Scrap metal consists of copper, steel, brass, and iron. These metals can be recycled and sold for profit. Scrap metal is the combination of waste metal, metallic material and any product that contains recyclable metal. Copper is the best scrap metal because all scrap yards accept them. Scrap metals have a high market value because they can be recycled again and again several times. Scrap metal can be obtained from both industrial as well as residential environments. Scrap metal is not waste because it has a monetary value.
Uses of scrap metal:
- Industry: Scrap iron and aluminum are extensively used in the industrial sector. It is recycled and reused again and again in the building of roads and bridges. They are also used in the transportation industry for the manufacture of automobiles, aircraft and other vehicles. The Scrap metal is also being used to detoxify industrial wastewater. Aluminum is also used in the manufacture of many appliances. Scrap metal is also used to manufacture containers, cans, and tins. Scrap metal is used so extensively by industries because it is cheap and recyclable.
- Metal products: New and stronger metal products can be manufactured from scrap steel, iron, copper and aluminum. It is also cost-effective and emits less carbon dioxide into the environment. Aluminum scrap metal can be melted at much lower temperatures than virgin aluminum. As a result, it consumes less energy.
- Furniture: Scrap metal is recycled to make beautiful and cost-effective metal furniture. Beds, benches, tables, and chairs are made using the scrap metal.
- Artistry: Many people use scrap metal to make artistic pieces. They make sculptures or frames using scrap metal to decorate their walls or flaunt them in some exhibitions.
- Environment: Recycling scrap metal protects the environment. Air pollution is reduced by 86%, water usage by 40 % and water pollution is reduced by 76%.
Most commonly recycled scrap metal:
- Iron is used for making pipes, barbeques, gas heaters and other items. Iron is highly corrosive and therefore steel has currently replaced iron as the most recycled scrap metal. But it is still useful for the manufacture of many industrial products.
- Steel is the most commonly used scrap metal for recycling. Steel is mainly used by the appliance industry. Having magnetic properties, both steel and iron are easily recycled. Steel scrap is used to make chairs, shelves, cans, and many household appliances.
- Aluminum is a versatile scrap metal. It is used to make beverage cans, car parts, window parts, sliding doors, and many more items. The recycling process of aluminum is time-saving and cost-effective.
- Brass is a heavy metal and is a combination of zinc and copper. Brass is expensive because it contains copper which is valuable. Brass is used to manufacturing light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, keys, and plumbing pieces.
- Copper is expensive as scrap metal. it is used in pipes, electrical components, and electric wires.
Things to be done with scrap metal:
- Firstly, all kinds of scrap metal are collected and stored in scrapyards.
- Secondly, all ferrous metals are separated from non-ferrous metals. This step is very important for quality control.
- Thirdly all the scrap metal is sorted. Assorted metals are more valuable than mixed metals. The metals are sorted into alloy steel, carbon steel, wrought iron, lead, tin, bronze and precious metals like gold and silver.
- Fourthly the scrap metals are cleaned. Glass, wood or plastic is removed properly.
- Fifthly the scrap metal is cut into pieces to reduce the volume.
- Sixthly the sorted scrap metal is weighed.
- Lastly, scrap metal is sold in the market. Different scrap has different market value.
The above article gives an insight into the different uses of scrap metal. Using scrap metal is comparatively cheaper than using virgin metal.