One of the environmental benefits of steel is that it can be recycled. Trains, cars, machinery, structures and any appliance or utensil made from steel can be reused at the end of its working life. This pre-selected waste is known as scrap. This word comes from the Basque language and means “the old”.
Scrap yards are places where vehicles are dismantled and the useful components selected. The steel obtained from this process is pressed and formed into large, compact blocks that are transported to the steelworks. To be able to reuse the scrap, undesirable elements must first be eliminated, which requires it to be melted together with ferroalloys that help to separate these out.
It is calculated that 40% of the material requirements of the steel industry are provided by recycled scrap, which can be made into new steel products. Most of the other raw materials required (iron, carbon and other smelting and alloy elements) are extracted from mines. Iron is one element that is found in abundance in the earth’s surface, though not in a freely-available form, but rather in minerals such as taconite, hematite and siderite. This allows steel to be produced on a large scale.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:56|