Easy Ways to Sort Your Scrap Metal before Sale

11 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you have a lot of scrap metal lying around and do not know what to do with it, resist the urge to dump it all in the trash to get rid of it. If sorted properly, scrap metal can be quite profitable, depending on the quality and the amount that you have in your possession. Always remember though that one of the biggest pet peeves for scrap metal recyclers is having to clean and sort your metal for you. That is why unsorted metal does not fetch much when taken for recycling. To begin the sorting, keep a magnet handy with you, as this will make it easier to identify different types of metals. Here are some easy ways to sort your scrap metal before sale.

Sort the ferrous metals from the non-ferrous metals

One of the easiest ways to sort ferrous from non-ferrous metals is by using a strong magnet. Ferrous metals are magnetic, hence, they will always get attracted to your magnet. Some of the ferrous metals that you may come across include steel, iron and more. Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, include copper, aluminium and more. Once you have sorted them into these two broad categories, you can segregate your metals further.

Individually sort your non-ferrous metals

Once you have your two piles of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, it is time to start placing each individual metal type in its own pile. The different metals are typically identified visually at this stage. Some of the metals you may find include:

  • Copper: Typically found in cabling, piping and wiring. It is copper coloured.
  • Red brass: Appears to be a redder shade of copper. However, it is not a pure form of copper.
  • Brass: Typically yellow in colour.
  • Aluminium: A silver metal that is lightweight.

Individually sort your ferrous metals

After sorting your non-ferrous metals, you should now segregate your magnetic metals. Some of the metals you may have in your stock include:

  • Steel: Although this metal appears silver when new, weathered steel will typically be the colour of rust due to corrosion. Steel is also quite heavy compared to the other ferrous metals.
  • Lead: This metal will have a greyish appearance. In the event that you also have lead batteries, such as car batteries, categorise them in a separate pile altogether.
  • Tin: This lightweight metal is typically silver in colour. Tin is easily malleable and will bend if you apply pressure to it. 

For more information on scrap metal recycling, visit a website like http://www.pabanimetals.com.au.