How to Identify Scrap Metals

How to Identify Scrap Metals

One can use different methods to identify the scrap metals to prepare to start scrap recycling.

FREMONT, CA: Those who are new to the concept of scrap metal recycling have a difficult time finding out what the various scrap metals are. It’s helpful to find several types of scrap metal so that one can properly sort it and get the money possible when selling it to a scrap yard. While one does have the option of bringing all the scrap metal to the scrapyard in one heap, sometimes one can get more money if various metals are weighed separately.

Finding Scrap Metals with Magnet

One of the easiest places to begin when one requires identifying and sorting scrap metals is seeing how it responds to a magnet. If metal is attracted to the magnet, it will be ferrous, which means it has iron. If the magnet does not impact the metal, then it does not have iron and is non-ferrous. This test is a significant method to separate iron and other ferrous scrap metal from non-magnetic metals like aluminum and brass.

Various Colors

Many metals have distinctive colors that can help one figure out the metal’s identity just by looking at it. Copper-colored scrap metal will be either copper or red brass. If the metal has been cast, then it is likely red brass because copper is complex to cast. If there is copper scrap metal, one can get a lot of money for it at a scrapyard. Gold-colored metals are a type of brass. The gold is similar in color to brass but has a darker and yellow hue. Gold is rarer, so the gold-colored scrap metal is likely brass.


The presence or lack of oxidation can say a lot about a scrap metal’s chemical makeup. Iron scrap metal has distinctive red rust. Oxidation on copper and bronze has a greenish color. Chromium and stainless steel will not have oxidation. Oxidation can be an indicator of the type of scrap metal one is dealing with. However, one must also keep in mind the age and condition of the metal.

See Also:-Top Metal Recycling Companies