Aluminium is extensively used in the modern lifestyle and its widespread use is evidenced in the transport, food, medicine, electronics industries. Aluminium is the second most used metal and its demand is set to grow even higher considering its low energy needs, high market value, and the fact that it does not degrade during the recycling process. Aluminium recycling is highly desirable for its products as well as the role it plays in environmental sustainability.
Through recycling, tons of greenhouse gas emissions are reduced annually cutting down on environmental pollution. Aluminium recycling has significant cost and energy savings as only five per cent of the energy used in refining raw aluminium is required. The recycling process is straightforward with the major steps outlined below.
Stage 1: Aluminium cans are collected from drop-off sites and pick-up spots.
Stage 2: Once collected they are delivered to regional aggregation centres. The cans are then sorted using magnetism and compressed into bales. The magnetism helps remove any impurities of steel and iron.
Stage 3: The bales are then sent to aluminium recyclers where they are shredded into pieces. At this point, the small pieces of aluminium are put into a decoater dryer machine. The dryer machine works by blowing hot air of 500 degrees Celsius through the shreds which removes any painting and decorations from the aluminium can.
Stage 4: The clean and non-decorated aluminium shreds are then melted to molten metal in a furnace with temperatures of 750 degrees Celsius.
Stage 5: The molten aluminium is then cooled by jets of water. Through moulds, ingots are formed in the process.
Stage 6: The ingots are then pre-heated to 600 degrees Celsius to make them malleable enough to be rolled into thin sheets as required by beverage can manufacturers. Rolling the ingots into sheets gives them strength and flexibility.
Aluminium recycling is an old practice that has been going on since the 1900s and fetches many benefits for the environment. Improper disposal of aluminium is detrimental to the environment given that aluminium is non-biodegradable and take years to decompose. These cans consequently go on to block drainage systems causing floods and other health-related problems. On the other hand, the raw production of aluminium releases pollutants, toxic effluents to the environment endangering the safety and health of humans even further. At the end of the day, dispose of beverage cans properly through waste management companies. You can learn more about the process by contacting companies like Sydney Metal Traders.