Posted September 26th 2016

A non-ferrous metal can be described as any metal, including alloys, that does not contain iron (ferrite). They are more expensive than ferrous metals and have properties that include low weight, resistance to corrosion and a high level of conductivity, making them more desirable. Well known ferrous metals include copper, lead, zinc, aluminium, tin, nickel, gold, silver and platinum. Because non-ferrous metals are very malleable they are more suited to for use where weight is an important factor. For example, in aircraft manufacture the materials must be strong but also as light as possible. Non-ferrous metals also have a higher resistance to corrosion than ferrous metals so they are popular for things such as water pipes, roofing and road signs which are exposed to the elements.


Ferrous metals are mainly used for their strength and durability. Examples of ferrous metals include iron and steel, which are commonly used to build things like bridges and skyscrapers that need to be extremely durable. There are some great examples of famous steel structures on this blog, but notable ones include the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Gateway Arch in St Louis. Steel is also widely used in the construction industry for housing infrastructure, piping and railways. Most ferrous metals have magnetic properties, which makes them popular for use in large motors and electric applicances. Ferrous metals are the most recycled material in the world with 500 million tonnes of steel produced in 2008 coming from scrap materials.


The price for ferrous metals tends to be lower than that of non-ferrous metals, because there is a greater supply. Steel and iron alloys are constantly being recycled, whereas non-ferrous metals are harder to come by. Some, like aluminium, are recycled often, but others, such as copper and lead are relatively scarce. As recycled scrap material is often relied on to make new material this makes the price of non-ferrous metals generally much higher. It also means that prices can fluctuate rapidly depending on the needs of the current market.




Posted September 10th 2016

We encounter metals on a daily basis but many of these can be found in our homes. Below we take a look at the top metals you can find around your household – some of them are more surprising than you think!

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a very popular material for household items, its use spanning everything from boilers to televisions sets. It is a very popular material for microwaves, usually making up the doors and inside panel. This will then be covered in acrylic enamel usually, in a light colour to give better visibility. In recent years it has become quite popular for kitchen appliances to be made in stainless steel, as opposed to plain white. These include fridges, freezers, dishwashers, ovens, hobs and even accessories such as kettles and toasters.


During the latter half of the twentieth century, copper pipes were commonly used for domestic water systems – that is, the plumbing in your house. It is still used today mainly for the supply of hot and cold water, but its high cost is a factor that has seen other materials such as plastic begin to be used in its place. The benefit of copper is its high level of resistance to corrosion and the fact that it is very ductile which makes it easier to bend and shape around obstacles in the path of the tubing.


This is a slightly more obscure one, but nickel can be found in almost every household as it is commonly used in toasters – let’s face it, if you don’t have one of these what are you doing? The heating elements in a toaster are made of a nickel-chromium alloy better known as nichrome wire in either ribbon or coils. An alloy is used as it gives better resistance to the flow of electric current. Certain kitchen utensils and cutlery can also contain nickel, as well as plugs and chains.


Aluminium is well known for being used in foil – a common staple of most kitchens! It can also be found in wiring throughout the house as well as indoor and outdoor furniture, door knobs and window frames. Another popular use is insulated aluminium cladding which is as efficient as stone or bricks and more versatile meaning carpenters and builders often prefer it.




Posted September 7th 2016

As an indication of our commitment to the supply of metal powders, William Rowland Ltd are going to exhibit at the forthcoming World Powder Metallurgy 2016 Congress and Exhibition taking place in  Hamburg, Germany from the 9th to the 13th October 2016.

This will be the first time we have specifically exhibited our extensive metal powder range and as this is a world event it was considered to be a good springboard into existing and new emerging markets.

Acting as distributors for numerous high quality metal powder manufacturing organisations, both large and small, our ability to supply quantities from 1kg upwards of both standard and non standard metal powder alloys and grades, worldwide at very short notice is considered to be of interest not only to component manufacturers but also to research & development organisations.

With over 60 years of technical experience surrounding metal powders and their uses, William Rowland can be considered as one of the most knowledgeable, non producing metal powder suppliers in the world. All enquiries are responded to without any favouritism towards any one manufacturer, in other words we will only recommend the best metal powder for the application.

As part of the AMC Group (Amalgamated Metal Corporation), William Rowland also has access to group produced metal powders such as Tin. This is produced by our group company Thaisarco, Thailand and is considered to be of the highest quality.

Stephen Mason & Mike Butterfield, both metal powder traders and Richard Lowe, MD will be available at our Booth No. 37 to answer and discuss any technical or commercial questions you may have.

Should you only have limited time at the exhibition and wish to discuss any metal powder related subject we can organise an appointment. To do this please contact:

Stephen Mason on Direct Dial +44 (0) 114 252 6498: email Stephen.mason@william-rowland.co.uk

Michael Butterfield on Direct Dial +44 (0) 114 2526 495: email michael.butterfield@william-rowland.co.uk


World PM2016