Why We Need to Recycle More Scrap Steel

Continue below to learn why steel is such as valuable and necessary metal that should be recycled and reprocessed as much as possible.

Steel Recycling Indianapolis Indiana 1-888-586-5322
Steel Recycling Indianapolis Indiana 1-888-586-5322

Facts About the Properties of Steel

Steel metal is an alloy of iron and carbon, and sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, machines, appliances, and weapons. Iron is the base metal of steel. Iron is able to take on two crystalline forms (allotropic forms), body centered cubic (BCC), and face centered cubic (FCC), depending on its temperature. In the body-centered cubic arrangement, there is an iron atom in the center of each cube, and in the face-centered cubic, there is one at the center of each of the six faces of the cube. At the body-centered cubic phase, it becomes a weaker and softer metal. When steel has too little carbon, it is known as wrought iron. Wrought iron is malleable, but not as tough as steel.

Carbon Composition in Steel

The amount of carbon in steel affects its properties to a great extent. Steel with less than 0.2% carbon by weight is known as “mild steel” or “low-carbon steel”. It has good machinability, ductility, and weldability. This type of steel is used for making pipes, auto parts, machine tools, buildings, bridges, railway tracks, ships etc. Medium-carbon steel (0.2% to 0.5% carbon) is used for making tools, machine parts, pipes, railway tracks etc. because of its good hardness, strength, and wear resistance. High-carbon steel (0.5% to 1.0% carbon) is used for making knives, cutting tools, springs, bearings etc. because of its extremely high hardness and wear resistance. Ultra-high-carbon steel (1.0% to 2.0% carbon) is the hardest and strongest type of steel, but it is also very brittle. It is used for making cutting tools, knives, drill bits etc.

Classifications of Steel Metal

Steel can be classified into four main types: carbon steel, alloy steel, tool steel and stainless steel. Carbon steel is the most common type of steel. It contains only a small amount of carbon (usually less than 0.25%). Carbon steel is further divided into low-carbon steel, medium-carbon steel, and high-carbon steel. Alloy steel contains one or more alloying elements (e.g. manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium etc.) in addition to carbon.

Tool steel contains a high concentration of carbon (usually between 1.0% and 2.0%), as well as one or more alloying elements, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, or tungsten, which gives it special properties that are suitable for making tools. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium and sometimes other elements (e.g. nickel, molybdenum, titanium etc.), that resists corrosion and oxidation. The chromium content of stainless steel ranges from 10% to 30%. Stainless steel is used for making kitchen utensils, surgical instruments, food processing equipment, chemical containers, and more.

The Importance of Steel Recycling

Steel recycling is important because it conserves natural resources, saves energy and reduces pollution. Steel is the most recycled material in the world—more than all other materials combined. While steel production emits greenhouse gases, the recycling of steel drastically reduces these emissions. Recycling just one ton of steel cans saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recycling steel conserves energy and other natural resources. It takes 75 percent less energy to recycle a pound of steel than it does to create a new pound from scratch. This is because the process of melting and reforming steel from recycled scrap uses only a fraction of the energy required to process virgin ore.

 Steel recycling also reduces pollution by cutting down on the need to mine, transport and process new ore. The steel-making process is one of the most energy-intensive and polluting industries in the world. Every year, steel production generates around 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, about 5 percent of global emissions. Reducing the need for new steel production can help to reduce these emissions and slow down climate change.

While recycling steel has many environmental benefits, it also makes good economic sense. Recycling steel saves money by reducing the need to buy new materials, and it also creates jobs in the steel recycling and manufacturing industries.

In short, steel recycling is important because it helps to conserve resources, save energy and reduce pollution. Steel is the most recycled material in the world, and recycling just one ton of steel can save 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. Recycling steel also creates jobs and reduces pollution.

Are you wondering which Indianapolis metal recycling center will pay you the most cash for your steel and iron scrap metal? Contact Garden City Iron & Metal at 1-888-586-5322 to speak with a professional scrap metal buyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We accept all scrap metal and pay cash on the spot! We also offer free junk car removal.

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Distinguishing Between Wrought Iron and Mild Steel

When you walk past an old building with a wrought iron gate, do you stop to admire the intrinsic qualities of the metalwork and design? Well, if the building is less than 100 years old, you could actually be admiring mild steel. But that is okay! Mild steel is an excellent alloy that is equivalent in application and performance.

In the metal collection and recycling enterprise, whether private or commercial, it is important to know your materials, especially iron and steel since they are the two most repurposed metal alloys in the world. They retain a dependable economic value and can reap both pecuniary and mechanical applications on a long-term scale.

In fact, let’s start by learning to distinguish wrought iron from mild steel.

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We Buy Scrap Iron and Steel! 1-888-586-5322

Wrought Iron Basics

Wrought iron is a crude alloy that is defined by its carbon content. Specifically, wrought iron is any iron that retains less than 0.8% carbon content. When the carbon content reaches 2.1%, it is cast iron. If it reaches beyond 4% carbon content, no longer cast iron, but something else. The top benefits of wrought iron include its toughness, malleability, ductility, corrosion-resistance, and ease of welding.

However, because of the slag that develops within the alloy during the smelting process, it is below the modern standards for iron. As a result of the fibrous slag inclusions, usually up to 2%, wrought iron gets its unique wood-like grain finish, which is highly south out for artistic value. This slag content helps protect against pitting and oxidizing, which is why wrought iron is still around.

Coupled with its flexibility and ease of forging, it is no surprise wrought iron was used to construct so many gates and similar ornamental structures. It was also commonly used to make weaponry and tools since the ancient times because it was more available than copper and tin, which was used to make bronze.

Mild Steel

Upon Englishman Henry Cort’s invention of the puddling process in 1784, widespread large-scale manufacturing of wrought iron was finally possible. By the mid-1800’s, wrought iron was being used to develop structural beams and more. But once the Bessemer process was introduced to society, steel quickly replaced it in virtually all industrial applications.

Steel was cheaper and more durable, making it an easy choice to replace wrought iron. In fact, today, the term, “wrought iron” is a misnomer usually used to describe ornamental structures. There really isn’t any new manufacturing of wrought iron, and only old versions still exist.

✨ Anything you see today that resembles wrought iron is usually mild steel, unless it is more than 100 years old, in which case, it could be genuine wrought iron.

Mild steel, also known as plain-carbon steel and low-carbon steel, is iron with a particular amount of carbon content, usually between 0.05 – 0.30 percent. It has various properties that make it a dependable alloy, such as low cost, high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, ductility, and more.

How to Get Started Recycling Metal for Cash

Call Garden City Iron & Metal at 1-888-586-5322 to sell scrap metal for cash in Central and Southern Indiana. Our Indianapolis scrap metal buyers pay cash on the spot for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including cars, car parts, appliances, construction equipment, farming equipment, and more. We divert hundreds of pounds of metal waste each year, which helps to reduce landfills and support the initiative to maintain a healthy balance of trade and resource sustainability in the United States. Our commitment to this meaningful enterprise is just as strong as our commitment to providing outstanding service for our clientele. Be a part of this initiative by selling us your scrap iron, steel, and more!

Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322
Garden City Iron and Metal 1-888-586-5322