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TOUGH BUT INTERESTING BUSINESS

Metal scrap is a versatile waste material received after different industrial and usual everyday human activity. Metal scrap can be ferrous, non-ferrous and of precious metals. If somebody wants to sell his or her metal scrap he/she can make use of various scrap collecting companies and yards. Prices differ significantly, the lowest price is for ferrous metal scrap and the highest is for metal scrap of precious metals. Let’s have a look how metal scrap can be recycled.

 

Firstly let’s review what it means to recycle metal scrap.

 

In order to start metal scrap recycling, companies need to buy this scrap. Companies usually buy scrap from industrial production companies or from individuals. So, the first stage is buying up.

Then metal scrap needs to be sorted according to its quality and type. Initially, of course, it divides into ferrous and non-ferrous. Then, non-ferrous metal scrap splits into different material it is made of – copper, aluminum, brass, etc. Ferrous scrap at the same time is divided into steel and pig iron. So, second stage is sorting. After that, usually scrap collecting yards prepare the scrap for transporting by means of baling or shredding. Then the sorted and baled scrap is transported to steel mills where an important stage takes place – steel mills are checking if the scrap is sorted correctly. Even small mistake in sorting can cause damage of the melting equipment and it is very serious and money wasting issue. So, checking is of crucial importance.

If everything is ok, metal scrap then goes to melting furnaces where it is heated and melted. Melted scrap is supplied to forming moulds where it gets cool and stored. Usually melted scrap is stored in ingots which are a great raw material for further processing.

So, here is a brief description of metal scrap processing. Of course, in real this process can be very complicated and different, various machines can be used, different stages take place, there are numerous types of metal scrap according to its size, thickness, etc. Below we list some widely spread machinery and equipment for metal scrap recycling.

  • Mini scrap melting mill

Some companies who collect metal scrap make us of mini scrap melting mill. It is a technical complex plant designed for the manufacture of small-quality rolled products by melting scrap metal in a product such as reinforcement bars, corner, wire rod and others. In addition, with the help of such a mini-plant, you can cast work pieces for different projects. Due to the high capacity, such a plant will allow 500,000 tons of metal to be processed per year.

  • Stationary and mobile baler-shears

 

This machinery can recycle metal scrap into pieces of set dimensions. Such type of scrap is rather expensive because it is supplied to electric arc furnaces, the most efficient type of steel mills. Baler-shear is a very powerful machine, its cutting capacity can achieve up to 1200 Tons and it can recycle big volume and thick metal scrap. Mobile baler-shear is fixed on trailer and the companies can easily move it to the place where recycling process takes place.

  • Stationary and mobile balers

 

Such equipment can press the metal scrap into heavy and compact bales which are easy to transport. Their capacity differs from several tons per hour up to 50 tons per hour. Pressing room can be very large and suitable even for car bodies to be bailed. Such machinery is used either for ferrous as well as for non-ferrous metal scrap. Mobile baler is also equipped with suitable trailer that can bring the machine to any place necessary.

  • Shredding equipment (shredders/crushers)

 

These plants have a very high level of productivity and easily crush large volumes of metal. Devices can be either mobile or stationary. According to our experience shredding equipment is the most expensive but it ensures high quality of recycling as well as high purity of ready scrap. Steel mills are looking forward to having scrap from shredding plants.

  • Strippers and granulators

 

Metal scrap is also contained in different types of wires covered by PVC or rubber. In order to take the scrap out many companies make use of different special tools such as strippers and granulators. Such machinery cuts the outer cover and takes the metal core out.

  • Vehicles for metal scrap transporting and multilifts

 

Specialized machines that are used to transport scrap. This machinery differs from the usual transport equipment in that it is equipped with everything necessary for loading, unloading and transporting heavy metal scrap. For example, its cargo compartment is covered with steel sheets resistant to wear and tear. Multilift helps to load the whole container onto the cargo vehicle very fast.

  • Additional loading equipment (cranes, rehandlers, forklifts, grapples, magnets)

 

Metal scrap is rather heavy material and collecting yards usually use different types of lifting and loading equipment such as grapples, cranes, magnets, etc.

Above, there is a short list of equipment that is used within scrap collecting and recycling activities. This area of industry is very developed and modern, every month manufacturers present new products which help companies to increase their benefits. It is rather tough but interesting business.

 

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THE PROCESS FOR METAL SCRAP RECYCLING

Why people recycle metal scrap? Firstly and the most important it helps to avoid producing metal from ore. When steel mills use metal scrap as raw material they save energy consumption greatly and decrease usage of subsoil resources. So, metal scrap is very useful material and companies that are engaged in collecting it are very important in our times.

But how does the process of metal scrap recycling take place in real?

 

In order to understand it we must have a look at the process of work of an ordinary scrap collecting yard.

 

Metal, unlike secondary glass, paper and other raw materials, can be used almost indefinitely, as it does not lose its technical properties. Recycling of metal scrap metal is a valuable and technically complex process, involving several main stages:

 

  1. Collecting metal scrap. Companies collect and transport metal scrap from households, enterprises, factories and plants by means of special transport and lifting equipment such as crane-manipulators with grapples, mobile balers and shears, scrap transport special vehicles, etc
  2. Sorting. After the metal scrap has been delivered to scrap yard, it should be sorted, firstly into ferrous and non-ferrous metal scrap, because these two sorts cannot be melted together. After that the scrap is baled and transported to steel mills. During this stage companies are using a great variety of metal scrap recycling, baling and sorting equipment such metal balers, shears, shredders, granulators, crushers, strippers, etc. The more equipment is used to recycle and sort the scrap, the higher prices can be received from steel mills for such raw material. Sometimes scrap collecting yards send prepared scrap for export to international steel mills or sell it to port authorities. In some countries there is a shortage of metal scrap.
  3. Metal scrap melting. This stage is performed in steel mills at special furnaces that ensure different temperature for each type of scrap. Usually, blast furnaces use bales, and electric arc furnaces use shredded scrap. Electric arc furnaces are modern and energy saving equipment.
  4. Cooling. Melted raw material is supplied into special moulds where it is cooling down and turning into ingots. Such cold ingots are the material for further processing.

Prices for metal recyclable scrap depend on the purity of the metal, its quantity, size and market demand. Scrap of non-ferrous metals is more expensive than ferrous metal scrap. The cost of scrap is reduced if additional processing is required or the metal has some impurities. Different companies buy the same kind of metal scrap at different prices, since most of the costs for scrap metal depend upon its delivery to the steel mill: the farther the mill is the lower purchase price gets.

Ferrous metal scrap recycling

Recycle of ferrous metal scrap begins with sorting it into:

  • Metal (shavings, household scrap);
  • Stainless steel;
  • Pig iron scrap.

These metals can be found in production waste, in bridge structures, in construction, often found in household appliances and mechanisms: car parts, electric kettles, and bathtubs. The main difference of ferrous metals lies in the magnetic characteristics and susceptibility to corrosion.

 

Non-ferrous metal scrap recycling

Recycling of non-ferrous scrap is a rather complicated process. The technology of recycling color scrap is carried out for each metal separately. Among the non-ferrous metals, the most popular are products with expired lifetime or defective products from:

  • aluminum (old dishes, gutters, cans for drinks, construction profiles);
  • copper (water utensils, wires, roofing materials);
  • lead (car batteries);
  • bronze (monuments, fences);
  • brass (keys, plumbing, door handles, radiators).

 

Car batteries containing a lot of lead are most often recycled. It can easily be recycled and successfully used for further purposes. The old equipment, household appliances and industrial waste are not just garbage; they can cost quite a lot of money!

 

Sell your metal scrap and it can bring benefit to many people in future.