Metals or alloys which do not contain significant amounts of iron / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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In metallurgy, non-ferrous metals are metals or alloys that do not contain iron (allotropes of iron, ferrite, and so on) in appreciable amounts.
Generally more costly than ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals are used because of desirable properties such as low weight (e.g. aluminium), higher conductivity (e.g. copper), non-magnetic properties or resistance to corrosion (e.g. zinc). Some non-ferrous materials are also used in the iron and steel industries. For example, bauxite is used as flux for blast furnaces, while others such as wolframite, pyrolusite, and chromite are used in making ferrous alloys.
Important non-ferrous metals include aluminium, copper, lead, tin, titanium, and zinc, and alloys such as brass. Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum and exotic or rare metals such as mercury, tungsten, beryllium, bismuth, cerium, cadmium, niobium, indium, gallium, germanium, lithium, selenium, tantalum, tellurium, vanadium, and zirconium are also non-ferrous. They are usually obtained through minerals such as sulfides, carbonates, and silicates. Non-ferrous metals are usually refined through electrolysis.