How to Identify the Various Types of Scrap Metal by Yourself

Did you know that you can turn all that metal junk at home into some money? Scrap metal represents a minor piece of metal that has been left behind or discarded. Such a piece can be reprocessed into more useful products through recycling. After building or renovating a house, you may be left with some metal you no longer require. In order to identify the suitability of metal for scrapping, here is a useful guide.

  1. The Use of Sight – Most of the time, we use our eyes to identify what is around us. Similarly, our eyes can be used to determine the various types of metal and whether they are ferrous or nonferrous. Nonferrous metals are more valuable than ferrous due to their physical properties. The more you work with the scrap metal, the easier it will be to identify the different types. For example, Aluminum is quite easy to spot. It is regularly used in the manufacture of soda cans and has some pretty unique characteristics. It also does not rust when subjected to moisture. On the other hand, bronze or brass can be identified in musical instruments, pipe valves, manifolds as well as decorative pieces. The metal has a deep yellow colour and is valued to about 50% copper since it is an alloy. Copper can also be easily spotted. It is mostly used in cookware, wiring as well as electronics. The most commonly used copper is tarnished copper which is either brown or red.
  2. Using Sparks – Another method to identify the various types of scrap metal is through the use of sparks. This has been used throughout history making it a sure and trusted way. To efficiently perform this, you will require a grinder to offer control during the process. It is also essential to ensure that the piece being tested is big enough to avoid melting. Each type of metal has its very own identifier markers. For instance, when examining nickel, the sparks produced will either be very dark or red. On the other hand, white sparks can be a clear indication of titanium. When it comes to long yellow sparks, then the metal being tested might be wrought iron. Another spark identifier used to tell the nature of scrap metal is the forks and sprigs. The more forks and sprigs present on a spark, then the higher the carbon concentration on the metal.