What is scrap metal used for?

Recycling metals provides opportunities for a multitude of products. Scrap metals like aluminum, copper, steel, brass, and iron are recycled to make a wide variety of new products. Using scrap metal for numerous products reduces waste and helps to preserve the environment for future generations. Scrap metal can be refashioned into many new uses. For example, scrap iron and aluminum metals are used extensively in the construction industry for projects as varied as roads and bridges. As well, scrap metal is also used for manufacturing automobiles, aircraft, and other kinds of travel.

Many kinds of containers are made from scrap metal materials. Even appliance parts can be made from scrap metal for various components. Because scrap metal is less expensive to manufacturers in general, it is a sought-after commodity by a number of different industries, such as the furniture industry for metal furniture that is stylish and durable. You can find gliders, benches, tables, and lamps that have been created with scrap metal materials.

Some sculptors also use scrap metal for their art work. The attraction for artists is in all of the different materials, colors, sizes, and forms that come in the variety of recycled metals. Sculpture from recycled metals is distinctive and unique.

Scrap metals such as aluminum, copper, steel, brass, and iron can be reused many times to make many new products, such as:

  • Construction – roads and bridges
  • Manufacturing – cars and aircraft
  • Containers
  • New and stronger metals
  • Furniture and fittings

Recycling scrap metal makes good economic and environmental sense. The phrase, “circular economy,” advises that all things manufactured should be made in such a way that they can be later dismantled and recreated into a final end product once the original product has lost its usability to the consumer. Scrap metal is one of those foundation materials that can be refashioned into many new uses.

Industrial Uses

Scrap iron and aluminum metals are being used extensively in the construction industry in projects such as roads and bridges. In the transportation industry, it can be used in the manufacture of automobiles, aircraft and other modes of transportation. Another more recent use is in detoxifying industrial wastewater. Scrap metal is also used widely in the production of containers, which are used extensively by many companies. Many appliances are also made out of scrap metal, especially aluminum. This use of scrap metal by so many industries has helped the environment by minimizing the need for mining natural resources that are becoming scarce. Scrap metal is also much cheaper to use in the manufacture of these items.

New and Stronger Metal Products

Recycled steel metal scraps can be made into higher quality tools through a process using an electric arc furnace. Stainless steel can also be made in this way. Copper scrap is made into products using some of the same processes as steel, which also include blast and reverberator furnace processes. Aluminum scrap metal can also be melted at a much lower temperature than virgin aluminum, so the process consumes much less energy. This is generally true of all recycled metals, which not only saves on energy but Co2 emissions as well. This protects our environment, as well as providing an economic savings in the manufacturing process, which is then hopefully passed on to the consumer.

Home Furnishings
Metal furniture is often made of recycled metals and can be beautiful and durable. Gliders, benches, tables and even lamps are just a few home furnishings that have been created from scrap metal.

Artistic Uses
Some people see a pile of scrap metal and envision a work of art. It has been used in beautiful sculptures by artists. Even people who are not professional artists have used their creativity to form works of beauty out of various recycled metals and are proud to display them on the walls of their homes. Decorative metalwork has a distinctive art style all its own.

Helping to Preserve Our Environment
In addition to the previously-mentioned uses of scrap metal, it is important to note just how much of a saving there is for our environment. Just in the use of recycled steel, there is an 86% reduction in air pollution. Reduction in water usage is 40%, and reduction in water pollution is 76%. Recycling scrap metal also reduces the size of our landfills.

As the metal recycling industry continues to grow, I’m sure there will be even more uses found for scrap metal in the future. Recycling is just the smart thing to do.

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