Industrial Scrap Metal Processing: Understanding The Process
When it comes to industrial scrap metal processing, there are several key components to the process and important things you should know about industrial scrap metal in the first place. Today, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about industrial scrap metal, including how it’s processed and what it’s used for.
What is Industrial Scrap Metal?
To begin with the basics, industrial scrap metal refers to any leftover metal from industrial processes or applications. Depending on the industry in question, this can include anything from aluminum cans to steel beams. However, no matter the form, industrial scrap metal often has value.
(Read about the aluminum scrap price per pound here)
That’s because industrial scrap metal can be recycled and reused in a number of ways. In fact, recycling industrial scrap metal is one of the most efficient ways to conserve natural resources and save energy. It takes less energy to recycle metal than it does to mine and process new metal ores.
How is Industrial Scrap Metal Processed?
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is industrial scrap metal?” it’s time to move on to industrial scrap metal processing.
Step #1: Collection
This part of the industrial scrap metal recycling process comes down to you! It’s when you collect all of your industrial scrap metal and bring it to a recycling facility. This can be anything from an aluminum can recycling center to a more comprehensive industrial scrap metal recycling plant. Alternatively, you can call scrap metal experts to collect it for you!
When collecting industrial scrap metal yourself, wear gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from sharp edges and potential injuries.
Step #2: Sorting by type and cleanliness
Once a recycling facility or scrap metal experts collect your scrap metals, they will sort them by type and cleanliness. This is an essential step in industrial scrap metal processing because different metals must be recycled differently.
For example, aluminum and copper can be melted down and reformed into new products, while iron and steel need to be shredded into small pieces before they can be used again.
Then, metals can be sorted by cleanliness, which refers to whether they are pure or impure. Impure metals are those that have been contaminated with other materials, such as paint, plastic, or dirt. These contaminants must be removed before the metal can be recycled.
On the other hand, pure metals have not been contaminated and can be recycled without any additional steps.
Step #3: Processing
Now it’s time for the industrial scrap metal to be processed and recycled into new products!
First, the metal is compressed, so it takes up less space. This makes it easier to transport and store. Then, hydraulic machinery cuts it into smaller pieces. Hammer mills are then used to shred the metal, which makes it easier to melt.
Step #4: Melting
Different methods and temperatures are used depending on the type of industrial scrap metal being melted.
For example, aluminum is melted at a lower temperature than iron or steel. This is because aluminum has a lower melting point than other metals.
The industrial scrap metal is melted down in a furnace and then poured into small molds called ingots. These ingots will be used to create new products, such as aluminum cans or steel beams.
Step #5: Purification
A few different purification methods for industrial scrap metal are used depending on the type of metal being recycled.
For example, aluminum can be purified using a process called electrolysis. This involves passing an electric current through a solution that contains dissolved aluminum. The resulting reaction produces pure aluminum and oxygen gas.
Another example is iron purification, which uses a method called magnetism. In this process, industrial scrap metal is passed through a magnetic field. This separates iron from other metals, such as copper or brass.
Step #6: Solidification
This step involves adding chemicals to the industrial scrap metal so it can solidify. Once it’s in a solid form, it can be used to create new products.
For example, aluminum is often mixed with other metals to create an alloy. This alloy is then used to make things like aluminum foil and beverage cans.
Steel is another common industrial scrap metal that is recycled. It’s often mixed with carbon to create a new type of steel called carbon steel. This carbon steel can be used to make things like pipes and rebar.
Step #7: Transportation
Finally, the industrial scrap metal is finished with the processing steps and is ready to be transported to where it will be used to create new products.
This could involve shipping the industrial scrap metal to a factory that makes new products with the materials. Or, it could be transported to a local recycling center to make it into new products.
That’s the process of industrial scrap metal recycling! Recycling industrial scrap metal can reduce pollution, conserve resources, and create new products.
Industrial Scrap Metal: FAQs
Do you have other questions about industrial scrap metal? Then, keep reading for some of the answers you’ve been looking for!
What are some common industrial scrap metals?
A few different types of industrial scrap metal are commonly recycled. These include aluminum, iron, steel, and copper.
How is industrial scrap metal recycled?
The industrial scrap metal recycling process usually involves seven steps: collection, sorting, processing, melting, purification, solidification, and transportation.
Can industrial scrap metal be recycled more than once?
Yes! Many types of industrial scrap metal can be recycled multiple times. For example, aluminum cans can be continuously recycled and made into new aluminum cans.
What are some products made from industrial scrap metal?
Common products made from industrial scrap metal include aluminum cans, steel beams, carbon steel, and aluminum foil.
Why is an industrial scrap metal recycling important?
Industrial scrap metal recycling and scrap recycling, in general, are vital for several reasons.
Here are just three of them:
- Environmental benefits: Recycling helps to reduce pollution and conserve resources. When industrial scrap metal is recycled, it doesn’t need to be mined from the ground, which can have a negative impact on the environment. At the same time, recycling significantly reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfills.
- Economic benefits: Recycling industrial scrap metal creates jobs and boosts the economy. In fact, the recycling industry employs thousands of people in the United States! When people recycle scrap metal, they’re also giving themselves a raise by supporting recycling jobs.
- Social benefits: Industrial scrap metal recycling helps to build strong communities. For example, many recycling centers are run by nonprofits or local organizations. This allows people to come together and work towards a common goal: reducing pollution and conserving resources.
What are some challenges with industrial scrap metal recycling?
Like any type of recycling, there will always be challenges. Here are a few common challenges with industrial scrap metal recycling:
- Limited scrap metal storage space: Many industrial facilities don’t have a lot of extra space to store scrap metal. This can make it difficult to recycle large quantities of industrial scrap metal.
- Lack of education: Some people may not know that industrial scrap metal can be recycled. As a result, they may not see the value in recycling and may instead choose to dispose of it in a landfill.
- Cost: Recycling industrial scrap metal can be expensive. This is because the process requires special equipment and often takes place at large facilities.
- Effort and energy: Another challenge is that not all industrial scrap metal is easy to recycle. For example, iron is easier to recycle than aluminum. Aluminum has a higher melting point, requiring more energy to melt down.
- Time constraints: Finally, another challenge of industrial scrap metal recycling is that some metals, such as iron, rust over time. This makes them more difficult to recycle.
Despite these challenges, industrial scrap metal recycling is still important. Recycling industrial scrap metal can reduce pollution, conserve resources, and create new products.
Industrial Scrap Metal: Final Thoughts
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of industrial scrap metal and the recycling process. Remember, industrial scrap metal recycling is important for the environment, the economy, and our communities. If you have some industrial scrap metal to recycle in Florida, contact Scrap Gators to learn more about our commercial scrap metal recycling services.