AIS AIS Forensic Testing Laboratory, Inc.    Metallurgical Testing
Introduction to Metallurgy...a Metallurgical Tutorial

Welding - Carbon Steels - Stainless Steels - Cast Iron - Super Alloys - Steel - Heat Treating - Corrosion - Galvanic corrosion - Ceramics - Refractories

Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals are any metal that lacks iron.  These including the nonferrous metals:

  • CopperCopper
  • Aluminum
  • Magnesium
  • Monel
  • Nickel
  • Zinc
  • Inconel
  • Lead
  • Tin
  • Tantalum
  • Titanium

These are the most common nonferrous metals. There are other more precious nonferrous metals like gold, silver, and platinum.

Nonferrous metals are chosen chiefly, other than ordination, for corrosion resistance, electrical properties, thermal properties, and strength elasticity (young modulus). Of all these properties corrosion resistance is the most relative issue. The most important factor is cost when compared to ferrous materials.

  • Copper - Electrical, Thermal, and Corrosion Resistance
  • Aluminum - Strength, Electrical, Thermal, & Corrosion Resistance
  • Magnesium - Strength and Corrosion (poor) Properties
  • Monel - Part of the Ni family with Cu and a small amount of iron good for high temperatures
  • Nickel - Corrosion Resistance
  • ZincZinc - Corrosion Resistance and Corrosion Properties
  • Inconel - Like Monel except Cr (Chromium) is substituted for Cu; has high impact resistance and resistive to oxidation
  • Lead - High corrosion resistance and excellent shielding against high frequency rays (x-ray and gamma)
  • Tin - Has the most wide usage of all the non-ferrous metals
  • Tantalum - Surgical, Tooling, Hardness, Wear Resistances and Strength
  • Titanium - Corrosion Resistance, Thermal Properties and Strength
  • Chromium - Corrosion Resistance, Used in Super Alloying, and high Temperature Applications


These metals when compared to plain carbon steel have comparable features such as:

Volume verse Strength: plain carbon steel generally stronger

Weight verse Strength: plain carbon steel generally stronger except Al and Mg

Non-ferrous metals are used when the cost verses benefit is better than plain carbon steels. However, in many cases the non-ferrous metal is the only solution.


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