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Recycled Scrap is Becoming the World’s Primary Source of Tungsten
Recycled Scrap is Becoming the World’s Primary Source of Tungsten
February 05, 2019

Tungsten is a metallic element that naturally combines with other elements to form chemical compounds. It can also be artificially combined with elements, such as carbide, to produce useable metals.

 

 

 

 

Tungsten carbide is a versatile metal that is desirable for use in many different industries, as it only comes second to diamonds in hardness.

 

 

 

 

The metal can be used to create industrial machinery, cutting tools, drill bits and heat or radiation shielding. Since it has an extremely high melting temperature, it can also be molded into lightbulb filaments. Useful as it is, tungsten carbide is unfortunately also rare. This is where tungsten recycling comes in.

 

Tungsten is limited in supply but the demand for it is growing—increasing by around 8% per year since 2012. The supply of tungsten, however, has not been able to keep up with the increasing demand. Recycled tungsten currently accounts for around a quarter of the world’s global supply, even with only 30% of tungsten scrap being recycled. We are becoming dependent on tungsten carbide recyclers to provide this metal.

 

Tungsten recycling is such an essential source of the metal that the practice was established even before the recycling of paper, glass and aluminum. While the recycled tungsten industry has boomed in Asia and Europe with the construction of new recycling facilities, North America has not experienced the same level of expansion. However, If you are located in the Mississauga area, you can contribute by selling your tungsten scrap to recyclers like us.

 

Recycling is always a better option with respect to the environment, as scrap metal that is not recycled will become landfill waste. Extracting tungsten from ore does not produce nearly as much metal as needed; scrap materials are much richer in tungsten than the ore it is extracted from. Extraction rates are expected to peak around 2030, then drop off rapidly. Scrap dealers are also better able to accumulate large supplies of the metal than individual mines. The process of tungsten recycling is performed using either direct or semi-direct methods.

 

Direct – The tungsten metal is broken down into powder through chemical and/or physical processes, such as the zinc treatment method. Direct recycling has low production costs, consumes less energy and produces less chemical waste. The disadvantage of this method is that only certain materials can be directly recycled.

 

Semi-direct – Semi-direct tungsten recycling methods involve chemically dissolving one component of the scrap and then physically breaking down the entire scrap piece. While this method can be used on all materials, it requires large amounts of chemicals and energy.

 

At Alnor Industries, we can take care of any tungsten scrap, including hard scrap, tungsten carbide sludge and tungsten-based alloys, that needs to be recycled in Mississauga. We use global standard prices to offer you monetary value for your good deed. Get in touch with us to help facilitate your tungsten recycling process!