The Uses of Metal and How it is Recycled
Metal has a great many uses spanning various industries, with numerous benefits that come with using it. Unbeknown to many people, metal is actually highly recyclable – the problem comes when metal waste doesn’t find its way into recycling centres and ends up in the ocean, for instance. We should always take time to recycle and learn about the benefits of doing so. In this article, we’ll discuss metal, how it is used and the metal recycling process in Melbourne.
Uses of Metal
Metal materials are used in the production of all sorts of different things in our daily lives and in just about every industry. They are essential in the production of electronics, for example, given that they make for excellent conductors of electricity. Metals like steel and iron are also widely used in the construction and automotive industries. Not to mention, metals are used to build other kinds of machinery and vehicles, including planes, trains and ships. It is also used to fashion jewellery, furniture, a range of different tools and art as well.
Advantages of Using Metal
The reason for the widespread use of metals is quite obvious. They are generally very strong, durable and rigid, making them a useful material to build just about anything with. Despite their strength, many metals are highly malleable and can be reshaped without weakening. There is a host of other characteristics that make metal useful, including its thermal conductivity, reflectivity and the fact that it is in bountiful supply – it just needs to be mined.
Despite being non-renewable, the use of metal is actually environmentally-friendly, in part due to the fact that it is almost completely recyclable.
There is a reason you are able to fetch a decent price for your scrap metal at the local wreckers. Metal can almost always be recycled and reused, unlike many other waste materials. The problem is that according to the data, we tend to do a poor job actually recycling our metal. The world recycling rates for certain kinds of metals found in electronic devices and batteries, for instance, is alarmingly low.
As far as the process of recycling metal, it really depends on the metal in question. But let’s discuss a couple of those metals we often see used in household products. Tin and steel, which are often used as food containers are placed in a chemical solution, which separates the steel, tin and aluminium if present. The tin is then heated and melted, and magnets are used to take the steel out of the iron. The steel will be transported to a steel mill recycling plant to be melted, as it required greater heats than iron does. The liquid metal is fashioned into other items and moulds.
Aluminium is used to make most drink cans and a variety of other items you may have in the home. When it comes to recycling, the process is similar to steel and tin, in that the metal needs to be melted down. However, the difference, in this case, is that aluminium is cut up and shredded into a piece, which is more feasible as it is a lighter material. After being melted and reshaped into a block, it is taken to a manufacturing plant where it is rolled into sheets and reused.
As you have read, the use of metal is actually good for the environment given that we can use it again and again. Unfortunately, our recycling processes aren’t perfect, and there is a great deal of unused metal above-ground. Always do your part to make sure your waste products are disposed of properly and remember that ideally, you should always wash any metal cans or other containers that have contained food. Contact us today for information about metal recycling in Melbourne.