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What’s The Difference Between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metal?

At Action Metals Recyclers has been in business since 1994. Our extensive experience with recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metals has made our process move like clockwork.

However, for those who are on the hunt for scrap metals to sell to a recycling facility, the difference between the two types of metals may not be as obvious to you as it is to us.

Let’s take a closer look at what these different types of metals are and the different qualities that make one type stand apart from the other.

What Are Ferrous Metals?

Ferrous metals are primarily composed of iron. The word ‘ferrous’ comes from the Latin word ‘ferrum’ meaning iron. Some of the most common items that are made from ferrous metals are:

  • Ductwork
  • Rebar
  • Pallet racking
  • Household appliances (refrigerators, water heaters, washers/dryers)
  • Car motors, and more!

These metals make up a massive portion of the scrap metals recycled at our Dallas facility. Every year, more than 500 million tons of ferrous metals are recycled and repurposed for consumer use.

What Are Non-Ferrous Metals?

Non-ferrous metals do not contain any appreciable amounts of iron. Some of the most common non-ferrous metals that we accept at Action Metals Recyclers are:

What’s the Difference Between the Two Metals?

On the surface, all of these metals may seem like equal scraps, but upon closer inspection from a professional metal recycling company, the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals are actually quite vast.


One of the biggest differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals is their magnetic capabilities. Magnets will stick to ferrous metals like household appliances or pieces of iron scraps.

Non-ferrous metals like aluminum, brass, copper & lead do not create any magnetism.


Ferrous metals contain iron and non-ferrous metals do not. This means that in most instances, ferrous metals oxidate and will eventually rust over time.

Get Paid for Your Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals Today, With Action Metals Recyclers

Whether you have ferrous or non-ferrous metals in your possession, Action Metals Recyclers is ready to buy your collection off of you! Our Dallas scrap metal recycling facility offers the highest prices in the city and guarantees a safe customer experience with every transaction.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule your next pickup or drop-off at our recycling facility.