Scrap metal is one of the most sought materials in the recycling industry. This is mainly because of the cost, energy-saving, and environmental conservation benefits behind recycling metal rather than extracting virgin ores. As the ferrous steel recycling industry continues to grow by the day, your interest in the subject may also grow. So, what does the ferrous steel recycling process entail? Here are four main stages involved in the recycling process.
1. Collection and Sorting
Scrap yards collect and purchase different metals and metal products from soda cans to old vehicles. Scrap yards provide the perfect central location for players in the ferrous metal recycling industry to collect their stock. Once collected, they are transferred to the recycling plant where they await sorting.
Sorting involves separating ferrous metal from non-ferrous. It could also involve stripping off wrappers and other impurities. Since ferrous steel and metals are magnetic, handlers may run magnets and sensors to help with the sorting process.
Once the ferrous steel pieces are assembled, the handlers will shred them into numerous tiny blocks to make the melting process easier and faster. Melting shredded metal also consumes relatively low power.
The tiny steel blocks will then be passed into a large furnace to melt into hot liquid. Depending on the volume-to-surface ratio of the steel blocks, level of heat, and size of the oven, the melting process can take a few hours to complete.
3. Refining and Molding
The molten metal will need to be purified before molding it into its final state. The handlers may use various purification methods such as electrolysis to eliminate the impurities.
The molten and purified metal will then be passed to various molds using conveyor belts to take different shapes and cool off. Finally, they can be molded into steel sheets, bars, rods, or blocks.
4. Transport to the Market
After solidifying into specific shapes and sizes, the new ferrous steel is now ready for the market. These new metal bars will be transported to various industries and manufacturers. In addition, new steel from the recycling process may be used to make vehicles, tools, and appliances.
The recycled steel can also be used in the construction industry for various applications. Most household products such as cutlery and food containers are made of ferrous steel. When the steel products are too old, they can be recycled once again to create new materials.
Ferrous steel recycling processes are sustainable procedures with enormous benefits compared to extracting virgin ores. These stages are less demanding and guarantee quality raw materials for the production of new steel products.