We all know by now that we should be recycling as much as possible--but are we using that principle to its full potential? As a lifelong green campaigner and environmental activist I'm passionate about recycling, and I've started this blog to talk a little more about all the little extras you can do. I'll be covering craft projects you can do with the kids, tips for starting and maintaining your own compost pile, ways to help your local recycling plant out with the way you put your rubbish in the recycling bin and tips for "upcycling" some of the things you throw away the most.
Aluminium is one of the most successful scrap metals of all when it comes to recycling. It has been recycled for over a century, and nearly all of the metal that has ever been put to use is still being used, having been repurposed in some way. Although aluminium ore extraction does come at an environmental cost, not least because of the amount of energy it takes, this metal is one that continues to be a winner in terms of finding new uses in all sorts of industries. Never throw away aluminium. It is a valuable resource that should be recycled every time it comes to the end of its working life.
How Is Aluminium Recycled?
Like other scrap metal, aluminium must be collected and separated from other material so that it can be used once more. Given that drink cans and food packaging made from aluminium are widely used all over the world, this means that consumers have a key role to play in the process. Once aluminium has been collected, it is usually separated from ferrous metals using industrial electromagnets. It is then processed so that inks and paints are removed.
After this stage, the metal is subsequently shredded and melted down. Since aluminium has a relatively low melting point, this does not take as much energy as other metals, such as steel, for example. Finally, the metal is turned into ingots, an industry standard chunk of material that means it can be turned into new products by manufacturers with ease. To give you an idea of the size of aluminium ingots, a single one would be capable of forming over one-and-a-half million new drink cans.
What Is Aluminium Turned Into?
Much of the aluminium that is reprocessed into new products becomes something that it has already been before. For this reason, the aluminium baking tray you put into your recycling bin could easily be turned into another one. Aluminium is not just used for consumer products, however. It has plenty of industrial uses, too.
Aluminium can be extruded more easily than lots of other metals. As such, it is made into things like window frame sections on a frequent basis. You will also find that it is extruded into the rungs of ladders and even goal posts. As a strong but lightweight metal, aluminium is also in demand within the aerospace industry. Wings, fuselage and even the bases of aircraft seats are made from recycled aluminium.
For more information, contact a scrap metal services business.