Metal recycling in the 21st century faces many challenges. As for how to face this challenge, we had better have a basic understanding of the main types of scrap- the so-called new scrap and old scrap.
New scrap is generated in manufacturing process and its lives only have several weeks until its return to the production process. Its processing method is also very easy. When it is a non-contaminated pure metal or alloy it can often be recycled within the processing facility. If contaminated, it might be sent to an external facility. This recycling of new scrap is generally economically beneficial and easy to accomplish. It may not be shown in recycling statistics, but can sometimes be estimated from process efficiency data.
The following category is of course the old scrap, also called end-of-life scrap. This is material recovered from products, and often consists of mixtures of elements, alloys, plastics, and other constituents which need detailed processing to get high-quality recyclates. Therefore, many researches and development of new technologies are focus on this area. At present, there are generally four methods, that is, Cryogenic freezing method, Chemical stripping method, Thermal decomposition, and Mechanical separation.
With the expanding scale of metal scrap recycling, how to improve the recycling technologies becomes the key challenge in the 21st century. Of many methods, mechanical separation is very popular for its convenience and high efficiency. For this reason, the quality of equipments plays an important role in improving the recycling rate.
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