Ever wondered what happens to the old and totally worthless vehicles that you give away? Some of them are repaired and made roadworthy again. However, the most common way in which an unroadworthy car is treated is probably recycling. The process of Car recycling is worth then dumping it in junkyard. Car recycling is a billion-dollar industry and vehicles are certainly the most recycled products in the world.
With natural resources continuously being exploited for manufacturing, recycling is the only way to extend the timeline for when finite sources of raw materials will run out. As people all over the world are being more considerate than ever regarding global warming, recycling has been adapted by many countries as a must-follow policy. But what is car recycling and how can it actually save the world? If you are even a bit curious regarding this topic then be sure to make it till the end of the section. It will certainly be fruitful.
Car recycling is the process of dismantling the vehicles for spare parts at the end of its useful life. All the individual parts obtained after the dismantlement of the vehicle are processed to form or construct another useful product in the process of Car Recycling.
Vehicles are often dumped in the landfills after the end of their useful life. In the landfills, vehicles start to collect rust and dust, which further aggravates things. They also take a lot of space that could have been useful for other stuff. Moreover, rusting cars introduce blight in plants, which adversely affects the environment and the ecosystem.
Oil Filters: Oil filters can be recycled as soon as the oil found in the reservoir is completely drained. Most used oil filters still contain a significant amount of oil, which means that they’re a hazardous waste that needs to be recycled. People who throw these parts in the trash should become aware of the fact that both steel and oil are non-renewable resources.
Batteries: Vehicle batteries are made of lead, which is an extremely toxic material. First, the lead is separated from the plastic case and fed into a furnace to be melted down. Then the lead is reused for the manufacturing of brand new batteries. The plastic casing is also cleaned out. Finally, the acid is treated and neutralized.
Tyres And Wheels: The traditional method of burning the tyre is toxic to the environment and most of the modern car recycling centres do not follow this traditional method. A smart way to deal with old tyres is to reuse them in swings, targets, art or even planters. Vehicle tyres comprise of rubber fibre and metal. Once an old tyre reaches a recycling facility, it is shredded or turned into Tyre Derived Fuel.
Scrap Metal: Around 80% of the total mass of your vehicle is metal. The metal on an end-of-life vehicle is just as important as any other piece of metal. Metal from wheels, axels, engine, handles, hoods, etc can be sold to scrap metal companies, who will melt it down so it can be reused. Scrapyards make sure that every rusted metal piece on your vehicle is recycled so that it doesn’t get to a landfill.
Auto Glass: Glass from windscreen and windows can be recovered and recycled to produce glass bottles, fibreglass insulation and other important everyday products. Auto recyclers can even reuse these items in another vehicle. After the glass is recovered from an old vehicle, it is crushed in grinders and then processed to obtain glass cullet which can be used in concrete, fibreglass insulation, asphalt etc.
Car radiators: Traditionally car radiators were mostly comprised of copper or brass but modern radiators consist of 56% – 44% of aluminium. Copper or brass, aluminium, and plastic are what make up for today’s radiators. Like any other metal from the car, radiator metal can be scrapped, melted down and reformed to new shapes.
Car Fluids: Gasoline, engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and coolant are the major fluids present in your car. These fluids are hazardous to the environment and flammable as well. So they have to removed before dismantling the vehicle. Car parts store, dealerships and chemical companies or hazardous waste facilities will accept these fluids and process them for reusability.
The General Process Of Car Recycling
After your car reaches a recycling facility, it undergoes a detailed inspection. Recyclers ascertain the condition of each component. All the working and non-working parts are duly noted with their respective names and condition.
After performing a rigorous inspection of the vehicle, all sorts of fluid inside the vehicle are drained. It includes petrol, oil, lubricants, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluids, and all sorts of other fuels that are in it. All of these liquids are safely stored and the hazardous ones are disposed of safely before taking the vehicle for dismantling.
Not all the auto parts are completely worn out or useless. Some of them can be in good condition and can still be functional. Such parts are cleaned and lubricated and sold at a price that doesn’t break a bank. Some of the parts that had suffered minor damages are repaired and sold as well. Sometimes, these parts are taken to auto parts remanufacturers so as to reduce the manufacturing process. The remaining parts, which are no longer usable, are taken for shredding.
After that, the non-usable parts are segregated based on their types. Non-metal parts are sorted out and stored or sold. On the other hand, metal parts are taken for crushing and shredding. Food this, huge shredding machines are used. The main goal here is to reduce the size of metal so that melting becomes easier. Some modern crushers are so powerful that they can reduce the size of a car into a cube, which could be roughly the size of a small microwave oven. Amazing, isn’t it?
The primary purpose of crushing and shredding metals is to reduce the amount of energy required to melt them. Once the metallic parts are crushed and shredded, they are taken for melting. After melting, auto recyclers can give any shape to them based on their needs.