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Most used and most recycled industrial metals

In industry, the metals used must have certain characteristics and properties in order for the final product to be durable and resistant. Although there are many metals on the market, it is their properties that make the choice between one or the other.

Metals are the most widely used chemical elements and play an essential role in industry. They are also the most common elements in the earth’s crust, and since their discovery, they have been an essential component for humans in the manufacture of instruments and parts. Normally, these metals are:

  • Solid at room temperature.
  • They have a metallic lustre.
  • They have a greyish-white colour, with some exceptions.
  • They have a very variable density.

List of metals most commonly used in industry


Steel is the metal obtained from the alloy of iron and carbon. It is the most widely used metal today thanks to its characteristics, since, being an alloy of iron and carbon, it achieves great hardness and greater elasticity. This means that, on an industrial level, it provides more solutions.

On the other hand, we have stainless steel, an alloy made of iron, carbon and chromium. This metal, as well as conserving all the characteristics of hardness and elasticity of steel, has a great resistance to corrosion (being one of the metals that does not rust).


Iron also has a wide variety of applications thanks to its resistance to rust and its versatility, but in general because it is a resistant material that guarantees durability. Its most common applications tend to be in the manufacture of building structures, in tools and in household appliances, among others.


Aluminium is the second most widely used metal in industry. It has high strength without compromising maximum elasticity. It is also a non-toxic material, which is why it is used in construction elements as well as in the food industry.


The main uses of copper in industry are in pipes, connections, household appliances and technological equipment, thanks to its high electrical conductivity. It therefore has high quality, strength and good malleability.

Magnesium, nickel and chromium

Magnesiumnickel and chromium are other commonly used metals, although in this case they are used to be alloyed with other metals to increase their properties. The properties that these metals improve are usually increased strength and corrosion resistance.

Recyclable metals


Steel is the most recycled metal in the world. Around 40% of the world’s steel is recycled. Its main source of recycling is end-of-life vehicles, although it can also be found in household appliances and other everyday products.


Aluminium is fully sustainable, as it can be recycled endlessly. About 75% of the aluminium that has been produced in the last 100 years is still in use. It is widely used because of its versatility and is very present in everyday life.

Red metals

Copper, bronze and brass are also among the most recycled metals. It is also one of the most valued due to its scarcity to manufacture the raw material.

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