What is the definition of "ferrous metal"?
A metal that contains iron. The most common ferrous metal is steel.

Learn more about ferrous metal in the class Intro to Materials 100 below.

Materials Training

Class Information
Tooling U classes are offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The typical class consists of 12 to 25 lessons and will take approximately one hour to complete.
Class Name:Intro to Materials 100
Description:This class identifies the major categories of materials used in manufacturing and compares their general properties.
Prerequisites: none
Number of Lessons:19
Language:English, Spanish

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Below are all the competencies and job programs that contain the class Intro to Materials 100. Job programs are our traditional class lists organized according to common job functions. Competencies are our latest job-specific curricula that help tie online learning to practical, hands-on tasks.

Click on any title to view its details.


Class Outline
  • Objectives
  • Materials Today
  • What Are Properties?
  • Types of Materials
  • Properties of Metals
  • Alloy Metals
  • Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals
  • Uses of Ferrous Metals
  • Classification of Steel
  • Stainless Steels and Tool Steels
  • Properties of Plastics
  • Uses of Plastics
  • Properties of Ceramics
  • Uses of Ceramics
  • Properties of Composites
  • Uses of Composites
  • The Marketplace for Materials
  • Materials in the Future
  • Summary
Class Objectives
  • Identify how materials are used in modern manufacturing.
  • Explain the importance of material properties.
  • List the four major types of materials.
  • Identify the properties of metals that make them useful.
  • Explain why alloys are used.
  • Distinguish between ferrous and nonferrous alloys.
  • Identify some common uses for steels.
  • Identify the primary variables that influence steel classification.
  • Describe the advantages of stainless steel.
  • Identify the advantages of tool steels.
  • Identify some advantages of plastics.
  • Identify common uses for plastics.
  • Identify some advantages of ceramics.
  • Identify common uses of ceramics.
  • Identify some advantages of composites.
  • Identify common uses for composites.
  • Identify factors that influence material costs in manufacturing.
  • Describe the relative importance of the four different types of materials.

Class Vocabulary

Vocabulary TermDefinition
abrasive A material or tool consisting of hard particles used to wear down, rub away, or machine material. Common abrasives are ceramic materials.
advanced composite A composite consisting of relatively expensive materials that is designed for special applications.
alloy A metal consisting of two or more materials. One of these materials must be a metal.
alloy steel Steel that contains added materials that change the property of the metal. Common alloy elements include chromium, manganese, molybdenum, and nickel.
brittle A material's unwillingness to be drawn, stretched, or formed. Brittle metals tend to break if subjected to these forces.
ceramic A hard, brittle material that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion.
chromium A shiny, hard, steel-gray metal used in ferrous alloys to add hardness and wear resistance to steel. Stainless steels contain large percentages of chromium.
composite A material that is a combination of other materials from two or more of the following groups: metals, plastics, and ceramics.
corrosion The deterioration of a metal or ceramic.
density The relative "compactness" of a material. Density is the mass of a material per unit volume.
elastomer A group of plastics that can stretch and then return to the original shape without permanent deformation.
engineered To intentionally apply science and technology in order to design, create, or improve a product.
ferrous metal A metal that contains iron. The most common ferrous metal is steel.
fibrous composite A composite that consists of thin slivers of one material embedded in another material.
hardness The ability of a material to resist penetration, indentation, or scratching.
internal structure The arrangement of particles, or atoms, within a material.
laminar composite A composite that consists of one layer of material binded on top of another material.
manufacturing The process of producing and shaping a product on a large scale, often through the use of large machinery.
mechanical properties The collection of properties that describe a material's ability to compress, stretch, bend, scratch, dent, or break.
melting point The temperature necessary to change a solid to a liquid.
metal A hard, strong material that conducts electricity and heat, is shiny when polished, and can be bent and formed into shapes.
nonferrous metal A metal that does not intentionally contain iron.
particulate composite A composite that consists of tiny particles of one material embedded in another material.
physical properties The collection of properties that describe how a material reacts to forces other than mechanical forces. Melting, freezing, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity are all physical properities.
plastic A lightweight material that typically resists corrosion and is easily shaped.
polymer The technical term for plastics.
properties A characteristic of a material that distinguishes it from other materials.
pure metal A metal that does not intentionally contain any other material.
stainless steel An alloy steel that is designed to resist corrosion.
steel A metal consisting of iron and carbon, usuallly with small amounts of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon as well.
structural composite A composite consisting of common materials that are relatively inexpensive.
thermoplastic A group of plastics that can be softened by heat, hardened by cooling, and then softened by heat over and over again.
thermosetting plastic A group of plastics that is permanently hardened by cooling.
tool steel A type of steel designed with high wear resistance, toughness, and strength.