Scrap Sorting, Scrap Metal Identification, and Scrap Recycling
Alloy composition and metal identification are the key factors that fuel the scrap metal recycling industry. The scrap recycling industry moves over 400 million tons of metal each year. Not only is the value of the industry very important financially, but also socially and environmentally, conserving precious natural resources and benefiting the environment by saving energy. In order to make scrap metal into its reusable, recycled form, the scrap industry relies on tools for metal identification and sorting scrap by alloy composition. Since an alloy’s composition determines its value, tools and instruments that positively identify alloy grades add accuracy and certainty to the scrap sorting process, significantly upgrading the value of the scrap metal. Handheld XRF metal analyzers take the uncertainty out of scrap sorting and positively identify alloy grades in seconds.
Because metals have the unique distinction of being able to be recycled without changing their properties, “secondary” used metals can be utilized instead of “primary” metals produced from mined ores, and an increasing proportion of world metal production is from recycled metal. The most efficient way of recycling an alloy is to melt scrap of known composition. Although alloy composition can be adjusted during the process of melting, it is much more efficient and cost-effective to send alloys of the same composition to the smelter. From a scrap recycler’s or processor’s standpoint, being able to identify scrap metal as reliably as possible prior to processing is the key to running an efficient, profitable business.
Sorting scrap metal via analysis adds value at all stages of the metal recycling process. The scrap dealer can sort mixed scrap to separate materials of low value from materials commanding higher prices, while the processor can better monitor the scrap that goes into the melts and the quality of the output. When scrap is traded across international lines, elemental analysis may be needed to classify scrap according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) specifications, making the ability to identify and separate high and low value materials key to profitable metals recycling. The best and only certain manner of identifying scrap metals is through elemental analysis.
Handheld XRF Scrap Metal Analyzer
Handheld x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers are an ideal portable, easy-to-use, accurate, fast analysis technique for sorting scrap metal and identifying alloy grades. Whether the need is for a fast decision-making when evaluating a consignment for purchase, analyzing metals of a great variety of sizes and shapes anywhere, or controlling the quality of a melt, a Handheld XRF Analyzer is an ideal tool for every part of the scrap metal recycling process. Featuring the latest technology in the form of an optimized SDD (silicon drift detector), Handheld XRF delivers the utmost in accuracy at the highest possible speeds. For scrap metal processors with in-house labs, Benchtop XRF instruments provide additional accuracy and the lowest limits of detection for trace elements.
Metal Identification with Handheld XRF Metal Analyzer
Handheld XRF metal analyzer can differentiate quickly and easily between alloy types and identify specific alloy grades. Examples of alloys that can be positively identified with Handheld XRF metal analyzer are:
- Iron alloys (e.g. stainless, high-temperature, and tool steels)
- Nickel alloys (including those with hafnium, tantalum or rhenium as alloying elements)
- Cobalt alloys
- Titanium alloys
- Copper and zinc alloys
- Wrought aluminum alloys
- Chrome-molybdenum steels
Handheld XRF alloy analyzer or metals identification has been optimized for fatigue-free analysis in the scrap yard, at auction, or anywhere else. Handheld XRF metal analyzer weighs less than 4 pounds (1.7 Kg) and has an ergonomic design including excellent balance and grip. For extremely fast, accurate metal identification, just place the instrument on the sample and pull the trigger. Results are displayed on the optimally positioned PDA; the versatile display options allow the user to view results as straightforward grade identification, as a complete analysis with chemistry and deviation, or as a simple pass/fail message using the first sample measured as a reference.
In most cases, Handheld XRF metal analyzer can provide a positive identification of an alloy in only 2 seconds. The exceptions are elements classified as “light,” particularly Mg, Al, and Si, which require a longer measurement time of 10 seconds. Handheld XRF can measure these light elements in air – it does not require helium purge or vacuum technology to achieve excellent results for analysis of light elements in alloys.
Handheld XRF metal analyzer is an easy-to-use, reliable, and accurate tool for sorting metal scrap, offering the opportunity to increase efficiency and profitability at all stages of the scrap metal recycling process.
Other Metal Analysis Applications
Precious Metals Analysis
Test for Lead (Pb)
More XRF Applications