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How To Identify Metals

How To Identify Metals

As the world turns to more sustainable and eco-friendly solutions, recycling has played a crucial role in this global initiative to protect the earth. At M&M Recycling, we recommend recycling metal to deter new ore mining, making construction projects more sustainable and reducing the harmful impact mining has on the environment. This has led to incorporating recycled materials into the construction of new buildings to mitigate adverse effects on the environment and the needless mining of fresh ore.

Suppose you are a construction business owner, a new homeowner, or have access to metallic waste. In that case, it might be time you considered visiting scrap metal recycling plants or reputable and reliable scrap metal buyers. This is a great way to make money while contributing to environmental improvement, and M&M Recycling can help. If you don't know how to start, the first step is to identify the different types of metals and where to sell them. Here are some common metals used in construction to help you determine their value when buying and selling.


Steel is an alloy made of iron and small amounts of carbon, improving its durability and strength, and making it less prone to corrosion. Steel is considered the most versatile and used in numerous applications across different industries for various reasons. Before scheduling an appointment with a scrap metal buyer, it is advisable to know the difference between cheap and quality steel to get the best deal. Some ways to identify steel are through using a magnet, determining hardness, and feeling the weight.


There are two varieties of iron: wrought iron and cast iron. Cast iron is resistant to wear and is brittle, whereas wrought iron is commonly used in railings, fencing, nails, and chains. Iron and steel are ferrous, and the only way to tell them apart is by conducting a magnetic test or using the right tools to complete a part test. If you want to determine if the scrap metal you are dealing with is iron, look for a white-yellow spark color, short sparks, or conduct spark forking since wrought iron sparks widen like a spoon, and cast iron doesn't fork.


Copper is the oldest metal used in construction because of crucial characteristics like high conductivity, flexibility, and versatility. These traits make copper easy to identify and an excellent option for electrical wiring, gas, oil lines, and heating systems. Copper is easily identified because of its reddish-orange tint, and it sometimes turns green over time due to oxidation when used as a roofing material. What makes copper ideal for recycling is that it doesn't lose its chemical properties, allowing manufacturers to reuse it as many times as possible.

These are some common metals brought to a scrap metal recycling plant from construction waste. We guarantee quality services at competitive market rates. Contact us at M&M Recycling for more information on other metals so that you can make the environment better while turning a profit.