Aluminum scrap

How to sell aluminum scrap

Author:  Cheburator

Metal products surround us everywhere. They are widely used both in everyday life and in production. Over time, they all break down, become unnecessary and are thrown into the garbage. Nevertheless, it will be much more profitable, smarter and friendlier to environment, to sell this metal to the scrapyard and give it to recycling.

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In this article, you will find answers to questions regarding aluminum scrap. Where to find it, how to distinguish it from other similar metals, and how to get more money from selling it to scrap.

Aluminum and its properties

Aluminum is a lightweight metal of silver-white colour, which ranks first in terms of prevalence among metals. Its main advantages are low weight, excellent flexibility, good tensile strength and excellent resistance to corrosion.

Of all the popular metals, aluminum is considered the least dense and the most heat consuming. This metal copes well with temperature drops and is actually safe to use.

Aluminum use

Aluminum was discovered in the middle of the 19-th century, and considered to be one of the most valuable metals due to its resistance to aggressive environmental effects, beautiful colour and light weight. In those days, aluminum was more expensive than gold, and in general jewelers used it.

Over time, the value of aluminum began to fall, and instead of one-off jewelry production, it began to be massively applied in various spheres of life. White light metal first appeared in the space, aviation, shipbuilding and transport industries, and then began to be actively used in the construction, chemical industry, mechanical engineering, instrument engineering and production of consumer goods.

According to statistics, 25% of all aluminum produced in the world is used in the construction industry. Developers loved it for light weight and resistance to temperature extremes. Structures of this metal serve at least 80 years, and they can be used in any climatic conditions - aluminum can withstand from -80 °C to +300 °C.

Aluminum siding perfectly protects against cold and retains heat 4 times better than 10 cm brickwork. Structures of this metal under equal conditions are 3 times lighter than steel and 7 times less in weight than reinforced concrete. Flat and cylindrical aluminum products easily turn into elements of suspended ceilings and windows, doors, stairs and roofing coatings.

Electronics technicians and tech guys like aluminum for high electrical conductivity and consider it a cheaper alternative to copper. Therefore, it is often used in production of wires and electronic components. However, here you should be careful: if you have a coil of copper wire that lie around in your house, pay attention to its cut! If its core is silver, it may not be just copper, but copper-plated aluminum wire coated with copper.

Multicore aluminum cable
Aluminum wire.

Aluminum is also very popular in the automotive industry - many car parts, such as engine cylinder blocks and suspension elements, are made of aluminum today to lighten the weight of the car and reduce fuel consumption.

By the way, aluminum powder is highly flammable, and this property allows use it in the fireworks industry and solid fuel for rockets.

Where you can find aluminum

It is difficult to imagine modern life without aluminum, so you can detect this type of metal every step of the way.

This element is found both in pure form and in the composition of the alloys. Today, silumin is the most common – it is an alloy of aluminum and silicon. It is often used for producing of modern plumbing and dishes.

Alloy of aluminum, copper and magnesium - dural or duralumin - is more durable and is used to manufacture the hulls of small boats and launches. Aluminum alloy with zinc and magnesium (Zamak) contains only 4% aluminum and 95% zinc.

  • Electrotechnical industry
    The windings of transformers, electrical substations, cables and wires of high-voltage lines, capacitors, parts of measuring devices, channels for laying cables;
  • Aviation and shipbuilding scrap
    Aluminum with a high content of magnesium or zinc (Zamak) is often used here. This metal is used as a main material for hull elements of aircrafts, boats, launches and catamarans;
  • Transport industry
    Parts of internal combustion engines, bumpers and other car frame elements, motor windings, bicycle parts;
  • Construction
    Roofing sheets and gutters, building frames and stairs, aluminum profiles, frames of eurowindows, window fittings;
  • Industrial scrap
    Industrial reservoirs and structures, stop valves, aluminum turnings (shavings);
  • Medicine
    Details of dental and X-ray equipment, instruments, parts of hospital beds, stretchers, blisters for the packaging of drugs;
  • Household appliances
    Old aluminum radiators, appliances that work at high temperatures, freezers of refrigerators, evaporators of air conditioners, washing machine parts, smartphone cases and electric lamp sockets;
  • Utensils and household products
    Pots, kettles, mugs, spoons, forks, churns, meat grinders, basins;
  • Containers and packaging
    Beverage cans, cans for sprays and aerosols, canning containers, containers for packing fast-freezing foodstuff and food foil;
  • Decorations and interior items
    Mirrors, sculptures, made in the USSR replicas of cars and weapons, and toy soldiers.
Aluminum scrap
Scrappage of aluminum.

How to distinguish aluminum from other metals

To distinguish aluminum from steel or cast iron - simply move a magnet to it. Aluminum products do not attract magnet;

Duralumin, which is similar in colour (an alloy of aluminum, copper and magnesium, which is considered more durable), makes a more hollow sound than aluminum when struck. In addition, the alloy bends, and does not break when bent, and when drilling, aluminum chips, unlike duralumin, easily move away and do not stick to the drill.

It is even easier to distinguish aluminum from stainless steel or titanium - you need to touch a piece of metal by a knife. The stainless steel will remain intact, but on the aluminum a trace will be seen. If you rub a sheet of white paper by a piece of metal – it will leave a grey imprint on a white sheet. In addition, if you grind both metals with a grinder, then a lot of sparks will go from a stainless steel, but aluminum will not produce a spark.

Tin is similar in colour to aluminum, but is valued significantly higher. It is a less durable metal that bends without effort and has a much heavier weight. This material, like aluminum, leaves a grey mark on a white sheet of paper, and at a temperature below 32 °C crumbles into powder.

It is also easy to distinguish aluminum from zinc - if you bring a piece of zinc to a fire on a gas stove, it will start melting, whereas aluminum will only heat up (aluminum will melt at + 660 °C). In addition, zinc is heavier, more dense and resistant to mechanical impact.

Aluminum can also be distinguished from silver by conducting a small experiment. Make a small cut by a nail file on a piece of metal, and smear this place with sulfuric ointment, previously purchased at a drugstore After 10 minutes, wipe off the ointment and examine the place of the cut - the silver will darken, whereas aluminum will remain as it was.

Purchase prices for aluminum scrap

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Aluminum is one of the most demanded and inexpensive non-ferrous metals. Its scrap is accepted almost everywhere at a price significantly higher than ferrous scrap.

Many scrapyards do not divide aluminum alloys into types by their composition, and take them all at the price of ordinary aluminum.

Today, in the large receiving centers of Ukraine, for aluminum they offer from 20 to 30 hryvnia per 1 kilogram, depending on its amount and contamination.

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And if you contact the Kharkiv company Cheburator, you can easily earn up to 30,000 hryvnias per ton of this metal, and at the same time, get clear answers from experts to all questions about scrap, and also solve problems of dismantling and removal your metal waste.

How to collect and prepare aluminum scrap for selling

Massive aggregates and installations made of pure aluminum, such as steam boilers, large milk cans and tables from public-catering kitchens are most highly valued.

To hand over aluminum with the maximum benefit, it is worth collecting it as much as possible, clean it beforehand from dust, plastic and other materials.

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Remember - aluminum that has been dug out of the ground will often cost significantly cheaper. In many receiving sites up to 50% of the cost of such a metal is immediately blamed on contamination.

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If you turn to the scrap sites of the Kharkiv company Cheburator you will not only get rid of unnecessary rubbish, but also you can count on fair quick payment, high prices, qualified assistance and prompt resolution of all issues on scrap metal.