Here are some of the most commonly used non-ferrous metals today and the alloys they create:
Copper is a non-ferrous metal with many practical uses, which explains why it ranks as the third most widely consumed metal in the world. It earned this prestigious place because of its useful qualities. As a non-ferrous metal, copper takes longer than other metals to corrode. Also, it is more plentiful than other non-ferrous materials, so manufacturers and construction companies can use it more often than rarer non-ferrous metals.
In addition, copper is often mixed with other materials to create useful metal alloys such as brass, which is composed of copper and zinc, and bronze, which consists of copper and tin. Copper is helpful in construction projects, vehicles such as cars and airplanes, and plumbing pipes.
Aluminum is an important metal in engineering. It is also helpful in applications such as cans, airplanes, windows, and more. It is lightweight and less dense than most ferrous metals and alloys, so it is easier for manufacturers to craft it into parts. It has other valuable benefits, as well. For instance, NASA used aluminum foil to protect the Voyager spacecraft from radiation damage.
At Warner Brothers Foundry Company, we can use aluminum alloys for a variety of purposes, such as:
- Gear housings
- Hydraulic fittings
- Automobile transmission cases
- Electrical boxes
Zinc is beneficial when used to coat materials such as steel for galvanization purposes and when mixed with other substances to create alloys. For example, a mixture of zinc, lead, and tin results in solder, which is helpful for joining metal parts.
Another helpful alloy is a mixture of zinc and aluminum. This mixture can be used in sand and permanent mold casting operations and competes with standard bronze, cast iron, and aluminum molds. Zinc-Aluminum alloys are also useful for bearings.