Ferrous Metals, Non-ferrous Metals and Alloys

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Ferrous Metals

Mild Steel

  • Made from iron and carbon; 0.15-0.30%
  • Can't be heat treated
  • Easy to work
  • High tensile stregth, cheap

Carbon Steel

  • Made from iron and carbon; 0.70-1.40%
  • Harder than mild steel
  • Less malleable and ductile than mild steel
  • Properties can be improved by heat treating
  • More expensive than mild steel

Cast Iron

  • White-brittle and hard not easy to work
  • Grey-easily cast, corrosion resistant
  • Brittle
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Non-Ferrous Metals


  • Lightweight, but not as strong as steel
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Soft, malleable
  • Conductor
  • More expensive than mild steel


  • Soft, malleable,ductile
  • Very good electrical conductor
  • Very expensive
  • Corrosion resistant


  • Easily worked
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Becomes brittle after being worked
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Stainless Steel

  • An alloy of Steel, Chromium, and Nickel
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Hard, difficult to cut


  • An alloy of Aluminium, Copper and Manganese
  • Lightweight and very strong
  • Ductile, malleable and and easy to machine
  • Age hardens over time


  • Alloy of Copper and Zinc
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Casts and machines well
  • Easily soldered
  • A good conductor
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