Steel recycling can save natural resources and drastically reduce the production cost for the manufacturers.
FREMONT, CA: Steel is one of the most widely used metals globally, appearing in everything, starting from the tallest skyscrapers to regular kitchen utensils. Steel has fueled technological growth and development throughout the Industrial Age and continues to do so today, with over 1,868,800,000 tons produced in 2019.
Steel is an iron alloy, which means it is composed primarily of a combination of metals and nonmetals such as carbon, iron, and tin. Like most metals, that includes aluminum, copper, and brass, steel can be recycled indefinitely without causing severe harm or degradation to its properties, regardless of the product or shape it takes.
This is an exciting opportunity in terms of steel's environmental effects and preserving the planet's natural resources. Steel recycling has an economic significance for its consumers, as it helps in cost savings for the companies involved in the manufacturing process.
Here are the fundamentals of steel recycling and its numerous environmental and financial benefits. But first, here are the different types of steel and how they can be recycled.
Types of Steel Recyclables
Steel-based products contain various types of steel, as indicated by their multiple applications. Stainless steel is the most commonly used steel in the market.
The magnetic properties of steel differentiate it from stainless steel. Steel is highly magnetized, whereas stainless steel has no magnetic properties. This is because steel is a ferrous metal, which has iron and thus is ferromagnetic, but stainless steel is a non-ferrous metal, which contains no iron and therefore has no magnetic properties.
Stainless steel is considered corrosion-resistant and has a higher melting point than other steels. As a result, it is commonly used in healthcare equipment, food production, automobiles, and construction projects. Steel will be available in more common household items like hangers and appliances.
The Environmental Impact of Steel Recycling
Steel has an exceptionally high recycling rate, both in steel and the byproducts used in the manufacturing process. Steel recycling facilities save nearly 74 percent of the total energy used in raw material production. This has significant benefits in the struggle to conserve natural resources and reduce excess greenhouse gas emissions.
The Economic Impact of Steel Recycling
When manufacturers use recycled materials in their production, they can drastically decrease development cost. Steel enables them to operate entirely recycled materials rather than going through the expensive process of extracting raw ore from the ground.