The so-called three Rs of being eco-friendly ask you to reduce, reuse and recycle, and second hand steel can help you to do just that.
Following Earth Day on April 22nd, it’s likely that environmental issues will be high on many people’s agendas, and steel manufacture is an energy intensive process – which in turn means there is huge potential to save on energy by being sensible about the steel we use.
According to BMRA, the British Metals Recycling Association, scrap steel can be used in electric arc furnaces and, to a lesser extent, in blast furnace steelmaking too; it currently accounts for about 42% of the raw materials used in producing new steel to a high quality level.
By using scrap steel in the production process, anywhere from 62% to 74% of the energy demand is removed, when compared with producing completely fresh steel from mineral ores.
But there is something that can remove effectively 100% of the energy from reprocessing second hand steel – and that is simply to use it again in its existing form.
There are all kinds of applications where second hand steel doesn’t need to be melted down in order to be useful, from general uses of steel channels and tubes, to highly durable steel road plates that can be used on construction sites again and again in the same form.
According to BMRA in late 2015, up to 80% of recycled metals could end up being sent overseas as there is currently no pricing incentive in the UK to encourage steelmakers to use them instead of ‘fresh’ metals manufactured from ore.
With second hand steel, this issue is avoided – reducing the amount of steel that goes to waste, reusing it directly for the most eco-friendly environmental impact possible, and ensuring the steel recycling industry does not face an excess of scrap materials too.