Featured metal – Aluminium news from around the world
As a popular aluminium stockist we sell large amounts of the world’s most prevalent metal, and we sell it in all sorts of useful formats. This time around, aluminium is our featured metal. Here are some of the best aluminium stories from around the globe.
Aluminium prices hit a 13 year high
The price of aluminium hit a 13-year record breaking $3,000 a tonne in week 2 September thanks to a supply crisis that’s been made worse by a military coup in Guinea, an African country with vast supplies of the bauxite from which aluminium is processed. The price levelled off a little shortly afterwards but remains unusually high.
Rising electricity prices in China have led to a slump in production at several foundries in the western Xinjiang region, which isn’t helping since aluminium production is such an energy-hungry industry. The prolonged high aluminium prices we’re seeing is likely to encourage new capacity in other parts of the world.
Italian metals waste collaboration boosts aluminium recycling
A collaboration between two companies it Italy has boosted the nation’s aluminium recycling levels. The scrap dealer and recycler Centro Rottami processes scrap aluminium using TOMRA separating units then sends it to a nearby foundry run by Indinvest LT. The re-purposed aluminium is transformed into 85% recycled billet, a semi-finished casting product usually sold as cut lengths or coil.
The scrap aluminium mostly comes from old window profiles, separated first to remove plastic, rubber, copper, brass, zinc, and steel contaminants. The material is shredded and pre-sorted using magnets and eddy current separators. The material from the eddy current separator is processed, then X-TRACT units are used to purify the metal.
X-ray transmission technology detects any contaminants left behind and sorts them, leaving shredded aluminium that’s processed into green billet by Indinvest LT. The resulting alloys are made using a blend of primary aluminium, post-production scrap from the company’s own plant, and post-consumer scrap from Centro Rottami.
Aluminium is 100% re-usable. The recycled alloy uses just 5% of the energy needed to make primary aluminium from bauxite. No wonder Italy comes a clear first in Europe for recycled aluminium production, with a 70% recovery rate. The EU’s goal is 50% recovery by 2025, putting Italy in an excellent position.
This week’s featured alloy – Aluminium 2014
Aluminium Alloy 2014, also called 2014 A, is a very strong and hard copper-rich alloy that comes with excellent machining characteristics. It’s used in a wide variety of aerospace structural applications as well as military vehicles, bridges, and weapons. At some tempers it’s easily machined but it doesn’t weld well because it cracks easily. Ask our experts about all these handy variations, and don’t forget we’re also trusted aluminium extrusion suppliers:
- 2014 aluminium flat bar
- 2014 aluminium plate
- 2014 aluminium round bar
- 2014 aluminium square bar
Scotland decides on a bid for a new aluminium recycling plant
Scotland’s Highland Council is about to make a decision about an application to build an aluminium recycling plant close to Fort William’s Lochaber smelter. If it goes ahead, the new facility could recycle a massive 100,000 tonnes of the metal every year.
The applicant, the Alvance Aluminium Group, has promised to use green energy at the proposed plant, which should help them compete with plants that still use fossil fuels. The factory will be powered with existing hydro-power and other sources of green energy.
Molten aluminium will be sent into the building at one end, scrap aluminium will come in at the other end, and the two will combine in furnaces in the middle. Thanks to using 100% green energy, the plant will contribute to Scotland’s CO2 emissions targets.
BMW’s new 100% recycled car
BMW has revealed a new car model made from weather-proof, scratch-proof aluminium. It’s called the iVision Circular and it was seen for the first time at the recent Munich Mobility Show. The vehicle has an anodised metal exterior and is made from 100% recyclable materials.
Car paint has always been a problem. It isn’t environmentally friendly. These days the base coats on new cars are usually water-based, the top coat of lacquer is solvent-based. BMW’s anodised finish could solve the problem. It involves electrically boosting the natural oxidation layer on materials like aluminium and is already widely used for protecting components under the bonnet.
Come to us for all your aluminium supply needs
Need aluminium? That’s no problem at all. We stock it in all manner of useful forms, we understand the metal inside out, and we can provide all the help and support you could possibly need.
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