How to Tell the Difference Between Steel and Aluminum Scrap

Selling metal scrap can be a profitable endeavor for anyone willing to put forth the time and effort involved in this growing industry.However, there may be some issues when it comes to the identification of certain metals.Copper and bronze are fairly easy to tell apart, but other valuable recyclable metals such as aluminum and steel are not quite so simple to differentiate.Considering the large difference in sale price of these two types of scrap, knowing how to tell them apart is crucial to any buyer or seller who seeks to make a profit from recycling scrap.Here are a few ways to tell the difference:

While both metals are a similar color, they display different tints. Aluminum is a very light-colored metal and appears almost completely white when it is in the light.Steel, while still silver-like in color, is darker and duller than aluminum in general.However, steel can oftentimes be covered with a plating of different types of metal.Therefore it is unwise to determine this difference off of color differences alone.

Aluminum is exceptionally light and easy to lift, which is why it is so commonly used in everyday items which must be light.Steel is used in more heavy-duty appliances, and weighs much more than aluminum.

While many metals are magnetic, not all of them are. Steel and aluminum are a perfect example of this difference. When checking to see which kind of scrap you’ve been presented with, use a refrigerator magnet on the metal in question. If it sticks, it’s steel.If it does not, you most likely have aluminum on your hands.

All metals have a reaction to their atmosphere over time.The differences in these types of reactions can help to tell metal scraps apart from one another.Steel is a metal which develops rust over years of exposure to the elements, while aluminum simply oxidizes, losing much of its luster and becoming a dull sort of milky color.

Though this test is not the most common, the difference between aluminum and steel can also be recognized through the presence of sparks when each of the metals are submitted to a mechanical grinder.Steel sends off sparks while aluminum does not.This test is most commonly performed by mechanical specialists.

There are several methods with which to identify steel or aluminum, and all of them have their own benefits. Trying several different tests can help ensure anyone that they are buying or selling the correct product. Visit this website for more information on steel recycling in Santa Clara.


Iron Out Your Metal Meanings

Iron Out Your Metal Meanings

Those wishing to sell discarded metal must know what are the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling. Understand, any ferrous metal contains the chemical element   iron. Non-ferrous metal contains none. That said, when the question is asked in the scrap metal/recycling arena, there is more to be said.

1.  The Essential Differences—The ferrous group,iron, cast iron, wrought iron and steel solve many problems in building and manufacturing for their strength and durability. Non-ferrous metals have different properties and uses. Copper, for example, is a supreme heat and electrical conductor. Tungsten and titanium are hard and thermally stable, so suit high heat environments,

2.  Magnetic Differences—Put a sheet of paper over a magnet and pour on iron filings.Watch them snap into a pattern displaying the magnetic field. While other metals produce such fields, those of iron predominate in strength. Non-ferrous metals show no magnetism, so are inappropriate for a multitude of applications in which magnetism is central, like computer hard drives and speakers.

3.  Alloys—Metals can be combined to serve useful purposes. These combinations are known as “alloys.” For example, iron is combined with chromium to produce stainless steel that does not corrode. Aluminum alloys also do not rust, are lightweight, and so are ideal for aircraft parts.


For more information on scrap metal steel recycling in Santa Clara and the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals, visit this website.

No Flap About Scrap

No Flap About Scrap

Anyone in the scrap business understands how important it is to know what type of scrap metal lies in that impressive heap. It’s a matter of dollars and cents. Copper, brass, aluminum and stainless steel are valuable. Iron, cast iron and steel, not so much. Don’t get worried. Learn the different tools and tricks to identify different forms of scrap metals in that heap. Here are three useful tests.

1.       Magnetic test—Find a magnet, even that one from your refrigerator that reads, “Bless this mess.” Touch the magnet to the piece of scrap metal. If it sticks, the metal is iron or steel. Unless your amount is a thousand pounds or more, these metals are of little interest to recycling/scrap companies.


2.       Sight test—Most people are familiar with aluminum because they have handled common beverage cans. It is light and rustproof. Brass or bronze also have a familiar look seen in musical instruments and ornamental pieces. Yellow-colored, it is a copper alloy, so half as valuable as pure copper. You will find copper in electronic devices, cookware and wiring. The pink of pure copper degrades to brown or red through tarnish, then to oxidized green. Think: Statue of Liberty. Lead is extremely heavy. Confirm its identity by carving it with a pocketknife. Stainless steel is cast in a number of varieties, of which #315 is the most valuable.


3.      Spark test—This centuries-old trick requires a little work with a bench grinder or similar device. Choose a large piece of scrap metal to avoid melting and touch the grinder to its surface. The resulting sparks tell tales. Nickel gives off dark red ones, titanium, bright white, and iron, long yellow. Watch the sparks for forks and sprigs. The more you see, the higher the metal’s carbon percentage.

If you would like to learn more different tools and tricks to identify different forms of scrap metals, information about recycling or prices per pound, or appliance recycling in Santa Clara, visit this site.

Categorizing Your Appliances for Simple Recycling

Categorizing Your Appliances for Simple Recycling

Many people do not realize that recycling appliances is not only a good way to earn a little cash but also a requirement of law in most areas. Categorizing your appliances according to their metal content and their need to be stripped before being taken to the proper facility will help to ensure that your recycling experience goes as smoothly as possible.

1.       Full Metal Appliances

Some Appliances are almost entirely metal. Examples such as washers and dryers include such low amounts of plastic that many professional recyclers will accept them just as they are.

2.       Some Plastics Included

When lots of plastic has been included in the construction of the appliances, stripping the plastic can help save time and ensure a better scrap metal price. This is especially true for automotive radiators, but home radiators are usually ready to be taken directly to a scrap metal recycler.

3.       Contaminant Removal Necessary

In cases where contaminants such as freon are likely to leak and harm the environment or people and animals, proper removal of chemical containers and elements is necessary. Choosing a recycler equipped to handle that for you is one way to ensure that you perform your recycle duties legally and ethically.

Whether your goals are environmentally or personally influenced, recycling wherever and whenever possible is the right thing to do. If you are interested in appliance and radiator recycling in San Jose, please visit this website.