February 20, 2024

How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Work?

By
Jane Cooper

Metal recycling is one of the best ways that a business can contribute to saving the planet from major economic loss caused by climate change.

If recycling scrap metal is something that you are looking to get your business into, then you may wonder how it works.

The process of recycling is done in stages and each stage brings the metal closer to something that can be used once again. Here is a look at all the stages of the scrap metal recycling process.

What Is Metal Recycling?

Metal recycling is the process by which waste metal is processed into new metal. The recycling of old metals can ‌make new products. Once the products have exceeded their life span, the metal can be recycled again and used to make other products.

The two main types of metals that can be recycled are ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals that can be recycled are steel and iron. Nonferrous metals that can be recycled are titanium, aluminum, and brass.

The Advantages of Recycling Metal

Recycled metal comes with several advantages. The biggest one is that it reduces waste. There will be less metal in landfills if everyone recycles.

Metals do not break down ‌easily, and sometimes they do not break down at all. It will just sit in the landfill for several years.

Another benefit of using recycled metal instead of creating metal from scratch is that recycled metal uses less energy than creating new metals. To get virgin metal, the mining process will have to take place.

This can severely affect the natural reserves that are in the environment. Mining can be very detrimental to wildlife as well. When recycled metal is used, there is no need for any further mining to take place, as all the resources are already in place.

The Process of Recycling Metal

Four major steps take place to recycle metal so that it can be used again. Each part of the process is separate and very distinct. Here is a closer look at each stage of the process.

Segregation

The first step in the metal recycling process is segregation. During this time, the collected scrap metal is separated. This type of organization is necessary to ensure that the recycling process goes smoothly.

The metal is separated by size and weight. The different densities of material will be taken into consideration when they are being sorted. Sometimes products get trapped in the metal and they will need to be removed.

For example, plastic may get trapped in between the metal. This is a foreign object that will need to be removed before the recycling process begins. The removal of raw materials such as plastic ensures that the finished product is pure.

In the past, segregation was done by hand, but this is no longer the case. Now there are several machines available that automatically detect the type of metal and the size and separate them automatically.

Preparation

The next step of the metal recycling process is preparation. During this time, the materials are put in a metal shredder to cut down on the recycling process time.

This is why the segregation process is so important. It ensures that the materials being shredded are as similar as possible.

Shredding

To be as efficient as possible with your scrap metal recycling, you’re going to want to purchase the right shredder. There are different shredders that can dispose of materials in different sizes. These materials include bulk waste solids, liquid and solid waste, as well as sludge and biosolids. Franklin Miller will listen to your needs and recommend the perfect metal shredder for you.

What’s even better about the shredding process when you have an industrial shredder is that there is minimal work required. So not only are you going to ‌shred scrap metal on-site, but you’ll have a system that’s easy to use.

The shredding part of this process also ensures that there are smaller amounts of emissions used during the next stage of the scrap metal recycling process, which is burning.

Burning

Once the material has been segregated and shredded, it is time for the burning process to begin. The burning process ‌makes all the scrap metal have the same density.

The metal is put in a furnace and then put under high heat. The heat ‌binds the metal together.

Different metals have varying melting points. The melting point will determine how long it takes for shredded metal to become molten metal. For the process to go faster, the amount of the shredded metal being processed ‌can be reduced.

The bottom line is that the melting point of the metal is critical in creating molten metal. For example, iron has a higher melting point than zinc.

Formation

The next step in the metal recycling process is formation. At this point, all the metals are taken out of the furnace and are created as ingots. When the material is in an ingot format, it is in its purest form.

These ingots are shaped to form bars of metal. The ingot can also be transported as a liquid and sometimes powder to manufacturing plants where they are transformed into products.

Save Money by Recycling Scrap Metal

One of the easiest ways to save money is by using the same materials repeatedly. By recycling your scrap metal, you can do just that.

If your business regularly has scrap metals lying around, the best thing you can do is to plan to recycle the metal so that it can be used productively.

This means that there is no need for metal to be lying around without being recycled for use once again. Recycling scrap metal has been made less complex by using machinery.

If you are interested in purchasing equipment to recycle scrap metal, please contact us.

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