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ME 2253

Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

ME 2253 1
Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals
• Objectives
– List various ingredients of cast iron, steels, and stainless steels
– Recognize and use the nomenclature associated with steels
– Recognize the major regions and ranges of the iron-carbon phase diagram
– List the major shapes in which ferrous metal products are available
– List and describe the various alloying elements in ferrous metals and the
purposes of each
– Describe the major alloys, uses, and properties
• copper, brass, bronze,
• magnesium, chromium, titanium,
• lead, tin zinc, gold, and platinum
– Explain the major alloys, uses, and properties
• aluminum and nickel
– Describe the uses and properties of major refractory metals

• Steel was used as long ago as 2000 B.C. when charcoal was
packed with iron bars and heated to 1000°C.
• Steel is not an element, but an iron-carbon alloy that contains
less than 2% carbon.
• Cast iron contains between 2% and 4% carbon.
• Wrought iron is almost pure iron that includes silicate slag.
• The cementation process allowed the carbon in the charcoal to
diffuse into the iron to produce steel in steel bars.
• The crucible process improved the quality by steel bars from
cementation were melted together in a large pot and poured
into bars thus yielding a more uniform-quality steel

Production of Iron
• Pure iron is used in limited amounts as iron ingot or iron
• Steels of iron and alloying elements, i.e., carbon, silicon,
nickel, chromium, and manganese, are widely used.
• Plain carbon steel (contains less than 1% of alloying element)
– carbon, silicon, manganese
• Low-alloy steel contains alloying elements that alter the
– nickel, chromium, molybdenum
• High-alloy steel contains more than 5% of alloying
Carbon Content in Steels
• Carbon is the most important alloying element in steel.
• Most steels contain less than 1% carbon.
• Plain carbon steel- carbon is the only significant alloying
• Mild steel, or low carbon steel, are produced in the greatest
quantity because it is cheap, soft, ductile, and readily
welded. Caution: it can not be heat-treated
• Mild steels are used for car bodies, appliances, bridges,
tanks, and pipe.
Name Carbon Content Examples
Low carbon (mild) 0.05% - 0.32% Sheet, structural
Medium carbon 0.35% - 0.55% Machinery
High carbon 0.60% - 1.50% Machine tools
Cast iron >2.00% Castings
Carbon Content in Steels
• Medium carbon steel - used for reinforcing bars in
concrete, farm implements, tool gears and shafts, as well
as uses in the automobile and aircraft industries.
• High carbon steels - used for knives, files, machine
tooling, hammers, chisels, axes, etc.
• A small increase in carbon has significant impact on
properties of the steel. As Carbon increases the steel:
– becomes more expensive to produce
– becomes less ductile, i.e., more brittle
– becomes harder
– becomes less machinable
– becomes easier to harden and harder to weld
– has higher tensile strength
– has a lower melting point 6
Cold Working in Steels
• Cold working is used to enhance the properties of steel
– Reducing thickness by 4% raises the tensile strength by 50%
– Cold working is plastic deformation at room temperature.
– Cold working produces dislocations in the metal’s structure which
block dislocations as they slide along the slip planes
– Products
• Cold-rolled sheet steel
• Cold drawn tubing
– Drawbacks
• higher leads are required to size the material as the yield strength increases
• work-hardening occurs wherein the material becomes harder
• heat treating can reduce the drawbacks

Other Elements in Steels
• Alloying elements are added to nullify undesirable elements
– Carbon
– Manganese
• increases strength, malleability, hardenability, and hardness
• Sulfur reacts with the Mn which reduces the hot short effect of the iron
sulfide accumulating at the grain boundaries and reducing strength at Temp
– Aluminum-
• reacts with Oxygen versus iron (no sparks). Killed steel
• promotes smaller grain size which adds toughness
– Silicon- reduces Oxygen negative effects
– Boron- increases the hardenability of steel (only with Al added)
– Copper- increases corrosion resistance
– Chromium- increases corrosion resistance and hardenability
– Nickel, Niobium, titanium, tungsten carbide, vanadium
• increase toughness and strength and impact resistance
Nomenclature in Steels
• SAE and AISI developed method of cataloging steel based on
– carbon content- % carbon with implied decimal
– alloying elements
– AISI 8620 steel is the same as SAE 8620 steel
• Steels are usually 4 digit designations
– 1018 steel = 10 is plain carbon steel; 18 represents 0.18% carbon
– 4030 steel = 40 is molybdenum steel of .15% to 0.30% Molybdenum and
0.30% carbon
– 2 - - - = nickel steel with % nickel, 22-- is nickel with 2% nickel
– 10100 = five digits indicated 1% carbon more
– B in the middle of the number, 81B40 indicates min of 0.0005% boron
• Various common steels
– 1010: Steel tuning; 1040: Connecting rods for automobiles
– 4140: Sockets and socket wrenches;52100: Ball and roller bearings
– 8620: Shafts, gears, and machinery parts. 9

Tool Steels
Tool steels are special types of steel produced to make
tooling to cut or shape other materials
– Produced by electric furnace
– Typically, hardened and vary from high carbon to high alloy
– Have high wear and heat resistance, high strength, good hardenability
– Alloying elements include Chromium (Cr), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu),
Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mb), Nickel (Ni), Silicon (Si), Tungsten
(W), and Vanadium (V)
• Tool Steel Classification
– A: Air- Hardening, medium-alloy steel
– H: Hot working steels. Forging equipment.
– M: High speed steels, containing molybdenum. Lathe tools, drills
– O: Oil-hardening, low alloy steels
– S: Shock-resisting, medium-carbon, low-alloy steels. Hammers.
– T: High-speed steels containing tungsten.
» Contain 0.75%C, 18%W, 4%Cr, 1%V
– W: Water-hardening, high-carbon steels. W-1 plain carbon with 1%C10
Cast Iron
• Other ferrous metals include
– cast iron (gray-3.5% carbon and >1% silicone and white- 2.5 - 3.5%
carbon and 0.5 - 1.5% silicon. )
– ductile cast iron
– malleable cast iron
– wrought iron
• Steel with >2% iron is cast iron because of the lack of ductility.
• Carbon in form of graphite (gray) or iron carbide (white)
• Grey cast iron has no ductility and will crack if heated or
cooled too quickly.
– Grey cast iron has good compression strength, machinability, vibration
damping characteristics
– Grey used for furnace doors, machine bases, and crackshafts
• White cast iron has good wear resistance and is used in rolling
and crunching equipment 11
Cast Iron
• Nodular or ductile cast iron is possible with the additions of
calcium, cerium, lithium, manganese, or sodium in 0.05%
• Causes nodules (small balls or spheres instead of flat plates) or
spherulites to form if metal is allowed to cool slowly.
• This removes stress risers in ordinary cast iron.
• Ductile cast iron contains 4% Carbon and 2.5% Silicon
• Ductile iron is used for engine blocks, machine parts, etc.
• Maleable cast irons are heat treated versions of white cast iron.
– Cast iron with 2 to 3% Carbon is heated to 1750F, where iron carbide or
cementite is allowed to form spherulites. Similar to ductile cast iron
– Pearlitic malleable iron- heated to 1770F and quenched cooled
– Ferritic malleable iron- heated to 1770F and air cooled
– Special heat treated process gives malleable cast irons with min
elongation of 10% to 20%
Stainless Steel
• Definition and Applications
– Alloys that posses unusual resistance to attack by
corrosive media
– Applications include aircraft, railway cars, trucks, trailers,...
• AISI developed a 3digit numbering system for stainless steels
– 200 series: Austenitic- Iron-Cr-Ni-Mn
• Hardenable only by cold working and nonmagnetic
– 300 series: Austenitic- Iron-Cr-Ni
• Hardenable only by cold working and nonmagnetic
• General purpose alloy is type 304 (S30400)
– 400 series:
• Ferritic- Iron-Cr alloy are not hardenable by heat treatment or cold working
– Type 430 (S43000) is a general purpose alloy
• Martensitic- Iron-Cr alloys are hardenable by heat treatment and magnetic
– Type 410 (S41000) is a general purpose alloy
Stainless Steel
• Corrosion of steels can be slowed with addition of Cr and Ni.
• Stainless steels have chromium (up to 12%) and Ni (optional)
– ferritic stainless: 12% to 25% Cr and 0.1% to 0.35% Carbon
• ferritic up to melting temp and thus can not form the hard martensitic steel.
• can be strengthened by work hardening
• very formable makes it good for jewelry, decorations, utensils, trim
– austenitic stainless: 16% to 26% Cr, 6% to 23% Ni, <0.15% Carbon
• nonmagnetic and low strength % to 25% Cr and 0.1% to 0.35% Carbon
• machinable and weldable, but not heat-treatable
• used for chemical processing equipment, food utensils, architectural items
– martensitic stainless: 6% to 18% Cr, up to 2% Ni, and 0.1% to 1.5% C
• hardened by rapid cooling (quenching) from austenitic range.
• Corrosion resistance, low machinability/weldability used for knives, cutlery.
– Marging (high strength) steels: 18% to 25% Ni, 7% Co, with others
• heated and air cooled cycle with cold rolled
• Machinable used for large structures, e.g., buildings, bridges, aircraft 14
Stainless Steel
• AISI developed a 3 digit numbering system for stainless steels
– 200 and 300 series: Austenitic
– 400 series: Ferritic and martensitic


Ferrous metals rust because the iron reacts with oxygen to form iron oxide or
rust. Process is corrosion
• Corrosion occurs as well when metal is in contact with water and metal ions
dissolved in water.
• Galvanic corrosion: electrochemical process which erodes the anode.
• Metals in galvanic series: the further apart the worse the corrosion
– Magnesium- most positive or anodic. Gives up electrons easily and corrodes
– Aluminum
– Zinc
– Iron
– Steel
– Cast Iron
– Lead Brass
– Copper
– Bronze
– Nickel
– Stainless steel
– Silver
– Graphite
• Nonferrous metals are those that do not contain iron
• Many nonferrous metals are used in modern products
– Radioactive metals
• uranium, thorium, plutonium as nuclear fuels.
• zirconium is an alloying element and as a nuclear fuel.
– Light metals
• aluminum, beryllium, titanium as structural metals
• calcium, lithium, magnesium, potassium, are used to extract metals from their
ores because they are too chemically reactive and too soft
• sodium and potassium are used in nuclear field as coolants
– Heavy metals
• Nickel and lead are used in many versatile applications
• Copper is used for electrical and thermal applications
• Cadmium, tin, and zinc are used in electrical applications and bearings
• Cobalt and manganese are used as alloying elements for ferrous and non ferrous
• Silver is used as a decorative and as a brazing alloy
• Gold, silver, and platinum are used for electrical contacts and jewelry
– Refractory metals (melt point > 3600F)
• Columbium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, and zirconium for high T, strength, hardness

• Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust
– third to oxygen and silicon
– 8% of any clay is alumina, pure aluminum oxide (Al2O3).
– Extraction costs are lower for bauxite ore (Al2O3*3H20), hydrated aluminum ore.
• Aluminum History
– Aluminum discovered in 1825 by Hans Oested
– Extraction process used reaction with sodium metal was very expensive.
– Costs were $500 per pound. Royalty uses.
– Charles Hall(1886) produced aluminum using electrolysis.
– Hall Method involves the electrolysis of a molten solution of alumina in
cryolite or sodium aluminum fluoride at temperatures around 1745 F.
– Once in solution the Al separates by electrolysis.
– Hall founded the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA)
– Bauxite first found near French town of Le Baux
– Cost is as low as $0.15 per pound. Automotive is $1.50 per pound
Aluminum Properties
• Properties
– Corrosion resistant,
– Lightweight
– Conductivity of 60% that of copper. Per pound conductivity is 2 x Cu
– Low strength can be improved with alloys
– FCC structure enables Al to be ductile and easily shaped.
– Attracts oxygen since it is chemically active.
– Aluminum oxide is dull-gray and it sticks to the aluminum providing a
– Anodizing of aluminum
• Anode of aluminum is placed in an electroplating cell with oxalic, sulfuric, or
chromatic acid as the plating solution or electrolyte.
• Current is applied to the solution causing the anode to be plated with a hard,
wear resistance surface.
• Anodized coatings give the aluminum better appearance and may be colorized
Wrought Aluminum Numbering System
• Wrought Numbering System
– Aluminum Association developed system for cast and wrought Al
– Wrought aluminum- 4 digit system, e.g. 2011
• first digit represents alloying elements in the alloy
• second digit represents alloy modifications or degree of control of impurities
• third digit represents arbitrary numbers that indicate a specific alloy or indicate the purity
of the alloy over 90%
• fourth digit represents same as third digit
Number Major Alloying Element
1---- None

2---- Copper

3---- Manganese

4---- Silicon

5---- Magnesium

6---- Magnesium and Silicon

7---- Zinc

8---- Other

9---- Unused
Wrought Aluminum Numbering System
• Common aluminum alloys
– Silicon alloys used for castings
– Copper alloys used for machining
– Magnesium alloys used for welding
– Pure aluminum used for forming
– Magnesium and silicon alloys used for extrusion
– Copper alloys used for strength
• Examples
– 2011 with 5% to 6% copper is a free machining alloy
– 2024 contains between 3.8% and 4.9% copper with 1.5% magnesium. This alloy is
heat treatable aluminum alloy that is commonly used for aircraft parts.
– 3003 has 1% to 1.5% manganese which provides additional strength
– 4043 contains 4.5% to 6% silicon and is used in welding wire
– 5154 contains 3.1% to 3.9% magnesium and is weldable and available in sheets,
plates, and many structural shapes.
– 6063 contains approximately 0.5% magnesium and silicon and is used in windows,
doors, and trim

Casting Aluminum Numbering System
• Casting Numbering System
– Cast aluminum- 3 digit system that is not generally standardized
– Aluminum Association developed system for cast
• silicon casting alloys up to 99
• silicon copper from 100 to 199
• magnesium from 200 to 299
• silicon manganese from 300 to 399
– Applications
• Good conductor for electrical and electronics applications
• Light weight good for structural applications that require medium
strength and light weight.
• High reflectivity for infrared and visible radiation make it
desirable for headlights, light fixtures, and insulations
• Flake form is used for pigment
• Cast Al engine blocks and pistons

Casting Aluminum Heat Treatment
• Heat treatment
• Internal structure of Al can be modified with heat treatment
• Number system for heat treatment follows alloy designation
• Only copper, zinc and magnesium-silicon alloys can be age
• Wrought alloys are not heat-treatable are given either an O
(annealed) suffux or an F (as-fabricated). Others are as follows

• Cr discovered in 1797 by Dr. Louis Vauguelin, Prof. of Chemistry at
the College of France
• Named for its colorful nature
– Chromic oxide, Cr2O3, has a dark green color
– Potassium chromate, KCrO4, is bright yellow
– Potassium dichromate, K2Cr2O7, is orange,
– Chromium trioxide is red,
– Lead chromate, PbCrO4, is yellow.
• Chromium is the third hardest element to Boron and Diamond
• It is extremely resistant to corrosion and is often used as a corrosion
resistant alloy or as a plating material.
• Primary Chromium ore is chromite (FeOCr2O3), typically found in
Albania, Russia, Rhodesia, Turkey, and Iran
• Reduction Process of Chromium (Most Cr is used in alloy form)
– Grinding and crushing ore to powder
– Reacted with powdered Al to release iron and chromium
– Refined by electrolysis to obtain pure chromium (not always desired)

Chromium Uses
• Alloy for ferrous materials, e.g., HS steel, stainless steels, and other
metals, e.g., Ni alloys, refractories, and bronzes
• Plating material providing a hard, corrosion-resistant surface over
other materials.
– Chromium will not stick to steel very well but will adhere to Nickel
– Triple plating process is used to plate steels
• Steel is degreased and cleaned well,
• Etched with nitric acid to roughen the surface of the steel,
• Thin layer of copper is added to steel, then washed
• Thin layer of nickel is added to copper then washed,
• Final layer of chromium is added to nickel via Chromic acid.
– Coating thickness of 0.0002 inch provide shiny decorative finish
– Coating thickness of 0.05 inch provide wear resistance.

Copper, Brass, and Bronze
• Copper is one of the oldest metals- used by early civilizations
• Copper is FCC
• Copper ores are found close to the earth’s surface as
– oxide (cuprite)
– sulfide (chalcopyrites, bornite, chalconite, and covellite)
– carbonate (malachite and azurite)
– silicate form (chrysocolla)
• Copper properties
– high thermal is 10 times that of steel, useful for chill, casting molds
– melting point is 1981 F (however, oxides form when Cu is exposed to
heat or environmental conditions thus surface treatments are needed.
– electrical conductivity requires relatively pure copper
– Silver, cadmium, and gold can be added to increase strength without
significantly reducing conductivity
Copper Applications
• Copper and Copper alloys are used for tubing and pipe and in
heat transfer applications.
• Copper compounds are toxic and thus not used in food-related
• Copper Alloys
– brass: alloy of copper and zinc
– bronze: alloy copper and elements other than zinc
• Copper is very useful in electrical applications
– A large percentage of Copper produced is used in electrical and
electronic industries.
– At very low temps (absolute zero), Cu becomes a superconductor.
– Superconductors have very low resistance to current flow.
– A current started in a superconductor will flow almost indefinitely.
– Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) devices used in hospitals for
diagnosing patients are examples of superconductivity.
– Future uses may include magnetic levitation (Mag-lev) trains being
prototyped in Japan today.
Copper Alloys
• Copper alloys are among the oldest of metallic alloys
– Alloying elements increase strength,hardness, machinability,
appearance, and cost
– Melting points of copper alloys are lower than that of pure copper.
– Alloying elements
• Aluminum, beryllium, lead, manganese,
• Nickel, phosphorous, silicon, tin, and zinc
– Brass: copper-zinc alloy
• Zinc is added to increase strength, improve ductility, and improve machinability
– Bronze: copper-tin alloy
• Tin is added to improve strength, hardness, and ductility; reduce cost
– Names, compositions, and typical uses of copper alloys
• There are more alloying elements in brasses than copper and zinc alone.
• Brass and bronze are multi-component systems and have a phase diagram

Copper-Zn Phase Diagrams
• Phase Diagram for Copper Zinc
• There are more alloying elements in brasses than copper and zinc alone.
• Brass and bronze are multi-component systems and have a phase diagram.
• Alfa brasses: up to 36% Zn can dissolve in Copper and form one phase. FCC
• Beta phase is BCC
• Alfa + Beta is 38% to 46% Zn
• Brass Varieties: Yellow & Red
– Red
» less alloy better corrosion
» most ductile and malleable

Copper-Tin Phase Diagrams
• Phase Diagram for Copper-Tin
• Bronze refers to metal alloys containing copper with any other metal
– Traditionally copper and tin
– Phosphorous added to improve ductility: phosphor bronzes (1% to 11% P)
– Red Bronzes contain more than 90% copper
– Al bronzes are heat treatable and highest strength bronzes. Uses structural
– Si bronzes are high strength alloys of Cu and Ni. Uses in tubing as per
resistance to attack from fresh and salt water
– Be bronzes (<2% Be) are heat treatable and highest strength copper alloy.
Non-sparking when struck by another metal. Uses with explosives.
– Nickel bronzes named Nickel silver and German Silver used for coins
» Present dimes and quarters are 75% Cu and 25% Ni clad over and
inner core of copper

• Magnesium discovered 1808 by Sir Davy is the lightest of
the structural metals
– Mg weighs 66% as much as Al.
– Derived from sea water. 1 lb of Mg from 100 gal of sea water.
– Mg is hexagonal-closed pack in structure like most light meals.
– Process
• seawater is filtered through lime [Ca(OH)2] and oyster shells, which converts
the Mg to Mg hydroxide and precipitates out of the water
• HCl acid is added to convert MG hydroxide to Mg Cl
• After drying, electrolysis decomposes the MgCl into Mg metal and chlorine gas
• The Cl gas is recycled to HCl acid and Mg is drawn off.
– Mg is active metal and was used first in incendiary bombs due to it
burning with extremely hot flame, giving off intense heat.
– Mg chips are readily ignitable making it dangerous to gas weld.
– Mg used as anodes for protecting water tanks, piping, etc.
– Mg used as alloy is ferrous metals, e.g., ductile cast iron.
• Nickel closely resembles steel in many properties
• Nickel is used for 5 cent coin, 75% Cu and 25 % Ni
• Nickel supplied by Canada, Russia, and Australia in the form
(FeNi)9S8 and pyrrhorite (iron sulfide with nickel)
• Processing
– Mond Process
• Carbon monoxide gas is washed and heated over ore which converts Ni to
nickel carbonyl, which is very volatile.
• It turns from solid to gas at temperatures above 1783 F.
• Decomposition decomposes it into metallic nickel and carbon monoxide.
– Extraction process similar to copper
• Ni ore is mined, crushed, and ground, washed, and concentrated by floatation
• Ore is roasted and smelted in an electric furnace to produce matte
• Matte is placed in converter, where air is blown through metal to produce blister
• Blister Ni is remelted and cast into anodes, which are refined with electrolysis
• Ni is placed on cathodes which is removed for fabrication or used as alloy
Precious Metals
• Precious Metals due to value and use in jewelry and coinage.
– Gold, silver, and platinum.
– Limited applications in industry
• Gold (FCC structure)
– Found as nuggets, dust, and in quartz rock (reacted with mercury or
– Most gold comes from South Africa
– Properties include electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, and
– Applications include plating material via electroplating from AuCl,
dental work as caps, crowns, and fillings. [Dental gold alloys are 70%
gold, 5% platinum, 5% palladium, 25% silver, 18% copper, 3%
nickel, 1% zinc.
– Alloys of gold necessary because of inherent softness, Cu, Ni, and
– Purities are given in carat scale. 24 carat is pure gold. 12 carat is 50%
Precious Metals
• Silver (Ag, Latin argentum) FCC structure
– Occurs in nature in argentite (Ag2S) and horn silver (AgCl).
– Properties: excellent malleability and ductility.
– Applications:
• US coins until 1964. Replaced by Nickel silver and copper.
• Plating other metals as electrical conductors and jewelry.
• Light sensitive compounds for photographic materials.
• Approx. 30% of all silver goes toward photographic films and papers.
• Photochromic (light sensitive) lenses for glasses which darken when exposed to
• Brazing alloys and silver-cadmium batteries.
• Explosives as silver fulminate.
• Ointments, salves, and creams for medical purposes.
– Gold and silver sold as Troy ounce, where there are 12 oz. to pound.

Precious Metals
• Platinum (FCC structure)
– Platinum group contains 6 metals which are extracted from nickel ores
– Includes iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium, and ruthenium
– All six have high melting points, > 3000F
– Found in nature in the mineral sperrylite (PtAs2)
– Applications:
• corrosion resistant coatings and as a catalyst for many reactions.
• High resistance wire for furnaces
• Used in catalytic converters in automobiles, where it converts unburned
hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide and water.
• Laboratory equipment, medical instruments, fine jewelry.
– Disadvantage is cost, Pt is more expensive than gold