Properties of non-Ferrous metals

Defining Non-Ferrous Metals

When doing any sort of research into welding different metals, there are an abundance of words used to explain the properties of the different metals and alloys. Knowing what is being explained, will make choosing the right metal for your project that much easier and help choosing the correct method of welding or repairing.

Terms given for metal properties:

Malleability - the ease with which it can be hammered and pressed into shape
Ductility - can be drawn into fine wire
Elasticity - regains its shape after being deformed
Hardness - the amount of resistance to scratching or cutting
Brittleness - extremely hard and therefore breaks easily
Conductivity - the ability to conduct heat or electricity

Aluminium and its Alloys
ᄋ Composition: 100% aluminium is an element
ᄋ Appearance: Blue-white or light grey in colour
ᄋ Properties: Malleable, ductile, lightweight, and a good conductor. It casts well but is difficult to solder and weld because oxides form rapidly upon its surface

ᄋ Composition: 100% copper is an element
ᄋ Appearance: Reddish brown in colour
ᄋ Properties: Extremely ductile and malleable when either hot or cold. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity and solders easily.

ᄋ Composition: An alloy of copper and zinc. They are mixed in various quantities but one popular form contains 60% copper and 40% zinc
ᄋ Appearance: Yellow in colour
ᄋ Properties: Solders easily and polishes well

ᄋ Composition: 100% zinc is an element
ᄋ Appearance: Blue-white in colour
ᄋ Properties: Resistant to atmospheric corrosion

ᄋ Composition: 100% lead is an element
ᄋ Appearance: Grey in colour
ᄋ Properties: Very soft and very heavy. Resists corrosion by water and acid