Did you ever wonder where your metal salvage and aluminum recycling goes after you sell it? You already know that it is reused, but how? What is the process that takes used metal and converts it into new metal products that you probably use every day? Here are your answers to these queries.

Trucked to a Metal Foundry 

Metal salvage and recycling are gathered in a large truck and hauled to a metal foundry. Here, the metal is typically sorted by type and density—steel in one pile, iron in another, aluminum in another, etc. Then the sorted metals are taken to different melting stations. 

Melting It Down

Each melting station has a large cauldron-like pot known as a crucible. The individual type of metal is tossed into the crucible, and then the crucible is heated to the melting point of the metal within. Once the metal is liquid, it is transported in the crucible to a purification station. Here, other additives help force metal impurities to the surface of the melted metal. Then the impurities are skimmed off the top to be melted and purified into their own metal forms again. The target metal in the crucible (e.g., steel, iron, etc.) is then harvested by pouring it into molds and creating bars or sheets.

Changing the Metal's Composition

If, after the purification process, there is a consumer demand for a mixed metal, the foundry will add a certain percentage of one metal to the recently purified metal in the crucible. Then the two are reheated to melt them together, and they are stirred/mixed into one. Finally, this recreated mixed metal is poured into bars or sheets for the consumer that ordered it.

Cooling, Hardening, and Tempering the Metal

Whether the metal remains in its purest form or is mixed for a consumer request, it continues its rejuvenation process further down the line. Here, the metal is cooled and hardened. It may also be tempered, which requires frequent reheating and quick cooling to make it stronger. Other applications may be applied to make the metal weaker or stronger.

Storing, Selling, and Shipping the Metal

Finally, all of this once-old metal scrap is new metal again. It is stored in the foundry's product room until a consumer requests it. Then it is wrapped and shipped to the consumer on a large truck. If the metal requested is especially heavy or dense, it may be shipped via freight.

To learn more, contact a metal salvage company like Alliance Demolition Services Inc.