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Metals are valuable materials that can be recycled again and again without degrading their properties. Scrap metal has value, which motivates people to collect it for sale to recycling operations.
In addition to a financial incentive, there is also an environmental imperative. The recycling of metals enables us to preserve natural resources while requiring less energy to process than the manufacture of new products using virgin raw materials.
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Is metal recyclable?
Yes, the good thing about metal recycling is that, metal can be recycled over and over without altering its properties. Every metal is different and thus needs to be recycled in its own unique way. The more we understand the more effective we can recycle.
The most common recyclable metals include aluminum and steel. Steel has one outstanding characteristic: it can be endlessly recycled without its material qualities being compromised. The iron atoms are indestructible, and by melting scrap metal it is simple to get the atoms to arrange themselves in a new, regular way to form new steel with new properties. The other metals for example copper, silver, brass and gold are so valuable that they are rarely thrown away to be collected for recycling. Although almost every kind of metal can be recycled again and again without degradation of properties, currently, only 30 percent of metal is recycled.
Scrap metal recycling involves the recovery and processing of scrap metal from end-of-life products or structures, as well as from manufacturing scrap, so that it can be introduced as a raw material in the production of new goods. Scrap metal recycling supplies the raw material for new products, while offering a much lower carbon footprint and more efficient utilization of resources than new material.
Ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal
When talking about recycling scrap metal, it is important to understand the difference between the two main categories of scrap metal: ferrous metal, and non-ferrous metal. While ferrous metal contains some degree of iron, non-ferrous metal does not contain iron as a component. Non-ferrous scrap includes aluminum, lead, copper, tin, nickel, zinc and others.
Scrap metal companies
A scrap metal company is a business that buys and sells scrap metal for recycling, manufacturing, and many other applications. Taking apart and separating metals is important to make more money on scrap.
With the use of magnets, metal recycling companies can determine ferrous and non-ferrous materials. When a magnet sticks to the metal, it will be a ferrous material, like steel or iron.
Metal recycling companies turn trash into treasure by recycling scrap metal that is purchased from industrial manufacturers, railroads, auto salvage facilities, metal dealers and individuals. The metal typically comes from obsolete machinery and equipment such as autos, railroad cars, railroad tracks, home appliances and demolition metal from buildings and other obsolete structures. By paying people for their scrap metal, these metal recycling companies help clean up the environment.
Scrap metal recycle center
A metal recycling center follows the following processing steps.
This is the first and most important step in industrial metal recycling. It simply involves collecting all materials that are made of metals.
Once the metals have been collected, the next important step is to sort the metals. Sorting involves separating metals from the mixed scrap metal stream or the mixed multi-material waste stream. In automated recycling operations, magnets and sensors are used to aid in material separation.
After sorting, the next step is to compact the metal, so it can be handled on conveyor belts easier. Hammer mills then shred the metal into pieces.
After crushing the metal, the shredding process starts. The metals are broken down into tiny pieces or sheets to allow further processing. The small pieces have large surface to volume ratio that can be melted using less energy as compared to when they are in large pieces of metal.
Melting of the scrap metal takes place in a large furnace. Each metal is taken to a furnace that is specifically designed to melt that particular metal based on its specific properties. A considerable amount of energy is used in this step. Still, the energy required to melt and recycle metals is much less than the energy that is needed to produce metals using virgin raw materials.
Purification is done to guarantee the final product is of high quality and free of contaminants. One of the most common methods used for purification is Electrolysis.
After purification, melted metals are carried by the conveyor belt to cool and solidify the metals. In this stage, scrap metals are formed into specific shapes such as ingots, rods, billets, or slabs, depending upon its intended purpose. Alternatively, metals may be pulverized into a powder or transported in liquid form to a manufacturing facility, where they are used to create new products.
Where to recycle metal
The scrap metal industry isn’t the most elegant industry out there, but it is important. Without local metal recycling facilities, you’d have nowhere to take your junk to and you can’t exchange it for cash. So start by compiling a list of metal scrap yards in your area. Start by looking at your state government website. Chances are, you’ll find a directory of recycling locations and scrap metal buyers, which you can narrow down.
Scrap metal buyers purchase metal based on weight. You drive into the scrap yard and stop your vehicle on a large scale where they record your weight. After unloading the metal, you drive back out to another scale where you are weighed again. Places that buy metal will buy any amount, there is no minimum or maximum amount of metal.
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