The Four Stages Of Recycling Scrap Steel

Posted on: 27 July 2023

Steel is one of the most versatile and widely used alloys in production today. However, steel does not always need to be made from scratch because it is also widely recycled around the world these days. Anything from stainless steel bollards to structural steel sections in old buildings can be turned into new steel products. Read on to learn more about how scrap metal recycling companies process scrap steel so it can be used once more.

1. Steel Aggregation

Like all metal recycling, you need enough steel to make reprocessing it economically viable. This is why scrap metal recycling services usually start with the collection of steel from scrapper's yards and municipal recycling centers. Scrap steel comes from varied sources, ranging from household appliances to old vehicles so it can be sourced from multiple locations. After collection, it will be transported to purpose-built recycling facilities. Once there, the steel will be separated from waste materials and other scrap metals, such as aluminum. Steel metal recycling is often aided by the use of electromagnets due to its magnetic properties.

2. Shredding and Melting

The next metal recycling phase steel goes through involves shredding it. Essentially, this is done to reduce the size of the scraps which will make subsequent processes more efficient. Once shredded, the steel fragments are melted down in furnaces. Different furnace types are deployed by companies specializing in metal recycling services depending on the type of metal. For steel, electric arc or induction furnaces tend to be employed.

3. Refinement and Solidification

While steel is in a liquid state, it will be refined to remove any impurities that may still be present from paint or stickers and so on. If certain elements are to be added to the molten steel to obtain specific steel grades, this is when they'll be included. Either way, once the refinement process has been completed, the liquefied steel will then be poured into molds where it will be left to solidify. Depending on the intended use, the recycled steel might be shaped into billets, slabs, or ingots.

4. Fabrication and Manufacturing

Once the metal recycling process has produced solid steel formats that industries can use, the steel will be sold. Further processing may be needed before the full metal recycling process is complete, however. This could include rolling the metal into sheets or drawing it into wires, for example. At this stage, recycled steel will be treated in much the same way as newly produced steel. Even so, all of the primary steel properties that make it so popular will be retained once recycled making it barely distinguishable from its newer counterparts.

Contact G & M Metal, Inc for metal recycling.