Types of Non Ferrous Metals
Aluminum – Aluminum is produced from bauxite, which is a clay like ore that is rich in aluminum based compounds. The aluminum is only found as a compound called alumina, which is a hard material consisting of aluminum combined with oxygen. After further processing the alumina is dissolved into a molten salt at a reduction plant where powerful electric currents is run through the liquid to separate the aluminum from the oxygen. This process consumes large quantities of energy, which make Aluminum scrap recycling so vital.
Copper - In pure form, copper is drawn into wires or cables for power transmission, building wiring, motor and transformer wiring, wiring in commercial and consumer electronics and equipment; telecommunication cables; electronic circuitry; plumbing, heating and air conditioning tubing; roofing, flashing and other construction applications; electroplated coatings and undercoats for nickel, chrome, zinc, etc.; and miscellaneous applications. As an alloy with tin, zinc, lead, etc. (brass and bronze), it is used in extruded, rolled or cast forms in plumbing fixtures, commercial tubing, electrical contacts, automotive and machine parts, decorative hardware, coinage, ammunition, and miscellaneous consumer and commercial uses. Copper is an essential micronutrient used in animal feeds and fertilizers The amount of copper believed to be accessible for mining on the Earth’s land is 1.6 billion tons. In addition, it is estimated that 0.7 billion tons of copper is available in deep-sea nodules. Mineral-rich nodules of magnesium, copper and other metals are known to form as a product of deep-sea volcanic activity. Retrieving these nodules from the sea floor is as yet too expensive to allow this to be a major source of copper. Of the copper ore mined in the United States, the majority is produced in three western states: Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Other major copper producing nations include Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Mexico, Russia, Peru, and Indonesia. Recycled copper, predominantly from scrap metal, supplies approximately one-third of the United States’ annual copper needs.
Types of Ferrous Metals
Steel – Steel, also mined from an ore, consist of tremendous amounts of iron ore, however it is usually combined with oxygen, carbon, or sometimes even sulphur. There is currently eleven million metric tons of Steel exported from the United States yearly. Recovery of Steel when sent for processing ranges from 70 – 80%.
Iron -Iron is a metal extracted mainly from the iron ore hematite. It oxidizes.readily in air and water to form Fe2O3 and is rarely found as a free element. In order to obtain elemental iron, oxygen and other impurities must be removed by chemical reduction. The properties of iron can be modified by alloying it with various other metals and some non-metals, notably carbon and silicon to form steels Nuclei of iron have some of the highest binding energies per nucleon, surpassed only by the nickel isotope. The universally most abundant of the highly stable nuclides is, iron. This is formed by nuclear fusion in stars. Although a further tiny energy gain could be extracted by synthesizing nickel, conditions in stars are unsuitable for this process to be favored, and iron abundance on Earth greatly favors iron over nickel, and also presumably in supernova element production. Iron is a necessary element used by almost all living organisms. The only exceptions are several organisms that live in iron-poor environments and have evolved to use different elements in their metabolic processes, such as manganese instead of iron for catalysis, instead of hemoglobin. Iron-containing enzymes, usually containing heme prosthetic groups, participate in catalysis of oxidation reactions in biology, and in transport of a number of soluble gases