Steel Recycling and its Benefits for Present Civilization
Steel is an alloy of iron and other elements, which is a ferrous metal. The most common element that is combined with iron to manufacture steel is carbon. Other alloying elements include chromium, manganese, vanadium, and tungsten. Among all ferrous alloys, steel is the most widely used for its, usefulness, hardness, flexibility, and tensile strength. Steel is highly durable, and can be given a sharper edge and can resist shock and tension much better than other elements. Therefore, steel recycling is a profitable venture for any metal scrap dealer.
Types of Steel
Steel are available in many variations for varied utilization. Below are the key types of them:
- High carbon steel
- Spring steel
- Alloy steel
- Stainless steel
- High-speed steel
- Tool steel
- Advanced high-strength steels (AHSS)
Manufacturing Process of Steel
Invention of the Bessemer converter has widely replaced the traditional cementation process of steel. This made it possible for speedy and high tonnage production of steel for industries like ships, railroads, bridges, and large buildings, apart from numerous small and medium scale industries. The manufacturing of this precious metal is done by the chemical reduction of iron ore. Similar processes are applied for steel recycling.
Utilization of Steel
Steel and its variations are widely used in a number of fields and its applications are still increasing. The key applications are as follows:
- Automotive industry
- Rail transport
- Construction products
- Surgical equipment
- Electronic gadgets industry
- Important engineering and construction materials
- In solar panel roofing system
Environmental Impacts of Steel
Steel being an alloy of iron and carbon, it requires huge energy to produce heat during the cementing process. Burning materials like coal, which generate electricity emits greenhouse gases. Naturally, this process contributes to global warming. However, the most beneficial feature of steel is that it is 100% recyclable, and lasts long. This quality makes it an ideal environmental performer to be used for many decades to come. Stainless steel products help us to maintain a healthier life and a cleaner environment. Some examples are as follows:
- Stainless steel is used in new catalytic converters to increase its energy efficiency.
- Stainless steel converters decrease pollution from motor vehicles, generators, forklifts, mining equipment, trains, etc.
- Stainless steel condensing boilers compile with a 100% efficiency rating.
- Stainless steel pipes keep water clean and quality standards high. It helps prevent formation and growth of microbes.
- Stainless steel used in filters improves removal of smoke and soot particles from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine.
You can do steel recycling over and over again without losing any of its properties. Yes, you read that right. An amazing fact is that when you recycle 1 ton of steel you save 1.8 barrels of oil, 642 kWh of energy, and 2.3 m3 of landfill space. Recycled steel can be reshaped by melting before making various commodities. You can carry out steel recycling by following some of these given steps:
- Sorting: Magnets are used to separate steel from additional materials in a recycling facility.
- Shredding: Shredders with rotating magnetic drums extract iron and steel from other materials and metals.
- Media separation: This is done by using high-pressure air flows, electrical currents, and liquid floating systems.
- Shearing: There isHydraulic machinery used to expurgate heavy steel that has been recuperated from ships and railways by exerting enormous pressure on the objects.
Various Uses of Recycled Steel
After steel recycling,the recycled steel can be used for multifarious use across the industries. Leading industries are:
- Electrical and electric appliances
- Parts of automobiles and other vehicles
- Office supplies
- Hardware like bolts, nuts, screws etc.
- Construction materials
- Containers and cans