Metals have been pivotal to many manufacturing companies as they can be fabricated to create a variety of parts and components. Even prototypes can be fabricated out of metals, making them valuable for many industries out there.
Aside from manufacturing companies, metals are likewise used in construction sites to build different parts of a structure or building. The durability and resistance of metals against heat, moisture, and other damaging elements allow them to last for a long time. Their longevity likewise makes metals useful in creating different appliances, electronics, and many more.
But once metal elements are no longer needed or wanted, they are often discarded and sent to landfills. These metals, known as scrap metals, can be found in a variety of sources mentioned earlier. They may also come in various forms like pipes, wires, sheets, and structural materials. Now, even at the end of their service life, they can still be valuable once recycled.
The Essential Value of Scrap Metals
The value of scrap metals varies based on a variety of factors. These factors include the type of metal, its condition, the current market demand, and the quantity available for recycling. Generally, metals like copper, brass, and aluminium are more valuable than other metals due to their higher demand and the difficulty of extracting them from ore. Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum also have high value due to their rarity and use in various industries.
Scrap metals’ value can fluctuate based on market conditions and supply and demand. For instance, the value of steel and other metals may increase due to increased construction and manufacturing activity. Similarly, when the demand for electronics and technology products increases, the value of metals like copper and gold used in these products may also increase.
Now, by recycling scrap metals, the value of discarded metals can be maximised again. It can also reduce the environmental impact that is often caused by mining and extracting raw metals.
How Scrap Metal Recycling is Done
Scrap metal recycling is the process of reusing or repurposing metal waste products to reduce the environmental impact of mining and extraction of raw materials. Some steps involved in scrap metal recycling are as follows.
• Collect scrap metals: The first step in scrap metal recycling is the collection of scrap metal. Collection can be done through various methods such as curbside pick-up, drop-off locations, or industrial waste management.
• Sort collected materials: Once collected, scrap metal needs to be sorted based on the type of metal, purity level, and contamination. This step ensures that the right type of metal goes through the right recycling process.
• Process the sorted metals: After sorting, scrap metal goes through a series of processing steps that may include shredding, shearing, and compacting. These steps break down the scrap metal into smaller pieces to make them easier to transport and melt.
• Melt processed metals: The processed scrap metal is then melted down in a furnace to produce new metal products. The melted metal is then poured into moulds to create new metal products like cars, appliances, and building materials.
• Refine the materials: Some metals may require refining before being melted down to remove impurities such as rust or other contaminants.
• Market recycled scrap metals: The new metal products created from recycled scrap metal are marketed and sold to consumers, completing the recycling process.
Scrap metal recycling is an essential practice that helps in reducing the environmental impact of mining and extraction of raw materials. When carrying out this process, scrap metal recycling companies should follow local regulations, handle scrap metal safely, and separate metals optimally to ensure proper scrap metal recycling.
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