Recycling Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is found in many everyday items in the home (pots, pans, sinks, eating utensils, washing machine drums), commercial kitchens (stoves, sinks, refrigerators, prep tables), transportation (exhaust systems, trim, grilles) and the medical community (MRI scanners, surgical instruments.)
All stainless steels contain principally iron and a minimum of 10.5% chromium. The chromium reacts with oxygen and moisture in the environment to form a protective, adherent and coherent, oxide film that envelops the entire surface of the material. In addition to chromium, stainless steels are made with alloys of silicon, nickel, carbon, nitrogen, and manganese.
Because of the chromium, stainless steel is very resistant to rust and corrosion. It’s also:
- Resistant to high and low temperatures
- Durable and strong
- Easily fabricated
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Long lasting
- Low lifecycle cost
- Aesthetically attractive
- Environmentally friendly and recyclable.
The ratios of the elements such as chromium, nickel and manganese typically dictate the grade of the stainless steel. One of the most common grading systems for stainless steel is the SAE Steel Grades chart. The stainless steel grades break down into a series number. These run from the 100-series to the 600-series. Most forms of stainless steel in the US will come from the 300-series. Common types of stainless steel consist of 304, 306, and 316.
Compared to regular steel, stainless steel does not easily corrode, stain, or oxidize/rust. Stainless steel is used in many different industries for a wide range of applications including aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, oil and gas.
How to Scrap Stainless Steel
When you are ready to scrap stainless steel, it’s important to clean it of any rubber, plastic, steel, rivets, glass, copper, aluminum and other materials. Stainless steel is worth much more when it’s clean. This is because it’s very labor intensive to clean extraneous materials off the stainless steel before it gets recycled.
Ready To Get Started?
If you have stainless steel you need to scrap, contact Ed Arnold Scrap Processors here for current rates on metal recycling. For large quantities, we offer scrap metal container services to store your stainless steel and allow for easier transport back to our facilities.