Recycling metals is a critical part of reducing the human footprint on the Earth. While the process of recycling metal costs energy, the amount of energy required is lower than the energy necessary to smelt metal from scratch. Not only that, but by recycling metal, ore does not have to be mined from the Earth as frequently. While some metals do not need to be smelted to be reused, other metals need to be smelted down to more simplistic components so that the metal can then be used to create other products. For these metals, you will need to find a recycling company that uses a smelter like Mid-States Recycling & Refining.
Metals That are Smelted
Copper is one of the most valuable metals to smelt down and reuse. Copper is also widely used in household products, so there is usually some copper available to smelt. Brass is another common metal used in smelting. Steel and iron can usually be smelted into ingots that can then be used in a workshop to make new products. These metals can usually be recycled without losing any of their inherent properties. If it is not possible to recycle the metal without losing important properties, the metals can still be used for other purposes. Also, the metals are kept out of crowded landfills.
Smelting Metal with an Electric Arc Furnace
The metal is usually smelted in an electric arc furnace or a blast oxygen furnace. Electric arc furnaces can use 100% recycled steel. The electric arc furnace uses electrical prongs that create an arc necessary to raise the temperature of the metal so that it melts. After the metal has been melted, it is poured into a container that is fire-proof. The melted steel is then transported to a facility where the steel can be rolled.
Smelting in a Liquid Bath
The metals are smelted in a liquid bath of molten metal. The melted metal is regularly poured into a ladel that is then transported to a heating facility. The process of smelting metal produces air and water pollution. However, the amount of pollution generated is dramatically less than that of mining new metals. Recycling metal reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which reduces the impact that smelting has on global warming. Still, if you want to bring the level of pollution down to zero, it is essential to continue to use or refurbish metal products so that new ones never have to be constructed in the first place.