What are non-ferrous metals?

  • Aluminum – an alloy of copper, manganese and aluminum. Very lightweight and pliable. Used in window frames, gutters, roof flashing, and aircraft parts.
  • Copper – A naturally occurring element. Copper has the best electrical conductivity of all other elements after silver. Also a thermal conductor. Used for wiring, tubing, and plumbing. Also commonly alloyed with other metals such as zinc, lead and tin to produce items such as water valves.
  • Brass – A combination of copper and zinc. Commonly used for ornamental purposes such as door knobs and within electrical fittings.
  • Silver – Another naturally occurring element, but mixing with copper creates sterling silver. Used for jewelry and within electrical fittings.
  • Lead – A naturally occurring element commonly used in battery plates that function as electrodes. Also used as protection against X-rays.
  • Tin – one of the most expensive non-ferrous metals, making recycling tin very important. Used to coat steel cans, manufacture springs, glass coating and in car parts.