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Recycling Metals Or Scrap Metals Recycling
Recycling simply put means reuse. Hence metal recycling or recycling of metals involves the processes in which metals or metal scraps are sourced, processed and reused for making products made up of one or more metals. Since metals are used in cars, trucks, ships, aeroplanes, ovens, cutlery, railway tracks, crockery as well as for packaging it becomes necessary to recycle them when and where possible.
Recycling of metals is geared towards the gathering and reuse of metals and metal scraps either to reduce environmental pollution (land, air or water pollution), conserve energy , save time or save costs. Thus recycled metals are used in making other materials whose components are made of such metals or converted entirely into other products that require such metals. Metal recycling is therefore one aspect of waste recycling. Metals can be recycled from both industrial wastes and consumer wastes.
The recycling of metals involves the following ways:
1. Sourcing and Collection of the metals: This involves the finding and collection of the metals or metal scraps from different sources
2. Sorting of the metals: This involves separating metals or metal scraps from nonmetallic materials as well as separating ferrous metals and nonferrous metals using magnets during the recycling process to identify the recyclable metals from metals that cannot be recycled.
3. Processing of the metals: This involves crushing, squeezing, breaking or squashing of the metals so as to make them compacted. This is done to make them occupy less space in the recycling machines.
4. Shredding the metals: This involves breaking the metals into smaller pieces for further processing.
5. Smelting of the metals or melting of the metals: The scrap metals that have been shredded are then melted in a large furnace.
6. Purification of the metals: After the metals are melted in a furnace they are then purified using electrolysis and other methods of purification.
7. Manufacturing of finished products: The purified recycled metals or metal scraps are used in manufacturing finished products that can be used by industries and consumers.
Over the years, metals being what they are as part of natural resources are found in our planet (Earth). Metals are of importance to metallurgical industries and even countries that have the technical know-how as well as the marketability. However, since products made of metals normally wear and tear or depreciate with time, the metals in the form of metal scraps have been known to directly and indirectly contribute to environmental pollution, which can constitute environmental hazards and even affect health and safety.
Since natural deposits of metals (ores- from which metals are extracted) are non-renewable and so can be easily depleted by metallurgical activities and processes, it becomes important to recycle metals or recycle scrap metals. Metal and scrap metal recycling help to preserve natural resources as well as environmental preservation. In order to minimize environmental pollution and associated negative effects, it becomes necessary to recycle metals and their scraps. The importance of recycling metals and metal scraps can either be for safety reasons, health reasons, preservation reasons and of course for commercial benefits (for buyers and sellers of metals and scrap metals).
Locally and internationally, there are some companies or businesses that are specialized in trading metals(buying metals or selling metals) and recycling scrap metals(sourcing and buying scrap metals). These metals can either be obtained from manufacturers of metals or companies that are known for recycling metals. Metals form major parts of home appliances, electrical appliances and industrial appliances. So by recycling these metals the metals are made available to manufacturers that use them in producing appliances and equipment for consumers thus saving time, energy and cost associated with fresh exploration and extraction of these metals from their ores.
Metals are often recycled because even if the metals are recycled the metals still retain their chemical and physical characteristics and properties. Some of the physical properties possessed by metals that can still be retained when such metals are recycled includes strength, durability, malleability, and conductivity which are of importance in a wide range of products that are used by industries and consumers.
Although metals are recycled however the metals that are commonly recycled and are also traded includes aluminum, zinc, lead, titanium, iron, copper, brass, precious metals (gold, silver) and specialty alloys.
Scrap metals or metal scraps are discarded metals that can be reprocessed through recycling and used in making metallic products. Basically, there are two types of metal scraps or scrap metals which are ferrous scrap metals ( ferrous metal scraps) and nonferrous metal scraps (non-ferrous scrap metals). While ferrous metals refer to iron and iron-based steel metal items and are magnetic, however nonferrous metals refer to metal scraps that are not iron or iron-based steel items that are not magnetic. Some metal scraps that can be recycled and traded includes but not limited to aluminum cans, MLC aluminum, aluminum siding, old sheet aluminum, unclean aluminum, cast aluminum, aluminum car rims, insulated aluminum wire / bare aluminum wire, aluminum extrusion, copper wire, copper tubing, sheet copper, copper turnings, insulated copper wire, brass turnings, aluminum turnings, aluminum BBQ grills, aluminum radiators, aluminum bumpers, aluminum wheels, automobile radiators, lithograph sheets, automobile starters, lead weights, heater cores, electric motors, alternators, compressors, catalytic converters, car batteries, aluminum copper radiators, circuit boards, stainless steel sinks, transmissions, computer towers, etc.
From the ongoing, it is obvious that the recycling of metals or recycling of scrap metals are of economic importance, safety importance, health importance and environmental importance since the metals and metal scraps (after being processed) are used in making products which are used by consumers from day to day and so those that people or businesses that trade metals have returns on their investment as profit while contributing directly and indirectly to the economy through earning of foreign exchange for their country of business if it involves international trade- import & export of metals or import & export of scrap metals.
Recycling of metals (through metal scraps collection) also help prevent environmental hazards and pollution that have negative impacts on the safety and health of individuals. Scrap metals serve as raw materials for industries that their products contain one or more of the aforementioned metals.
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