Aluminum scrap: at home, aero and auto

Sources of aluminum scrap

The sources of raw materials for the aluminum scrap recycling industry - in different countries in different ways - are:

  • construction;
  • electrical industry;
  • production of packaging materials;
  • transport engineering;
  • household products, sports and entertainment;
  • other.

Aluminum scrap at home, medicine and sports

A wide variety of cast and wrought aluminum alloys can be found in simple household products, sports and entertainment. Examples of such aluminum alloys and products include the following:

  • 3003 - kitchenware;
  • 3004 - table lamps;
  • 5005 - Appliances;
  • 5052, 6463 - Appliances;
  • 5056 - mosquito net;
  • 5457, 5657 – edging of household appliances;
  • 6005 – television antennas;
  • 6061 - furniture, boats;
  • 6063 - furniture, window, doors;
  • 360.0 - kitchenware;
  • 380.0 - lawn mowers, dental equipment;
  • B443.0 - electric irons;
  • 513.0 - decorative items.

The biggest part aluminum spent on such consumer goods, like refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. However, scrap from these products usually comes with a lot of impurities and contaminants., including, steel and plastic parts. Therefore, this type of aluminum scrap requires careful preparation and sorting..

Aluminum scrap in transport

Applications of aluminum in vehicles started a long time ago and has a significant impact on the recycled aluminum industry. The first aluminum from aircraft was remelted immediately after World War I.. Nowadays, transport is the largest consumer of aluminum, and hence aluminum scrap.

Aluminum continues to be the main material in aircraft construction, despite the breakthrough in composite materials.

Alloys of the 2xxx series have long been used in aircraft structures, in particular, alloys 2024, 2124, 2224 and 2324 - these are all variants of the famous duralumin, alloy D16 according to GOST 4784-97.

Some alloys of the 7xxx series - 7055, 7075, 7150 - also find application in aircraft construction. In recent years, lithium-containing aluminum alloys (2090, 2091, 8090).

Moreover, aluminum is widely used in passenger ships, especially alloys of the 5xxx and 6xxx series, but in very limited quantities.

Aluminum scrap in a car

The largest part of aluminum, which is used in transport, accounted for by cars, sports vehicles, light trucks and motorcycles.

The consumption of aluminum in transport engineering is growing at a very fast pace. However, the service life of these products, much bigger, than, let us say, in beer cans. Therefore, a significant increase in the amount of aluminum scrap from transport can be expected only in thirty years..

Motor aluminum scrap

Previously, almost all automotive aluminum scrap was in the form of cast alloys and they still make up the majority. This scrap is often called motor scrap., so casting alloys of the 3xx.x series are widely used in load-bearing elements, in particular, alloys 319, 356, 380, 383 and 384. Therefore, about 60 % of all foundry aluminum products are automotive parts.

Scrap of wrought alloys

In recent decades, wrought aluminum alloys are also increasingly used in the automotive industry.. It:

  • bumpers - alloys 6061, 7003, 7108;
  • seat frames - 6061, 6063;
  • wings, hood, doors - alloys 2022, 5182, 6016, 6111;
  • radiators and evaporators - alloys 1100, 3003, 4147;
  • load-bearing frame elements - alloys 5754, 6016, 6061, 6082.

Currently almost 20% extruded and rolled aluminum in Europe is used in transport engineering.

Impurities in car scrap

Common contaminants for transport aluminum scrap are:

  • scrap iron, attached and detached;
  • magnesium and zinc castings in car scrap;
  • plastic and fabrics in shredded aluminum scrap.

Recycling of car scrap

The current dominance of foundry alloys in automotive scrap makes them easier to recycle, as cast alloys have wider impurity tolerances and can therefore absorb a wide variety of scrap. This is especially true for cast aluminum alloys. 319.0 and 380.0. This feature makes them attractive for widespread use.. However, the increased use of wrought aluminum alloys could change this picture., so these alloys have a much lower alloying and are less tolerant to the content of impurities. In this regard, the role of technologies and equipment for the preparation of aluminum scrap is growing., in particular, sorting it by alloy.

A source: Mark E. Schlesinger, Aluminum Recycling, 2011