The physical properties of scrap metal – which metal is the heaviest?

By Luka Dickson

scrap stainless steel

When it comes to scrap metal, understanding the physical properties of different metals is crucial. One important aspect is density, which directly affects weight. Let’s explore the physical properties of four popular scrap metals—stainless steel, copper, brass, and aluminium—and determine which one is the heaviest. For example, how much space would scrap stainless steel per kg take up, compared to the size of a kg of scrap copper.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy known for its corrosion resistance, making it a popular choice across various industries. Composed primarily of iron, with chromium as a key component, stainless steel forms a protective layer that shields it from environmental elements. Stainless steel boasts a density of approximately 7,500 kg/m³- 8,000kg.m3 depending on the grade of the alloy and the components of the metal. This density, while lower than some other metals, is balanced by its durability and corrosion-resistant properties. In the world of scrap metal trading, stainless steel is valued for its unique combination of strength and longevity. The metal finds applications in a wide range of industries, from construction and automotive to healthcare and aerospace. Its resistance to corrosion makes it indispensable in environments where exposure to moisture and chemicals is common.


Copper is one of the oldest metals known to humanity, valued for its electrical conductivity and malleability. It’s used in a myriad of applications, particularly in electrical wiring and plumbing. It is denser than stainless steel, with a density of around 8960 kg/m³. This higher density contributes to its weight, making it a substantial metal in comparison. Copper’s excellent conductivity makes it essential in electrical applications. It’s also used in architectural elements, plumbing, and various industrial components.


Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, known for its malleability and attractive golden appearance. It finds extensive use in decorative items, musical instruments, and engineering applications. Brass has a density of approximately 8400-8700 kg/m³. While it’s denser than stainless steel, it’s lighter than both copper and stainless steel. The alloy’s combination of malleability, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal make it a favourite in musical instruments, plumbing fittings, and decorative hardware.


Aluminium is a lightweight and highly versatile metal, known for its corrosion resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio. It’s used in everything from aircraft construction to beverage cans. Aluminium is significantly lighter than the other metals discussed, with a density of approximately 2700 kg/m³. This low density, combined with its strength, contributes to its wide range of applications.

Its lightweight nature makes it invaluable in industries where weight reduction is critical. This includes aerospace, automotive, and packaging.

Comparing the Heaviness

To figure out which metals are the heaviest, we use a measurement called “kg/m³,” which stands for kilograms per cubic meter. This measurement tells us how much a certain volume of a material weighs. The higher the kg/m³ value, the heavier the material is for a given volume. So, when comparing different metals, the one with the highest kg/m³ is the heaviest.

After considering the densities and weights of these metals, it’s clear that copper is the heaviest among the four, followed by brass and then stainless steel. However, the density of the metal will vary depending on the alloy properties. Aluminium, due to its lower density, is the lightest of the metals discussed.

Factors Affecting Scrap Metal Prices

The weight and density of metals play a significant role in determining their scrap metal prices. Generally, metals with higher densities, like copper and stainless steel, tend to command higher prices per kilogram. However, other factors such as market demand, purity, and ease of recycling also influence prices.

Understanding the physical properties of scrap metals is essential for making informed decisions for recycling, trading, and selling. While each metal has its unique characteristics, copper emerges as the heaviest among stainless steel, brass, and aluminium. So, next time you’re dealing with scrap stainless steel per kg, consider the weighty factors that come into play.

Are You Ready to Sell Scrap Stainless Steel Per Kg?

Make the most of Metal Men Recycling’s dedicated metal and stainless-steel recycling capabilities today! We pride ourselves on being metal recycling experts and providing exceptional customer service from start to finish. Don’t let valuable scrap metal sit around to collect dust and take up space. We buy scrap stainless steel per kg or per gram.

Call us at 03 5941 6677, or fill out our online contact form, and we will get back to you!

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