Scrap metal is one of the easiest materials to recycle because unlike plastic, they require minimal processing. Metals can be recycled for virtually an unlimited amount of times, as they do not lose any of their properties once they are reprocessed.
This is why scrap metal recycling can be a great way to earn a bit of extra money — scrap metals are easy to sell, and there will always be recycling plants looking for scrap metal. Here at LKM Recycling, we purchase scrap metals of all types. You can use our Quick Quote calculator to get a good estimate of how much your scrap metal is worth.
Scrap metal can be sorted into ferrous and non-ferrous metals. From there, they can be sorted into sub-categories.
Ferrous and Non-ferrous Metals
Many of the metals that we use on a daily basis, though not all of them, are primarily alloys — alloys are mixed metals that consist of pure or elemental metals. Alloys are preferable to pure metals because they tend to be stable and more durable than their pure counterparts are.
Many of the alloys that we encounter contain iron or ferrum in Latin. It is an elemental metal. Alloys with iron are ‘ferrous’ metals, which also happen to be magnetic. Some examples of ferrous metals include cast iron, sheet iron, carbon steel, and other alloys. You can find ferrous metals in washing machines, fencing, and vehicle scrap, among others.
Non-ferrous metals contain no iron and cannot be magnetised. They can be a pure, elemental metal, such as aluminium, tin, copper, lead and zinc, or an alloy, such as brass and some types of aluminium alloys.
Separating Scrap Metals
Different types of metal are processed differently. Generally, metals are processed with like metals and purified in different containers. Sorting your scrap metal by type, grade and cleanliness help make the recycling process much easier.
Most recycling plants only buy metal that has been sorted and weighed, as it makes it easier to weigh the metals accurately. It will help them give a fair price to the seller.