Recycling and Life-Cycle Analysis
This article focuses on the recycling of metals including iron and steel, stainless steel, superalloys, nickel, aluminum, copper, precious metals, lead, magnesium, tin, titanium, and zinc. It provides information on the identification and sorting of scrap metals and discusses the equipment and procedures used for small-scale and large-scale scrapping operations.
Product design greatly influences the recycling and reuse of manufacturing materials. This article presents a design for recycling strategy based on ease of disassembly, minimizing process scrap, using readily recyclable materials, and labelling or otherwise identifying parts. It also discusses the concept of life-cycle analysis (LCA), a quantitative accounting of the environmental and economic costs of using a given material and the energy required to make, distribute, operate, and eventually dispose of the host product and its constituent materials. An important but often overlooked step in the LCA process is to identify potential improvement pathways.