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Over the years, more and more homeowners have been embracing the use of steel and metal deck joists because of their durability and long lifespan. But there comes a time when such a choice is no longer for personal reasons but for the good of everyone else. That is why steel has become so popular recently because of its recyclability. 

Unlike its counterparts, steel is 100 percent recyclable, gaining a reputation as the material with the highest sustainability rate. Recycling steel may be in the form of breaking down old metal into different forms of metal. For example, recycled steel may be cut into small pieces and then used to make some new products. Alternatively, you can melt it down to create an entirely different object. 

However, the recycling process is not as easy as it sounds. It is long and tedious, comprising a series of complex steps.  

metal deck

But First, Are Metal and Steel the Same? 

Before we delve into understanding the process involved in steel recycling, let us first decipher whether or not metal and steel are the same. The answer to this is no. Metal and steel are not the same. 

Metal is a pure chemical element found in the earth’s crust, while steel is an alloy, meaning it is impure. Steel is an amalgamation of metal and non-metal parts – like iron and carbon among other metals.  

What Are the Steps in Recycling Steel? 

Collecting Steel 

This step collects scrap metal from old vehicles, farm equipment, railroad tracks, and prompt scraps produced during the manufacture of new products. 

Sorting the Steel 

During this step, the steel is sorted to separate the different types. Waste items are placed in a bin and sorted by size, shape, and color. On the other hand, undamaged steel or steel with a minor defect is used to make another product. The steel that is not damaged is recycled and used as a filler or filler material

Processing Metal 

The process involves using a hammer and a chisel to break down the steel into small pieces. The pieces are then washed, dried, and passed through an iron-steel filter. They are then treated with a chemical to remove any impurities. The remaining steel is then put through another process, such as crushing, rolling, and hammering, to create unique products. 

Melting the Steel 

Once the steel is processed, it is melted down to create its unique shape. The melted steel must be placed in a furnace to carbonize it, creating additional steel. Carbonized steel is then used to create a different product.  

Creating steel is very simple and requires a minimal cost, but the process is quite labor-intensive. Steel can be recycled for many products, but it must be processed through several steps to create the different products. 

Purifying the Metal 

After the steel is melted and carbonized, the metal is then purified. The melted metal is put into a furnace to remove impurities using electrolysis. This step ensures that the end product possesses high quality and is free of contaminants. 

Solidifying the Steel 

After purifying the metal, the melted steel is placed in a conveyor belt where it is allowed to solidify. This step enables the steel to be shaped to form various metal products. 

Transporting the Metal 

After the steel is formed into different shapes, like metal deck joists, they are transported to different factories where they are used for building construction. At this point, the metal decks gain a new life with a renewed lifespan.  

Once they reach their intended longevity, they may have to be recycled again. It explains why steel is the most recycled material in the construction industry because the recycling process repeatedly goes on, even using the same scrap materials.  

What Are the Benefits of Steel Recycling? 

Environmental Benefits 

Two factors strongly support the environmental benefits of recycling steel. First, there is conservation in landfill spaces when you recycle steel. That is because steel is processed and made functional again instead of being dumped in landfills and scrap facilities.  

Second, the recycling process significantly reduces carbon emissions compared to when steel is produced new. With this, the greenhouse emissions are diminished, contributing to a less polluted world.  

Economic Benefits 

Recycling your old metal products and systems can create economic benefits. Through this, more people get employed to complete the job. If we talk about large recycling facilities, we mean thousands of employees obtaining a source of income. Conversely, only a few people can benefit when these materials are left in dumpsites since landfills employ fewer people comparatively.  

Recycling also reduces transportation, project disposal, and the cost of manufacturing new materials.  

metal deck joists

Do You Need Metal Deck Joists for Your Construction Project? 

No matter how you look at it, steel recycling only offers positive impacts to the people and the environment. Accordingly, we at Miami Metal Deck also contribute to the same efforts of conserving natural resources by supplying metal decks to our consumers.  

We are your trusted partner in modern building construction using sustainable materials that last longer than their counterparts. We can ship these materials to you so you won’t have to worry about transporting them. Give us a call today for the best deals on our metal products.