Metals: General Characteristics of Nonferrous Metal and alloys


• Metals used in manufacturing are usually in the form of alloys (two ore more elements, at least one of which is metallic). Metals are divided into two basic groups; ferrous and nonferrous.

• Ferrous metals: based on Iron (Fe) as the major alloying element. This group includes steel and cast iron

• Fe has limited commercial use, but when alloyed with carbon (C), Fe has more use and greater commercial value than any other metal.

• Fe when alloyed with C forms Steel or Cast Iron.

• Steel: Is an Iron-Carbon alloy containing 0.02 to 2.11 wt.% C.

• Most important category within the ferrous metals group, due to low cost and good mechanical and physical properties.

• Its composition contains other metals such as Mg, Cr, Ni, Mo, etc, to enhance the properties of the alloy.

• Used widely in construction, transportation and consumer products

• Cast iron: Iron-Carbon alloy containing 2 to 4 wt.% C.

• Used primarily in sand casting.

• Other elements such as Si (0.5 to 3 wt.%) is present in the alloy. Other elements are often added as well.

• Gray cast iron is the most common type of cast iron; its applications include blocks and heads for internal combustion engines, manholes covers, etc.

• Nonferrous metals: These include other metallic elements and their alloys.

• In almost all cases, the alloys are more important commercially than the pure metals.

• Some examples are Gold alloys, Titanium alloys, Copper alloys, etc

General Characteristics of Nonferrous Metal and alloys

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