The general term of scrap is mostly used as a collective term to describe certain objects that can be reused or recycled that came from various sources of consumption. In this day and age of being very conscious about the environment, it is very important for humanity to be very wise when it comes to the consideration of reusing various materials that can be salvaged and used for another purpose. A lot of things can be reused and recycled, but none of the uses falls in comparison to what metal can bring. Scrap metal is a very common form of used metal, collected through various means and used for varying purposes.
What is scrap metal?
So, exactly what is scrap metal and how is it produced? Scrap metal comes in many forms and is typically waste material from manufacturing of metal products (where the scrap metal is “brand new”), or obtained from an old or used product (where the scrap metal is “used”). Unlike other types of scrap like plastic, metal actually has a lot of attributes that make is useful:
- Scrap metal can easily be reheated to produce virgin metal. Metal is a very wonderful material that is not only durable and strong, but is also very malleable once applied with the proper heat. It is in this application where metal recycling is very possible, because once reheated and reformed, scrap metal can actually be used for a lot of different purposes. As a matter of fact, metal recycling seems to be a really good alternative to using virgin metal due to its implications to the environment, metal prices, and other factors that all vote in favor of the use of metal scrap.
- Scrap metal is still a very good source of construction equipment. Various metal scrap gathered from finished construction sites can still be used for other purposes because the structural strength of metal does not necessarily deteriorate unless it is subjected to severe stress or chemical transformation.
- The use of Scrap metal helps lower carbon footprint. As previously said, metal recycling and the use of metal scrap can severely lower carbon footprint and reduce the risk of it being harmful to the environment.
- Metal is one of the most used materials in the world. Metal prices are indeed very high, and that is probably due to the fact that it is one of the most used material in the world. It is present in our mobile handsets, a major component in our cars, a building material for our houses, and more importantly as an ingredient for every big structure there is in the world.
The benefits of using metal scrap
There are a lot of benefits when it comes to using scrap metal as opposed to using virgin metal. Below you can find the details of its positive effects. The use of scrap metal:
- Saves energy.
- Reduces air pollution.
- Reduces water pollution and water usage.
- Reduces mining waste.
- Reduces energy consumption.
- Reduces raw materials consumption.
- Reduces the cost to manufacture steel products.
Where to get scrap metal?
There are literally hundreds of different sectors in many industries producing metal scrap which begs for metal recycling. Metal is literally one of the most used material in the world today, and you would be hard-pressed to find any major country in the world without any presence of metal. It can be found on the most conventional home appliances, mobile accessories, entire houses, and even large scale industrial plants. Here are some of the most common sources of scrap metal:
- Ship breaking. A ship is literally made up of tons of pieces of metal formed together to create a ship. Once a ship is commissioned to be broken into pieces, all of the different parts that came from it are usually converted to scrap and used for other purposes.
- Railway locomotive deconstructing. If you want a very practical use for metal recycling, then old railway stations are the ticket. Old railroad systems and trains are now being scrapped in favor or faster and more modern ways of transportation, and all the metal scrap that comes out of this is usually transported to a scrapping facility and recycled
- Construction equipment. Very cheap metal scrap prices usually come from various construction equipments such as metal scaffoldings, unused metal reinforcements and equipment that came from a finished construction site. Also, a demolition site can produce various pieces of scrap from buildings being torn down
- Cars and other vehicles. If you want to know where to find scrap metal, then your first trip should be to a junkyard, especially those who specialize in cars and other automobiles. Cars that are wrecked from vehicular accidents or are just mere shells of old cars, are being converted to scrap to be imported to the different sectors that typically need them for varying purposes.
What are the most common uses of scrap metal?
The use of scrap metal can vary from various conditions, but there’s absolutely nothing that a metal scrap cannot be used for that a virgin metal can. As a matter of fact, aside from the various metal scrap prices and how much lower it is as compared to virgin metal prices, the use of metal scrap can actually be more beneficial in the long term because of the various benefits. A lot of different countries import scrap metals at varying degrees, and big metal importers like China and Russia are also in the business of collecting metal scrap and recycling them to produce a brand new metal product that can be used for various purposes.
Also, because metal scrap can be reheated and reformed from a chemical process, it is a very good source of iron, which can lighten the load on consumption of coal and the mining of iron ore. Iron is also very useful because of the various manufacturing and production uses that it has, and metal recycling can very well keep on extracting various alloys from scrap metal as easily and effectively as recycling for various other materials.