A significant amount of the worldwide demand for metals is met with recycled materials acquired by metal producers in the form of purchased scrap. This article focuses primarily on the methods and technology used to process and repurpose the vast amounts of purchased scrap that recirculate in the industrial supply chain. It describes the U.S. market for iron and steel scrap, providing information on scrap use by industry, factors influencing demand, and the purchased scrap supply. Iron and steel recycling is discussed separately from stainless steel and superalloy recycling in this article, as the scrap industry treats them differently. The scrap processing of iron involves collection, separation and sorting, size reduction and compaction, detinning, blending, and incineration. The recycling of stainless steels and superalloys follows the same process, but requires several additional steps, including secondary nickel refining, degreasing, and separation of metallurgical wastes.
Thomas A. Phillips, Recycling of Iron, Steel, and Superalloys, Properties and Selection: Irons, Steels, and High-Performance Alloys, Vol 1, ASM Handbook, By ASM Handbook Committee, ASM International, 1990, p 1023–1033, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.hb.v01.a0001053
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