Ever-fluctuating, the value of scrap metal is primarily determined by supply and demand. Not only that, but prices can often vary depending on the quantity and quality of scrap metal being sold.
Scrap metal is divided into two types: ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metals are magnetic and can often be found in old cars, steel beams and appliances. Ferrous metals include steel, cast iron and wrought iron. Valued for their tensile strength and durability, ferrous metals are frequently used within the construction industry for tools, machinery and buildings.
Non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium, copper and lead are generally more valuable than ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals have become popular in the manufacturing industry due to their low melting point, rust-free qualities, and pliability. Non-ferrous metals are often used by automobile manufacturers and the aerospace industry due to their lightweight qualities; this increased demand means that non-ferrous metals are generally bought and sold for a higher price than ferrous metals are.
One of the most common types of metal, steel is often seen as less valuable in comparison to other metals. The value of steel can be driven up however, if it contains other metals such as chromium and chrome. The grade of steel also has an effect on price, depending on the amount of nickel the alloy contains. To ensure you receive the best price, look to scrap steel that is high-grade, clean and has been well maintained.
A highly sought-after metal in many industries, aluminium can be recycled infinitely without ever losing its quality. Of the 9.5 billion aluminium cans produced in the UK yearly, 75% are recycled. And it’s not only found in cans and food packaging, aluminium can also be found in old computers, gaming consoles, car parts and even bike frames. In fact, during the 19th century aluminium became more precious than gold or silver. Nowadays aluminium holds less value due to it being one of the more abundant metals.
It may come as no surprise than one of the most valuable kinds of scrap metal is copper. Over the past few decades mining output for copper has grown far more slowly than other metals. Slower copper production has led to a shortage, and with demand rising, copper can be extremely valuable.
Fallen out of popularity due to its toxicity and associated health risks, lead used to be a widely used material. Even so, lead is still used to in the manufacturing of large car batteries and therefore does hold a relatively high scrap value. Lead can also be found in old pipes and weights. When handling lead make sure to wear personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, boots, and protective clothing.
A less commonly found metal, titanium is often used in electronics and sporting equipment such as bikes or golf clubs. Although lightweight, titanium is extremely strong. Because titanium is harder to find than most other types of scrap metals, it has a higher price point, making it one of the more valuable metals to take to a scrap metal dealer.
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If you want to check whether we can accept your scrap metal, scrap car parts, appliances, or any other waste materials you might want to recycle, just ask.
We can provide upfront price quotes for quantities of scrap and may be able to arrange collection of your item – give us a call on 0161 928 9981 to find out.