Los Angeles Area Scrap Metal Hardness Test

Scrap metal recycling centers in Los Angeles–including TM Scrap Metals in the Burbank area—use different tools or methods to identify particular metals.  In a previous scrap metal post we discussed using a magnet to differentiate between ferrous and nonferrous metals but that only goes so far. Let’s say you’ve got a truckload of different types of nonferrous metals all mixed together. How can you tell one metal from another? Sometimes it may be easy if it’s just one particular metal. The reddish hue of copper is very familiar. But what about metals that may look similar such as stainless steel and aluminum? One type of testing that will help identify medal is hardness testing and one of the methods of testing the hardness metals is the Brinell hardness test.

Scrap metal hardness test: copper
Scrap metal hardness test: copper

Every metal has its own hardness or softness depending on which way you look at it. Some metals like lead or gold are going to be very soft compared to steel or aluminum. Each metal has its own molecular makeup that determines how hard or soft it is and there’s a way to reliably test a metal, and by determining how hard it is, identifying what metal it is. Like other hardness tests, the Brinell hardness test employs an object dropped onto a metal and the resulting indentation is measured. In this particular instance this method uses a special microscope called a Brinell microscope from which this method gets its name.

We are simplifying it greatly for the purposes of this article but in essence a special indentation tool is used, which impacts with specific force upon an unidentified metal. The indentation in the metal is then measured by the microscope and we can then tell what type of metal it is based on the amount of indentation.

The scrap metal recycling center near you may not use such sophisticated or scientific methods of identifying the scrap metals you bring in for recycling but we wanted to expand on the way that unknown metals can be identified. After all, a metal has to be identified to some extent in order to know what to pay you for your scrap metal. You don’t want to be paid the price of iron when in fact you are bringing in copper for recycling.

Regardless of the method used when you have a need to find a scrap metal recycling Center in Los Angeles, go with the professionals at TM Scrap Metals in Burbank/Sun Valley.