Contaminated steel scrap: survey results show enormous potential

The opaque market developments on the steel scrap market and the ever stricter framework conditions of metallurgical operations are posing major challenges for many companies in the secondary raw materials industry. The required quality parameters in conjunction with the strongly fluctuating prices of the secondary raw material market underline the need to treat contaminated steel scrap to high-quality secondary raw materials while minimizing the amount of by-products to be disposed of.

In this regard, the company Schaufler Metals (Ybbs/Donau) - in cooperation with the Montanuniversität Leoben and IFE Aufbereitungstechnik GmbH as well as other Partners - conducted a perennial study of the development of innovative, dry processing methods for metallic composites.

Within the scope of the research work, the processability of contaminated iron scrap to metallurgically suitable scrap products was examined and a significant optimization potential for contaminated steel scrap was impressively demonstrated. The treatment success was reflected in the discharge of 72.2% high quality secondary raw material from the unmarketable fraction of soiled iron scrap. In addition, two largely purified fractions could be concentrated from mineral particles, which are suitable for landfilling. The mixed fraction, consisting of plastics and wood, meets the quality requirements of commercial waste.

The investigations have not lost any of their relevance to date.  However, it should be noted that the test results cited and their consequences do not generally apply to residual materials resulting from the processing of steel scrap. In addition to seasonal fluctuations in the scrap grades, market interests as well as individual supply contracts with steelworks are subject to an evaluation of a treatment process for contaminated steel scrap.

To the publication ...(available in German language only)

This article is a brief summary of the following study:

Source: Schwarz, H.; Flachberger H., Tröbinger H.: Processing technology tests on contaminated steel scrap to optimize product yield and grades, Technical book “Recycling and Raw Materials” / Volume 9, 2016, 453-466, available in German language only

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