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Prospecting 101: Can a Metal Detector Find Aluminium? What to Know

It makes perfect sense that you would assume that a metal detector can detect just about any metal—after all, it’s called a metal detector, so why shouldn’t it? Unfortunately, the truth is less stellar; only some of the metals found on the periodic table are actually detected by such devices.

The average prospector or metal hunter would thus try to consider what items he can find with his trusty detector. As such, it begs to question whether a metal detector can detect aluminium traces. Simply put—yes, it can. A majority of the detectors available on the market are able to sense aluminium—however, you need to be able to put it in the right settings. The devices that can specifically detect aluminium are usually ones where conductivity sensors can be adapted.

Sounds a little tricky? No worries—keep reading on to learn about the way metal detectors work.

What metals, in particular, get detected by metal detectors?

There are three different kinds of metals that are usually detected by a metal detector. These are stainless steel, non-ferrous metals, and ferrous metals. Each one has a different composition. They are usually found in antiques, coins, and jewellery.

  • Stainless Steel

There is little conductivity in this metal, and it’s the hardest kind to detect. It’s usually found in a vast array of products, like car parts, kitchenware, and tools.

  • Non-ferrous Metals

There are no magnetic properties to these metals at all. Usually, these include brass, gold, silver, and zinc. In order to find them with a metal detector, specific settings have to be used. When these objects are found, they are considered rare, and usually have some value to them. Aluminium falls under this category.

It’s important to adjust the sensors of your metal detector to specifically seek and detect non-ferrous metals—if this is what your goal is. A number of those devices usually come with pre-set modes, but others need to have their conductivity and sensitivity settings manually adjusted.

  • Ferrous Metals

When things are made with the use of cast iron or carbon steel, they contain ferrous metals. Most of those materials are generally used for the crafting of jewellery, kitchenware, or staples. Their magnetic threshold is usually quite high, which in turn means their conductivity is high as well.

No matter what settings your metal detector is in, they’ll be able to detect these materials. However, objects made with the use of this material generally have little to no financial value.

So, can metal detectors actually detect aluminium?

As previously mentioned, the short answer to this question is yes.

Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that aluminium blocks metal detectors. That’s just not true—if anything, aluminium is actually what metal detectors end up detecting the most! That becomes an issue for treasure finders because most of the time, when their device beeps, it turns out to be scraps, like cans and certain kinds of packaging—not really any value to be found there!

Conclusion

Metal detectors are nifty devices for finding precious materials—but they can also lead to some boring junk instead! As such, it’s best to always use the correct settings to find the most valuable ones on the ground. For even better results, ensure to only use top-quality metal detectors to really hone in on those valuable elements!

Are you looking for the best gold detector in Western Australia? Prospectors’ Patch has got exactly that! We have been providing industry-leading services and equipment to a wide range of prospectors and explorers for over 20 years. Get in touch with us today and find the perfect equipment for your needs!