Know About Non-Ferrous Metal Recycling

There are plenty of non-ferrous metals available in nature. Aluminium, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc, chromium, titanium, cobalt and other non-ferrous metals are some of the few such metals which don’t decay or lose their physical and chemical characteristics even after getting recycled. Therefore, these metals feature the capability to be recycled as many times as possible.



These include a large collection of consumer, commercial, as well as industrial items like metal circuitry in electronic items, beverage cans, automobile batteries and radiators, aluminium siding, airplane parts and many more. After that, the scrap is utilised in refineries, foundries, ingot manufacturers and other secondary smelters across various countries around the world.

Non-ferrous metal recycling is considered as a very environment friendly, as well as an energy-efficient method to manufacture brand new products, continuing the non-ferrous metal life cycle. Secondary materials are highly useful in survival of industries as even new metals frequently need the combined usage of recycled materials.

Recycling process

Recycling non-ferrous metal involves some, or all of the following steps:

  • Sorting

To get recycled properly, firstly different non-ferrous metals need to be separated from each other and also from other recyclables like plastic and paper.

  • Baling

Non-ferrous metals are then compressed into big blocks for the ease of handling and transportation.

  • Shearing

After that, metals are cut into small sizes using hydraulic machinery that are efficient of applying a high amount of pressure.

  • Media Separation

Shredders include rotating magnetic drums to keep non-ferrous metals away from ferrous metals. A detailed separation is carried after that using electric currents, high-pressure airflow and liquid floating systems. It may require some further processing.

  • Melting

Finally, the recovered materials are melted down in a furnace. Then they are poured into casters and shaped into ingots. These ingots are either used in the foundry industry or can be altered into flat sheets, as well as different wrought products like tubing, which are further used in making brand new products.

All these metals can easily be recycled with negligible or absolutely zero loss in their basic properties. They possess multiple applications individually and also when mixed with some other metals, even after getting recycled. Here are some of the applications of these metals:


Aluminium features high recycling potential and is frequently re-used for the same applications for which it was initially manufactured. Its strength, adaptability and light-weight makes it just perfect to be used in various industries like building & construction, transportation, packaging, electricity, as well as kitchenware.


Of all the elements, copper possesses the best electrical conductivity after silver. It is an excellent thermal conductor and can easily be mixed with numerous metals like lead, tin and zinc. It is extensively used in electrical applications, piping, roofing & insulation and other household applications.


Majority of recycled lead is used in manufacturing different kinds of batteries. But there are multiple other applications, which include colouring, as well as radiation protection against X-rays.


Zinc is there for you in day to day life in the form of coins. It is also used widely in galvanisation, as an anode element in batteries and when mixed with copper, it results in formation of brass, which can further be recycled. However, you must enquire about scrap brass prices from a trusted dealer to make an informed choice.


Tin is one of the most expensive non-ferrous metals and therefore, recycling it is very important. Tin has multiple applications in the manufacture of cars, cans, springs, etc. Glass tends to offer more resistivity after tin oxide coatings.

These are some really important and useful facts about non-ferrous metal recycling process. Hope you find them very informative.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

1 Comment

  • Thanks for posting about all the steps involved in metal recycling and separation. At Pennsylvania Precision Cast Parts, we’re excited to make new castings out of recycled metals.

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