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Why Alligator Shears Are Used for Metal Recycling
Why Alligator Shears Are Used for Metal Recycling
December 13, 2019

As leaders in metal recycling in Mississauga, we often get asked how we go about maximising the value of the scrap material that our consumers provide us.


One of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of metal recycling comes in the ability to separate actual waste from the valuable metal in question - this is known as “cleaning” scrap.


A machine crucial in this process is an alligator shear – the focus of today’s piece.


What Are Alligator Shears?

Extracting the most value from metal recycling in Mississauga for your ferrous and/or non-ferrous metal is contingent on a scrapyard’s ability to use alligator shears, named as such due to the hinged cutting action resembling an alligator.


Proper usage allows a recycling facility to cut scrap metal into its constituent parts, and for size reduction – an important stage in the process as recyclers remove unwanted components and fittings to streamline the scrap for shredding. Utility like this allows anything from car radiators to cables to be recycled more efficiently.


How Do Alligator Shears Work?

It is common to see shears powered by a single or three-phase power supply (Fig.1), with some shears being powered by diesel for facilities that require portability.




Fig. 1. 550 volt, 3-phased alligator shears used at Alnor Industries. Capable of transmitting 3x the power compared to a single phase power supply – great for cutting through heavy-duty scrap like stainless steel.


Cutting power of this magnitude has to be handled with care, that’s why experienced scrapyard technicians are tasked with their operation for metal recycling in Mississauga. To promote safe use, alligator shears implement blade guards and foot-operated switches, allowing the operator’s hands to be free to adjust the workpiece while also minimising the likelihood of catastrophe.


A hydraulic hold down is used in order to keep scrap pieces in place, these can be manually adjustable or automatic in nature. It is this hold down that allows alligator shears the versatility to deliver cutting forces between 40 – 200 tons and to display cutting capacities for steel rounds that are 1 – 2 ¾” in diameter.

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