Efficient Sorting and Shredding is the Key to Effective Aluminium Recycling

Since the Paris Climate Accord reached COP21, the world at large has focussed a lot of attention on climate change and the ways to curb its effects on the environment. The manufacturing sector, including the perfluorocarbon-spitting aluminium industry, too has committed to implementing effective ways to tackle the problem. They are resorting to automated recycling more intensively than ever to reduce the production of primary aluminium and increase the use of secondary aluminium instead. Aluminium recycling is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry to a significant extent in the next ten years.

Aluminium recycling yields best results when every step, right from sorting and shredding of the aluminium scrap to re-melting, is performed with precision. Sorting is the first step in the process, in which aluminium scrap is separated from the mixed metal scrap stream. The dust, oil, and other impurities are also removed in this step. Once the aluminium scrap is sorted, it is then processed and made ‘smelter-ready’ to ensure a high purity level of secondary aluminium.

Non-availability of smelter-grade aluminium scrap remains the biggest challenge for the aluminium recyclers today. Even if they are procuring aluminium-rich mixed scrap (zorba), they have to sort it again and treat to a high degree of purity before it is ready to be used for smelting and fabrication.

Previously, sorting was done manually or by using non-automated machines but today, robotic picking and separating of aluminium scrap has made the entire process much speedier and cost-efficient.
Shredding is the next step in the industrial recycling process that makes the metal scrap- the shavings, bands, wires, and cables melt-ready by reducing and reshaping them into desired shapes and sizes. Shredding is done by applying compression and robotic hammering.

Nowadays, advanced automated metal shredders are available which can use even contaminated metal scrap as input and the shredded scrap is then sorted using other mechanical sorting techniques like magnetic separation, air separation, eddy current separation or sink-float separation. In aluminium recycling, these machines first separate the ferrous and non-ferrous contaminants from aluminium scrap, and then, shear and cut the aluminium fractions into smaller pieces. The pieces are then fed into a decoater machine where the paint coating on the surface of the metal shreds is thoroughly removed. This technique ensures a higher purity level of the recycled aluminium.

Benefits of advanced aluminium sorting and shredding process

There are multiple benefits of sorting and shredding in high-purity recycled aluminium production:

• Industrial shredding minimizes terminal breakage of aluminium scrap to be used for further processing
• The result of shredding is the production of compact, exact and measurable aluminium scrap
• Shredding reduces the chance of contamination and hence, the possibility of subsequent ecological danger
• Shredding boosts the efficiency of the melting process
• The intensity of shredding process can be controlled and that perfectly takes care of waste management

What is the typical workflow in an advanced aluminium shredding system?

With the advent of technology, the face of recycling has changed a lot. Presently, heavy duty industrial sorting and shredding machines are available in the market, which can drastically improve this industrial filtering process to produce better quality recycled aluminium.

Advance Hydrau Tech Pvt Ltd is one of the well-known manufacturers of shredding systems with a global presence. Our versatile machines are compatible with multiple metal types including aluminium, brass, and copper.

Watch video of Can Sorter

Watch video of Metal Shredder

The workflow of our aluminium sorting and shredding system is like this:

Aluminium scrap, primarily zorba is subjected to sorting. This removes other metals and impurities from aluminium scrap. Once the aluminium fractions are segregated, they are fed into aluminium shredder for shredding, that is, they are sheared into smaller parts and hammered to make loose balls. These balls then make their way into a magnetic conveyor which separates the aluminium from ferrous scraps like nuts and bolts and in case of UBC’s (used beverage cans), they are fed into can sorter. For further purification, the shredded aluminium scrap is sometimes made to pass through multiple eddy current separators or simply sorted using hands. This elaborate five-step process: segregation – shearing – hammering – magnetic conveyor sorting – separation using eddy current separators – manual sorting, ensures that the aluminium scrap obtained is smelter-ready and will yield high-purity secondary aluminium.

Why invest in an advanced shredding system?
At a time when the global scrap market is readying for consolidation, influenced by governmental regulations and the prices of smelter-grade aluminium scrap are climbing higher, it is advisable for the aluminium recyclers to invest in versatile technology solutions. Our machines built on cutting-edge technology not only enable them to scale their operations but also reap significant cost benefits and stay ahead in the competition.

For more details about superior sorting and shredding support for improved aluminium recycling click here