Metal recycling is an ideal way of manufacturing new products without requiring new materials. Recycling not only lowers the demand on local landfills but also prevents pollution. For this reason, it is necessary for metal recycling to be highly encouraged.
Commonly recycled metals
Most metals used in consumer products must be recycled to make new products. A metal is thought to be desirable for recycling when it can be melted and then re-formed without it losing a lot of durability and strength.
Some metals commonly recycled include silver, gold, gallium, platinum, nickel, copper, steel, and aluminum. Appliances, automobile components, electronics, food containers, and beverage cans are some of the most frequently recycled metal items.
How is metal recycled?
The recycling process has several steps. These include:
- Sorting: Before the recycling process can even be started, the metals must be sorted according to their type.
- Shearing: Some pieces are too big to be reprocessed easily. Thus, the metal must be cut to shear and reduce its size.
- Shredding: Waste goods are reduced to fist-sized lumps using high-efficient shredding machines.
- Hot air blasting: Metals are often coated with lacquer. So, they must be blasted with hot air to burn off the remaining residue.
- Making molten metal & purifying it: The metal is exposed to high temperatures to create a molten solution which is tested for purity. Some other metals and gases can also be added either to change the metal’s purity or to create alloys.
- Giving shape: The molten metal is poured out of the burning furnace and made into slabs, rods, billets, or ingots depending on the intended purpose. It might also be made into a powder or transported to a manufacturing facility in liquid form and used for creating new components.