Metal Recycling Process

We often do now think about how metal is actually recycled from start to finish. Check out this infographic to learn how it all works.

Source: Schnitzer Steel

(1) Collection of Scrap

Scrap is collected from various locations at the scrap yard. At the entrance it is checked for radioactive materials before storing in the scrap yard. If radiation is detected then the supplier is not permitted to unload.

(2) Material handles

Huge material handlers grab the unprocessed scrap and load them onto the infeed conveyor.

(3) On the Conveyor

The scrap passes through another radiation detector on the conveyor thus ensuring that the scrap metal is free of any radioactive elements.

(4) Feed Rollers

The scrap material is crushed by the feed rollers. They also control the flow of material to the hammer mill. This synchronization with the mill ensures a smooth functioning on the metal recycling facility.

(5) The Hammer Mill

The hammer mill is a heavy duty shredder. It cuts the scrap metal into small pieces until they are small enough to fit through the grater under it. These pieces are approximately up to 7 inches. They fall through the grate onto the conveyor below. This stage has metallic and non-metallic materials.

(6) Radioactive Detector

The shredded pieces are passed through a radioactive detector in case the shredding process opened any concealed radioactive material.

(7) Magnetic Drum Ferrous Materials Separator

The scrap pieces are then passed through a magnetic drum that separates the ferrous material from the non-ferrous. The ferrous material is collected in this process.

(8) The Cyclone – Nonferrous Materials Separator

The cyclone uses vacuum to suck any non-metallic any remaining pieces.

(9) Magnetic Drum – Ferrous Materials Separator

The material passed through a magnetic drum again to separate any ferrous material that may have slipped through initially

(10) Eddy Current Separator

Eddy current separator pulls out any non-ferrous materials such as aluminum

(11) Induction Sorting System

Induction sorting system pulls out any additional nonferrous material such as stainless steel

(12) Manual Separation

The remaining material is separated manually for any pieces that slipped through the separators

(13) Shipping Ferrous Metals

By now the ferrous metals are separated and are shipped to steel mills

(14) Shipping Nonferrous Metals

The separated nonferrous metals are sent to foundries for further processing