Metal shredders are built to process scrap or waste metal, and are an effective method of processing metal to be reused if necessary, especially in applications where a large amount of scrap metal is produced. A metal shredder can be found in scrap yards or any other place that deals with scrap metal. Many industries utilize metal shredders to recycle and reuse metal scrap, such as the metalworking industry and many more consumer and commercial businesses.
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The production of metals such as steel can be a costly endeavor. Fortunately, the recycling of ferrous metals can make energy consumption costs alone roughly 75% more inexpensive than it would be to mine and process new metal materials. Metal shredders are a crucial component of the recycling process because of their ability to efficiently break down discarded metal into a size where it can be easily manipulated and repurposed. Any business can financially benefit from recycling metal.
There are several steps that need to be taken in order for metal to be recycled and remade into a usable item. First, the metal needs to be melted down and formed. The metal needs to be manageable in order to be melted. Aluminum, because of its versatility, is a metal that is commonly recycled and reused. There is a gigantic range of metal products that require shredding to be recycled. This multitude of items range from automobile frames to soda cans. Other metals that can be commonly shredded include magnesium, brass, and copper. Items that are frequently shredded include LED bulbs, electronics scrap, cans, drink cans, and energy efficient lamps.
Because there is such a diverse range of metal products that can be shredded, there must be just as broad of a variety of shredders available. Finding the most suitable type of shredder can be challenging, but familiarizing yourself with the capabilities of different types of shredders and how they pertain to your requirements can make the process easier. Certain types of shredders include single shaft, two shaft, and four shaft shredders. Each type of shredder has its pros and cons, and each is suitable for certain applications. Aside from the type of shredder, other criteria that need to be considered include the type of material, the feed method, the percentage of the material, the desired shredded particle size, and the budget.
- Single Shaft
- Ideal for materials where a small, uniform particle size is vital. Aluminum is one of the few metals that a single shaft shredder can process. This shredder can finely shred a variety of materials, but can easily cause damage to heavier metals.
- Two Shaft
- Recommended for metals and other contaminated materials in applications that allow for variation in particle size. These shredders are known for their durability and long life, and its ability to successfully shred a variety of different materials. Finally, the possibility of a two shaft shredder damaging any of the materials during shredding is minimal. Because of the tendency of the shredded material to vary in size, two shaft shredders are not a recommended choice for applications that have more stringent requirements regarding particle size.
- Four Shaft
- Have the reliability of a two shaft shredder, and are also equipped with a sizing screen that regulates the size of the particles. They are capable of shredding a wide range of commingled materials of varying properties in one pass, especially tougher materials such as computer scrap. These shredders are recommended for higher volume applications that require a particle size that is more uniform.
Metal shredders are similar in structure to a paper shredder. They can be small and portable, in order to carry out specialized individual shredding tasks, or they can be large enough to shred an entire vehicle. An example of the latter is a shredder located in a Sims plant in Wales that is capable of shredding 450 cars in an hour.
Regardless of the size, most shredders have several features in common. Most shredders have two rollers layered with sharp teeth that rotate toward each other. Above the set of rollers is a chute that directs items toward the rollers. Depending on the shredding application, individual items or a steady flow of items can pass through the chute. The rollers tear the metal apart until the pieces are small enough to pass through the rollers and exit the machine by way of either a conveyor belt or a collection area. The shredded metal is then transported to the next processing stage, which depends on the size of the operation and the purpose of the material.