What Goes into Metal Recycling Process

What Goes into Metal Recycling Process

FREMONT, CA : Metals are useful materials that can be recycled several times without losing their quality. Scrap metal has a monetary value, which encourages people to collect it for recycling. There is also an environmental imperative in addition to a financial motivation. Metal recycling allows people to save natural resources by consuming less energy in the process than creating new goods from virgin raw materials. Recycling decreases the amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases released into the atmosphere. It also saves money and helps manufacturing companies lower their production costs. Recycling also generates jobs.

The Metal Recycling Process


Metals have a different collection method than other commodities due to their higher scrap value. As a result, it is more likely to be sold to scrap yards rather than thrown away in a landfill. Scrap vehicles are the most common source of ferrous scrap metal in the United States. Large steel structures, railroad tracks, cars, farm machinery, and, of course, market scrap are among the other sources. One-half of ferrous scrap supply comes from prompt scrap, which is produced during the manufacturing of new products.


Metals are separated from a mixed scrap metal stream or a mixed multi-material waste stream during sorting. Magnets and sensors are used in automated recycling operations to help in material separation. Scrappers can use a magnet and observe the material color or weight to help determine the metal form at the entrepreneur level. Aluminum, for example, would be silvery and light. Copper, yellow (for brass), and red (for red brass) are appropriate colors. By separating clean metal from dirty metal, scrappers may increase the value of their content.


Metals are shredded to allow for further processing. Shredding is used to speed up the melting process because shredded metals have a high surface-to-volume ratio.  As a result, they need significantly less energy to melt. Aluminum is usually transformed into small sheets, and steel is transformed into steel blocks.


In a large furnace, scrap metal is melted. Each metal is placed in a furnace that is specifically designed to melt that metal. This phase necessitates a significant amount of energy.  Nonetheless, the energy required to melt and recycle metals is significantly less than that required to manufacture metals from virgin raw materials. Melting will take anything from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the furnace's size, degree of heat, and volume of metal.


Purification ensures that the finished product is of good quality and free of pollutants. Electrolysis is one of the most popular purification methods.


Following purification, molten metals are transported by conveyor belt to cool and solidify. Scrap metals are molded into specific shapes, such as bars, that can be used to make various metal products at this point.

Transportation of the Metal Bars

The metals are ready to use after they have cooled and solidified. They are then shipped to various factories, where they are used as raw materials to manufacture brand new goods.  When the items made out of these metal bars reach the end of their useful lives, the metal recycling process begins all over again.