Steel scrap comes from a wide array of sources, and the following is only a brief overview. An explanation of the primary sources of steel scrap and the typical supply chain for purchased scrap can be found in the Downloads section.
In order to produce good quality steel consistently with scrap, a steelmaker requires confidence in the quality and consistency of the scrap used. It must also be in the correct physical form for the steel making process. Scrap is generated in a wide range of physical forms and may contain tramp materials. Effective management and classification of steel scrap will therefore enhance the efficiency of the steelmaking process.
Trade associations in different regions have developed a number of systems for classifying the steel scrap recovered by commercial scrap processing companies. For steelmakers one of the most important factors is consistency – large variations in quality will result in the production of off-specification steel (or limit the quantity of scrap that can be utilised). The general requirements for steel scrap are outlined below:
• The metallic content measured in terms of weight per cent of the total mass should be as high as possible.
• The characteristics of the material should be consistent.
• Any contamination should be within the specified levels.