanks, for a number of properties, all types of non-ferrous materials have no analogues, which explains their popularity.

The method of processing non-ferrous metals depends on the substance of which they consist. The main technologies include:

  • pressing;
  • punching;
  • rolling;
  • drawing;
  • forging.

non-ferrous metal item


Non-ferrous metals are substances with valuable benefits:

  • high degree of thermal conductivity;
  • small density;
  • low melting point;
  • corrosion resistance.

Depending on the type of alloy, the values ​​of the indicators differ, however, these properties are very important in the production processes of leading industries.

Heavy non-ferrous metals

This group includes:

  • copper,
  • lead,
  • zinc,
  • nickel,
  • tin.

Copper- it is a golden pink metal with a high plasticity index. Its main property is electrical conductivity, due to which it is used mainly in instrument making and radio electronics. In addition, copper has excellent corrosion resistance and is easy to process. In combination with zinc forms brass, with other elements - bronze.

Lead- This is a toxic gray metal. Despite its property, it is extremely in demand in the automotive, arms and medical industries. Lead has a low melting point (327 ° C), it is malleable and easily rolled into the thinnest sheets. Its compounds are added to the fuel to improve the quality characteristics of the latter, but at the same time during the operation of transport, the exhaust gases substantially pollute the environment.

Zincin its pure form, it is a blue-white metal. When interacting with air, its surface tarnishes due to the appearance of an oxide film. In terms of use in leading industries, zinc ranks 4th.

Nickel- metal of silver-white color. Plastic, due to which the processing process is simplified. It is a ferromagnet. Often, nickel is used in the form of alloys with steel, iron, chromium, gold, silver, magnesium, etc. In its pure form, it serves as a material for the manufacture of pipes, sheets, spirals, etc.

Tin- metal of white or gray color, darkening upon transition to powder state. It has a low melting point (232 ° C) and good ductility even when cold. In conjunction with bismuth and cadmium, tin is used to produce reliable fasteners.

collection point for non-ferrous metal

Light non-ferrous metals

Examples of substances belonging to this group:

  • aluminum,
  • magnesium,
  • titanium.

Aluminum- a leader in mining and production worldwide. It has high electrical conductivity, decreasing due to the addition of various impurities. It is difficult to weld, but is easily processed in other ways.Aluminum alloys are widely used in the aviation, rocket, engineering, chemical industries. Characteristics of the material in combination with low cost make it one of the most popular. For example, in a receiving station for non-ferrous metals, a kilogram of aluminum is bought for 35 - 90 rubles.

Magnesium- silver-white substance. Oxide metal film is quite resistant to aggressive environmental influences, its destruction occurs when heated to 600 ° C. At the same temperature, magnesium is also burned at a staggering rate. It is mainly used in the military industry and in the manufacture of pyrotechnic products. In the form of alloys - in the automotive industry and aviation.

Titanium- a highly refractory substance with high strength and resistance to deformation. Its feature is a paramagnetic property. In its pure form is used for the manufacture of various blanks, in the form of alloys - for the production of parts and mechanisms of increased strength and wear resistance.

ferrous and non-ferrous metals

Small non-ferrous metals

These include:

  • antimony,
  • mercury,
  • cadmium.

Antimony- a silvery-white metal with a bluish tint.Extremely fragile substance, which can be crushed even with fingers. It is used in the form of alloys, significantly increasing the hardness of the metal connected to it. In addition to industrial applications, antimony is also popular in the medical industry - it is effective for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the mucous membrane of the eyes.

Mercury- metal having a liquid state of aggregation. For many years it has been used in the medical industry (in thermometers) and advanced technologies (in position sensors, ion engines).

Cadmium- substance of white color with bright metallic luster. Along with increased hardness, it is easily cut with a knife. Its properties are close to mercury and zinc. Purely poisonous to any living thing.

Alloy non-ferrous metals

Examples of substances of this group are:

  • tungsten,
  • molybdenum,
  • vanadium,
  • cobalt.

Tungsten- a silver-white metal that looks like platinum. It is one of the most refractory and dense substances. Used in the manufacture of cutting tools (including medical), ammunition, jewelry, aircraft parts and rockets.

Molybdenum- soft substance of silver color, not found in nature in its pure form. In terms of strength, it is slightly inferior to tungsten, but is easier to process. The main application is in the aviation and rocket industries.

Vanadium- silvery-white metal, characterized by high plasticity. It is rarely used in its pure form, its main purpose is to increase the corrosion resistance and improve the mechanical properties of steel used in the automotive industry.

Cobalt- substance of silvery color with a yellowish or bluish tinge. Alloys based on it are used for the production of tools, parts of medical equipment.

non-ferrous metal plant

Precious non-ferrous metals

These include:

  • gold,
  • silver,
  • platinum.

Gold- chemically resistant metal. The oxidation process does not start even when it is molten. Only a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids ("aqua regia") is capable of dissolving metal. Possesses high friable indicators, well gives in to processing. Gold is highly valued on the exchange of non-ferrous metals - the price for 1 gram is 2450 rubles.

Silver- malleable and ductile metal.It has very high rates of heat and electrical conductivity. Despite its plasticity, it is very refractory. Does not oxidize when exposed to oxygen.

Platinum- among jewelers valued above all else, used in its pure form. It has excellent anti-corrosion properties and high resistance to any chemical reagents and deformations. In the collection point for non-ferrous metals, 1 gram of platinum scrap is bought for 1600 rubles.

Rare non-ferrous metals

Examples of substances in this group:

  • niobium,
  • tantalum.

Niobium- gray metal with bright steel shine. It has paramagnetic properties, has a very high refractoriness index. It is widely used in the aviation industry and radio engineering.

Tantalum- substance of silver color, having high hardness and density. Despite this, it is easy to process. It is used in metallurgical, chemical and nuclear industries.

exchange of non-ferrous metals


Both black and non-ferrous metals are a highly demanded material. They are widely used in most industries: machine-building, aviation, rocket, nuclear, military, construction, medical, metallurgical, jewelry, instrument-making, electrical, chemical, etc.However, non-ferrous metals are valued higher because of their properties.

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