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Metal Recycling Process Facts

14 July 2022

Metal recycling is one of the most sustainable processes that are conducted today. One reason why this process is sustainable is it omits the need to mine and extract raw metal ores from the ground. It is likewise sustainable as it cuts off the energy required to process metal materials. And with the collection of scrap materials, the process can effectively decrease the waste often sent to landfills.

All these things make metal recycling sustainable and valuable for many industries and households. This process is even helpful to the environment, making sure that future generations can still appreciate a surrounding that is healthy and rich in resources.

Here are the general steps involved in the metal recycling process and some facts about them.

Collection of Scrap Metal

The first step in metal recycling is the collection of scrap metal. Scrap metals can still be recycled since most if not all their properties can be retained despite subjecting them to multiple recycling steps. And so, even if you compare newly processed metals with recycled ones, you may be surprised at how similar their qualities are. Most scrap metals being collected by recycling centres come from individuals and businesses, which mostly own electronics, equipment pieces, and household appliances.

Scrap Metal Separation

The next step in metal recycling is the separation of metals. Scrap metals may be separated according to the presence of iron in their properties. They can also be separated according to their value and their source. Some of the most valuable metals that can be separated from the rest of the waste are stainless steel, aluminium, brass, copper, lead, gold, and silver.

As mentioned earlier, metals are separated according to their iron content. Those with iron are known as ferrous metals, which can be separated by attaching them to magnets. Non-ferrous metals, alternatively, do not have any iron but are known for their high value.

Shredding and Melting

Two processes that can prepare the collected and separated scrap metals are shredding and melting. Shredding makes the scrap metals smaller while melting turns them into molten metal. The former aims to minimise the emissions often generated by burning, making metal recycling more energy-efficient. As for melting, it is conducted to make the product generation easier. Purification can then be done after these steps so that the molten metal can be free from any impurities.

Shaping Molten Metals

The molten metal is then sent to the furnace, wherein it can be shaped into a piece known as an ingot. Metals in ingot form can be shaped into bars, sheets, and tubes easier than leaving them unprocessed upon their collection and separation.

Delivery of New Metals

The last step of metal recycling is the delivery of newly processed scrap metals. As molten metals take the shape of bars, sheets, and tubes, these products are consequently delivered to places where they are needed. Some of these places include factories, construction sites, stores, and processing plants. Processing plants and factories can then convert these metals into new materials like electronics, hardware components, construction materials, and many more.

To know more about metal recycling, feel free to call us at Victorian Metal Traders.

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