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Non-ferrous metals and their uses These metals include every metal and alloy that does not contain iron. A shortlist of common non-ferrous metals will include:
Precious metals like silver
Copper and its alloys like bronze and brass
With such a wide range of materials in this grouping, many of the mechanical properties that recommend iron can be discovered in non-ferrous metals. For example, alloys of aluminum or titanium could be substituted for steel in many cases, if it were not cost-prohibitive to do so. Iron’s magnetic abilities could be emulated with nickel, cobalt, or rare earth elements alloyed with other metals.
However, because non-ferrous metals often cost more, they tend to be chosen for their unique attributes, rather than for the ways they can behave like steel. Lighter weights, conductivity, corrosion resistance, non-magnetic properties, tradition, or decorative value are some of the reasons to choose a non-ferrous metal. Some metals are prized exactly because they are rare: before widespread aluminum manufacturing was possible, aluminum was a luxury metal used in high-end tableware.
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