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  • Metal…amazing and valuable!

    Metal…..one the most valuable and overlooked resources on the planet.  This amazing resource has been around since medieval times and is used by each and every one of us in some form every day.  Metal is used to make cookware, utensils, aplliances, bed frames, alarm clocks, curling irons, lamsps, vehicles, boats, planes, trains, stoves, overns, refrdgerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers,  It is computers, phones, televisions, radios,  and anything else with wires of some sort in it.  Toys and sporting goods are often made with metal.  Take a good long look around your home and you will be able to identify numeous forms of metal.

     

    How often have you used metal today?picture of what semi red brass might look like

     

    It is a scientific that 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals.  Non-ferrous metals contain no iron and are not magnetic. Brass, aluminum, copper, bronze and lead are among the metals in this group.  Gold and silver are also part of this group, but usually you would take those metals to a jeweller.    Ferrous metals contain an appreciable percentage of iron and the addition of carbon and other substances creates steel.

    Up to the Medieval era of the Middle Ages it was believed that there were only seven metals which are referred to as the ‘Metals of Antiquity’. The ancient ‘Metals of Antiquity’ are as follows; Gold (6000BC), , Copper (9000BC), Silver (4000BC), Lead (6400BC), Tin (3000BC), Iron (1500BC), Mercury )1500BC)

     

    Metal deposits are non-renewable resources that will run out if exploited at the present rate

     

    Metal deposits are non-renewable resources that will run out if exploited at the present rate.  Reserves of copper are still sizeable but will not be able to sustain present rates of consumption.  It is cheaper to recycle steel than to mine iron ore and manipulate it through the production process to form new steel. Steel does not lose any of its inherent physical properties during the recycling process, and has drastically reduced energy and material requirements compared with refinement from iron ore.  The ability to make full use of ferrous scrap–the product of earlier industrial production-makes steel environmentally attractive and reduces the burden on the world’s resources in meeting the growing and innovative uses for steel around the world.  An aluminum can has no limit to the number of times it can be recycled.

     

    The increasing demand for metals in the course of the last century, putting permanent pressure on natural resources, has revealed that metals are a priority area for decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation.  7 million metric tons of steel recycled in 2010.  More steel is recycled, by weight, each year in Canada than aluminum, paper and glass combined.   A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces water pollution, air pollution, and mining waste by about 70 percent.

    Given the fact that we have become accutoned to using so much metal, it is time for us a a society to begin thinking about th future.  It will be a harsh reality when the day comes that we no longer have any metal to rely on!

    When you throw away an aluminum can you waste as much energy as if you’d filled the can half full of gasoline and poured it into the ground.

     

     

     



  • What happens to aluminum in the recycling process?

    Aluminium recycling is not new.   Aluminium recycling is the process by which scrap aluminum can be reused in products after its initial production.  It has been a common practice since the early 1900s and extensively capitalized during World War II.    It was, however, a low-profile activity until the late 1960s when the exploding popularity of aluminium beverage cans finally placed recycling into the public consciousness.

    The process involves  re-melting the metal.  This is far less expensive and energy intensive than creating new aluminium through the electrolysis of aluminium oxide (Al2O3), which must first be mined from bauxite ore and then refined using the Bayer process. Since recycling does not transmute the element, aluminium can be recycled indefinitely and still be used to produce any product for which new aluminium could have been used.

    Recycling aluminium uses about 5% of the energy required to create aluminium from bauxite.

    The recycling of aluminium  produces significant cost savings over the production of new aluminium ….even when the cost of collection, separation and recycling are taken into account.   Over the long term, even larger national savings are made when the reduction in the capital costs associated with landfills, mines and international shipping of raw aluminium are considered.  Recycling aluminium uses about 5% of the energy required to create aluminium from bauxite. 

    For this reason, approximately 31% of all aluminium produced in the United States comes from recycled scrap.  The amount of energy required to convert aluminium oxide into aluminium can be vividly seen when the process is reversed during the combustion of thermite or ammonium perchlorate composite propellant.

    Used beverage containers are the largest component of processed aluminum scrap, with most UBC scrap manufactured back into aluminum cans.  Other sources for recycled aluminium include aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, computers, cookware, gutters, siding, wire, and many other products that need a strong light weight material, or a material with high thermal conductivity.

    After collection, the scrap aluminium is separated into a range of categories such as  irony aluminium (engine blocks etc.), clean aluminium (alloy wheels) and then cleaned in preparation for the next step.  Tthe specification of the required ingot casting it will determine on the type of scrap used in the start melt.  The scrap is then taken to a reverberatory furnace (other methods appear to be either less economical and/ or dangerous) and melted down to form a “bath”.  The re-melt process removes any coatings or nk that may be present on the aluminum.  The molten metal is tested using spectroscopy on a sample taken from the melt to determine what refinements are needed to produce the final casts.   After any necessary refinements have been added the melt may be tested several times to be able to fine tune the batch to the specific standard

    Once the”recipe” of metal is correct, the furnace is tapped and poured into ingot moulds, usually via a casting machine. The melt is then left to cool, stacked and sold on as cast silicon aluminium ingot to various industries for re-use.

    There is also a secondary recycling process for aluminum.   White dross from primary aluminium production and from secondary recycling operations still contains useful quantities of aluminium which can be extracted industrially.  The process produces aluminium billets, together with a highly complex waste material.  This is a difficult to manage waste because it reacts with water, releasing a mixture of gases (including, among others, hydrogen, acetylene, and ammonia) which spontaneously ignite on contact with air.   Contact with damp air results in the release of large quantities of ammonia gas. Despite these difficulties, the waste has found use as a filler in asphalt and concrete.

     

     

    Of course there are creative ways to recycle also.  Check out what some people have done to make good use of their aluminum.CERT-34104 aluminum recycling rim table bike wheel trellis

     

    Aluminum is an amazing metal!

     



  • Facts About Brass

     

    Brass Recycling – Brass is not an element metal by it’s self. But since it’s use is so common and it is often described as it’s own metal, it deserves its own section. The base element found in this type of metal is copper alloyed with a high percentage of zinc. You will also find information here on a couple of commonly bought bronze alloys. Common terms and information in recycling this type of metal and its alloys are given below.

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    Yellow Brasspicture of yellow brass items

    The most commonly used of all brasses and its alloys. It is used in household plumbing including popular items such as your faucets and “under the sink” plumbing. Most of the keys we use will also be yellow brass. Although many different alloy percentages can be found, this type of metal usually contains around 60% to 70% copper, 30% to 40% zinc and trace amounts of lead and tin. This type gets it’s name because of the very apparent yellow color. The  prices often reflect the price of copper,however demand is also key, as with any alloyed metal.

    Red Brasspicture of what red brass looks like

    This brass is still commonly recycled, although diminishing in use. It has a  reddish pink tint which gives it  its name. The red tint is due to the high amount of copper that will usually will be found. This type of metal is commonly made up of 85% copper, 15% zinc and very small traces of lead and tin. Common uses of red brass are sprinklers and shut off valves, but many other items that can be found.

    Semi-red Brasspicture of what semi red brass might look like

    Semi-red brass has replaced red brass as we’ve known it. It is made of a cheaper element mixture which is  equally as useful. The common element alloys are 80% copper, 10% zinc, 5% tin, 2-3% lead and other trace elements. It’s common uses are similar to red brass which include shut off valves, sprinkler’s and other not so common items.

    A less common type of metal that has similar alloyed elements as brass, is bronze. The 2 most used are defind as Aluminum Bronze and Manganese Bronze. Aluminum Bronze is around 90% copper, 7% aluminum, 2-3% iron and traces of other elements. Manganese Bronze is 58.5% Copper, 39% Zinc, 1.4% Iron and small traces of other elements.

    a picture of what bronze metal would look like



  • Copper….What happens in the life of copper metal?

    Copper products are hard wearing and last for a long time and will often still function long after they have been superseded by newer modelsThis metal  can be recycled indefinitely as it does not degrade when processed.   Recycling  this scrap metal can reduce emissions and energy output compared to production from virgin materials as well as protect our natural resources.

    Benefits of recycling copper

    The economic and environmental benefits of recycling copper are given below and illustrate the sustainable nature of the metal:

    Environment……During mining and refining (purification) of copper, dust and waste gases such as sulphur dioxide are produced which may have a harmful effect on the environment. Although these harmful effects are minimised by producers (sulphur dioxide is captured and used to make sulphuric acid), with recycling there are little, if any, harmful gases emitted.

    Disposal of copper is often in holes in the ground – this is called landfill.  These holes are rapidly being filled up and, as they become scarcer, landfill becomes a very expensive option for waste disposal (of any material).

    Energy saving ……In order to extract copper from copper ore the energy required is approximately 100GJ/tonne. Recycling  uses much less energy, about 10GJ/tonne, that’s only 10% of the energy needed for extraction. This energy saving leads to the conservation of valuable reserves of oil, gas or coal and reduces the amount of CO2  released into the atmosphere.

    Conservation of copper ore……To date only about 12% of known resources have been mined. However copper ore is a finite resource and it makes sense to conserve ore by recycling.

    Economics……It is cheaper to recycle old copper than to mine and extract new copper. Recycled copper is worth up to 90% of the cost of the original copper. Recycling helps to keep the cost of  products down.

    What Happens When It’s Recycled?

    When copper scrap is first received for recycling, it is inspected and graded. The scrap material is melted and in some cases brought to higher purity while molten. Chemical analysis checks the purity level.   The molten copper is cast into a cake or a block for further processing.

    Copper alloy scrap has to be segregated, kept clean and identified so that the alloying elements and impurity content of each batch are known. Copper alloys are then melted together into batches of known composition, some with virgin material so that the recycled material has the alloy composition desired.

     

    man in fireproof suit moving a tub of molten copper



  • Metal Recycling Facts

    To meet the goals of efficient management of limited resources, cost reduction and the reduced use of landfills, recycling has become increasingly important to both society and industry. Our society is accusstomed to hearing the three R’s of recycling (reduce, reuse, recycle) to include paper, plastics, bottles, cans, and cardboard; however, many people do not know that you can recycle metal as well. Recycling metal has many benefits including reducing pollution, saving resources, reducing waste going to landfills and preventing the destruction of habitats from mining new ore.

    “Scrap-recycling facilities are like mines above ground, rich with resources that can be reused to preserve the environment, at a fraction of the cost to mine and refine metals from virgin ores. Scrap metal is not waste or trash. Rather, it is a continuous resource – made from old automobiles, appliances, buildings, bridges, airplanes and more. Scrap metal may, in fact, be one of our most precious resources. Because it can be re-melted and reshaped into new products countless times, scrap metal is a resource that will never be depleted.”

     

    Energy Conservation

    The amount of energy saved when using various recycled metals compared to virgin ore is up to:

    • 92 % for aluminum
    • 90 % for copper
    • 56 % for steel

    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when you recycle a single aluminum beverage can, you help conserve enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than four hours.

     

    Environmental Benefits

    Recycling your metal conserves natural resources by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using less energy than making metal from virgin ore. New metal production releases a far greater amount of greenhouse gas emissions compared with making products from recycled metal. These emissions may influence climate change along with the possibility of also causing harmful levels of air pollution in cities, which can result in potential respiratory health problems for you and other residents. TheI  Institute of  Scrap Recycling Industries(ISRI) reports that recycling metal may cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300 million to 500 million tons.

    In addition, the use of  scrap metal instead of virgin ore generates 97% less mining waste and uses 40% less water, according to the National Institute of Health.

    An additional bonus is that your environment is clean!

     

    Economic Benefits

    According to the National Institute of Health, the recycling of scrap  metal creates 36 times more jobs than sending the same amount of metal waste to the incinerator, and six times more than sending the metal to a landfill.according to the National Institute of Health. The National Recycling Coalition says the recycling industry in general generates $236 billion annually. More than a million workers across Americaare employed.

    Metal recycling is contributes to the solution of global warning, NOT the problem.  Sable Metal Recycling is proud to be part of the solution. Be kind to the environment and recycle your metal.  We will take your copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel , wire, radiators, catalytic converters, alternators and much more.  Call 775 0772 and recycle your metal today!

     

    References:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/132349-benefits-recycling-metal/#ixzz1pX3qk5a0

    http://www.alcoa.com/global/en/environment/pdf/importance_of_recycling.pdf