You can take a step forward towards steel recycling due to the concern of saving the environment. The best part is that scrap metal can be recycled infinite times so you can reduce the ill effects like pollution. This task involves a process in which steel is recycled to give a new shape and use it in construction or several other industries.
There are many other benefits connected with the recycling of steel. When you recycle steel products and materials, they help to reduce energy consumption and pollution. It also results in the lowering of costs which are used for processing these materials.
A few benefits of taking advantage of when you do the process of steel recycling:
- Environmental benefits: Recycling metals have many benefits for the environment. When you compare this with making products from recycled metals, the production of new metal from the mined ore releases a greater amount of greenhouse gas emissions. These gas emissions may influence the changes in the climate and may lead to harmful levels of air pollution in the cities. This would lead to potential respiratory health problems for all the people living. There are a lot of environmental benefits which you will get when you do steel recycling. Scraps of the metals consume a lot of space in the garages, sheds, and yards. Not only it is unpleasant to see but they also don’t serve any purpose if it is being stored. Recycling scrap metals is a duty that everyone has to take to save the environment.
- Energy conservation: When you recycle the metal, it conserves energy which would otherwise be expended in doing different tasks. It includes drilling ore, refining the metal and other processes that are involved in the metal manufacturing process. The energy conservation levels differ according to the type of product. On the other hand, recycling steel saves almost 60 percent. When you recycle a single aluminum beverage can, you help in conserving enough energy which will help to power a 60-watt bulb for more than four hours.
- Economic benefits: Steel recycling and recycling of other metals create more than 36 times jobs than sending the same amount of metal waste to the incinerator, and six times more than sending the metal to a landfill. If you need another incentive for recycling your scrap metals, doing so can help you make money. All the scrap yards will happily take aluminum, brass, copper and other materials like iron and steel. The amount which you will earn will vary. While the potential profit varies, all the non-ferrous metals have typically more worth than ferrous materials. When you know what materials can be sold as scrap, locating the right buyers and obtaining the best prices for the old appliances are all factors which you should consider when you want to get a return for your good service.
- Recycling over and over again: The best benefits of recycling steel are that it is what is known as an infinite process. Steel does not lose any of its strength, durability or its quality when it is recycled. In some of the cases, raw materials are mixed in during the manufacturing process. Most of the processes are made easy and less time-consuming with steel recycling. They include making construction, industrial, commercial and residential products much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Different metals have different values and different businesses offer different cash-outs.
All these cost savings get handed down by the manufacturers to the consumer, reducing the overall cost of different products across the market. In simple words, steel recycling is a good concept that can help on several environmental and financial levels.
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. It is highly tensile and cost-effective and as a result used in buildings, tools, ships, automobiles, machines, appliances and weapons. Iron forms as the base of steel. Carbon comprises of approximately 2.14% of its weight. Steel is 100% recyclable and the most recycled metal on planet earth. Steel is magnetic and easily recovered from waste streams for steel recycling.
The sustainability of steel:
- Steel is highly sustainable because once it is made, it can be used forever.
- Steel is infinitely reusable and can be used by future generations.
- Steel can never be consumed, so it is never wasted.
- Steel is a long-term investment.
Types of steel:
- Carbon steel: It is made up of iron, carbon and other alloys such as manganese, silicon, and copper.
- Alloy steel: Alloy steel contains alloy metals such as aluminum, manganese, nickel, titanium, silicon, copper, and chromium. Alloy steel is used to make pipelines, transformers, auto parts, electric motors, and power generators.
- Tool steel: Alloyed at very high temperatures and contains hard metals like tungsten, cobalt, molybdenum, and vanadium. This steel is used for making cutting and drilling equipment.
- Stainless steel: They contain 10-20% chromium. It can resist corrosion. Stainless steel is further categorized into austenitic steel, ferritic steel, and martensitic steel
The steps of steel recycling:
- Collecting: The first step of steel recycling is collecting scrap material. The collected scrap is deposited in scrap yards for the process to begin.
- Separation: The second step involves using specialized magnetic equipment to separate recyclable steel from non-recyclable items. This is the step of the quality check as the quality of the final product depends on the quality of scrap steel used.
- Compacting: This process of steel recycling involves crushing and breaking steel through specialized machines. This process reduces the volume of scrap steel and smoothen the process of recycling steel.
- Shredding: Shredding involves breaking the steel into smaller pieces to reduce carbon emission in the environment and reduce energy consumed.
- Heating: This step involves the smelting of the shredded steel in a furnace. Smelting can take a few minutes or a couple of hours depending on the amount of heat and amount of steel.
- Refining: This step involves removing dirt, debris and other impurities from the molten steel. Common techniques of steel refining are electrolysis, distillation, chromatography and zone refining.
- Solidifying: This step of steel recycling includes cooling and solidifying of the refined steel. Then the steel is put into special containers to give it the desired shape and size.
Uses of recycled steel:
- Steel is a must in the manufacturing of automobiles. About 65% of a vehicle is made of steel. Old automobiles are recycled to make new automobiles as the quality of steel doesn’t degrade with recycling. Steel is the strongest metal, so it is safe to build automobiles using recycled steel.
- Many artistic endeavors are fulfilled through steel recycling. Sculptures, road signs, gate entry signs are made with recycled steel which is cost-effective.
- Home furniture and appliances use recycled steel. As steel is long-lasting and durable, many companies use steel to make bed, cupboards, chairs, and tables using recycled steel. Stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers also use steel.
- Many canned goods use steel for packaging. Using recycled steel reduces the production cost, resulting in a reduced price of the product.
- Recycled steel is also used by the building sector in the form of beams, lighting fixtures, and roofing.
The above article gives an overview of steel, its various types, the various steps of steel recycling and the uses of recycled steel. Steel is a very useful resource and can be protected for use by the future generation.
In this world of technological development, many things are manufactured on a daily basis to provide comfort and convenience to everyone. However, there is a crisis of resources which can lead to extreme situations where there will be nothing to ease our life. Recycling is one such process which has been adopted in the past few years in order to overcome the shortage of resources along with judicious use of them and allowing the future generation to enjoy those resources. Almost everything in this world can be recycled in various ways through various types of machinery and equipment. Steel is one of the most used materials and can be found in every household, as well as factories. Steel recycling is one such thing that is a topic of discussion these days because of enormous use of this material in almost all the industries.
Why is steel recycling important?
Steel has amazing properties that make it a versatile material. These properties help steel to retain higher recycling rate, which is around 88%. Importance of steel recycling is as follows:
Steel recycling saves energy and helps in reduction in pollution
Steel recycling helps in reduction of air emission up to 86%
Recycling steel can save extraction of iron ore up to 1.5 tones
Water pollution is reduced by 76% by recycling steel
Scrapped steel or recycled steel helps in manufacturing various other products with less production charge resulting in cheaper price
Overall recycling steel helps in saving resources for the future generation by envisaging sustainable development
How is steel recycled?
The first thing to do is separating steel from other materials that are there for the purpose of recycling.
Next is shredding where rotating magnetic drums in the shredders are used to extract steel and iron from other metals.
Further, separation is done by using processes like liquid floating system, using electric currents, and high air pressure airflow.
Shearing of thick heavy steel is done using hydraulic machinery as well as plasma and gas arch.
Then steel is melted and given a new shape for the production of various other commodities including small paper clips to heavy bikes.
Application of recycled steel
Steel recycling helps in reducing various products such as:
The above-mentioned products can be used in the similar way in which products from virgin steel can be used.
Future scope accompanied with steel recycling are:
Steel recycling has proved profitable and eco-friendly process, which has not only benefited various companies but also proved good for the environment in terms of pollution. With this process, the waste products are reduced, as they are used for the manufacturing of various new products after the process of recycling. It has brought a change in the steel industry. Following this process in a proper way will produce profitable results. Besides, it will help other manufacturing industries along with recycling of other consumer goods for a better and secure future keeping up with the sustainable development programs.
Undoubtedly, steel recycling is indeed one of the best ways to conserve energy, resources, and other things, which will help us to enjoy a better tomorrow with all the perks of a modern world. Many industries have come up with this amazing process and are actively participating in recycling programs. Moreover, they are contributing towards the betterment of the environment and making optimum use of the available resources.