The basic method of recycling steel follows the method used to make steel into a wide variety of products for a multitude of uses. The difference is that recycled steel is scrap steel collected and separated according to toxicity and steel grade levels.

For example, steel cans and drums that contained chemicals and are scrapped require a special bath to remove chemical toxicity.

Another important step in recycling scrap steel is to insure it is free of radiation. In some instances, steel that shows signs of containing radioactive materials are evaluated for the levels they contain. Scrap steel with high levels of radiation are rejected for further use and transported to a special site for these types of materials.

Step-by-Step Steel Recycling

After steel is collected from scrap, sorted and graded for use, it is then transferred to industrial metal cutters and grinders. In this stage, the steel can be reduced to various sizes and shapes for further processing.

The use of magnetized industrial processing drums pushes the cut or ground metals through for further separation according to ferrous or non-ferrous steel grades. Non-ferrous metals like aluminum, tin, nickel, zinc, copper and titanium. Other non-ferrous metals that may be contained in steel include:

  • Cobalt
  • Mercury
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Lithium
  • Cadmium
  • Vanadium

The objective in this separation phase of recycling steel is to extract as much of the ferrous and non-ferrous metals for end use recycled products. During separation of these two types of steel, a conveyor belt is used to push ground and cut steel through the magnetic industrial drum. Waste scrap steel is deposited from a conveyor belt, using magnets into segregated bins.

Once the final separation stage of recycling is complete, the steel is ready to be shipped via truck or rail to steel mills, where bulk, separated, cut or ground steel is melted down.

Recycling Steel – Simple and Quick

The steps to producing recycled steel require few steps since no smelting or extracting or metallurgical ores is necessary. Yet, recycled steel has proven to be a great savings in many industrial and construction projects. The basic objective in the steel recycling process is to return used steel into the purest grade of steel. The methods of recycling steel occur during the initial preparation stages.

These include:

  • Collecting scrap steel
  • Separating recyclable scrap steel from non-recyclable steel
  • Disposal of non-recyclable steel
  • Cutting or grinding of recyclable steel
  • Melting down into purest steel grades

Benefits of Recycling Steel

The major benefit of recycling steel is to minimize steel waste. With the advent of recycling methods, the distinct value of recycling steel uncovered another benefit: cost-effective use of steel.

The USA was once a major steel producing country. Today, most steel is produced in China. The US Steel Industry realized that one of the problems linked to producing steel was directly related to environmental regulations.

In order to remain in compliance, US steel producers realized the importance of creating new, innovative methods of recycling steel.