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Steel Scrap Testing

The Bruker Steel Scrap Scanner Gun Takes 3 Seconds!

Steel Scrap TestingSteel scrap is crucial to industry because it is, by definition, recyclable. Steelmaking heavily depends on scrap as its raw material, next to iron ore in importance. Accurately testing the alloy composition of steel scrap takes on a corresponding importance. Use the contact form to the right to discover the benefits of using A Bruker X-Ray fluorescence tester gun (handheld XRF) as the solution of choice among the existing steel scrap testing options. The Bruker S1 TITAN is the industry leading lightweight steel scrap analysis instrument.

Properly Testing Steel Scrap for Better Steelmaking

Recyclability is what distinguishes steel scrap from waste. Ore is indispensable to making new steel; however, it is much cheaper, easier and cooler (both ecologically and energetically) to make steel from scrap since, since even when recovered from scrap, steel does not lose any of its desirable characteristics. Moreover, steel recovery saves a great deal of energy.

In the US and in other industrially advanced countries, the recycling rate of steel scrap is very high(as is also its value). Steel recovery begins in the scrapyard (sometimes termed the junkyard or the wrecking or breaker’s yard), where most collected steel scrap ends up. There it is sorted, shredded or otherwise compacted in preparation for being melted into new steel at steelworks. Fortunately, the separation of steel scrap from nonferrous and nonmetallic scrap is technologically straightforward due to steel’s magnetically susceptible properties. (Under magnetic separation, steel is recovered from a waste by using a magnetic force.)

At least in the US, most steel scrap comes in the shape of containers, cars, construction steel, cans, and a variety of appliances. Just as (adult) people are 60% water, an average manufactured appliance is, by weight, 75% steel, while the average car is roughly 65% steel and iron. Steel has been actively recycled for roughly a century and a half, an economic no-brainer.

The process known as Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) utilizes roughly 30% steel scrap to fabricate new steel. The BOS method results in reduced presence of residual elements, e.g. Cu, Ni, and Mo. By contrast, EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) steel relies on steel scrap 100%, with a resulting higher presence of residual elements, which are not reducible by applied oxygen and lime. Unlike the milder and more ductile BOS steels, EAF steels are substantially harder due to the presence of the said residual elements. Popular uses of EAF-produced steel include structural steel and rebar. Steel alloy downcycling (owing to persistent impurities such as Cu or Sn) can avoid by advance accurate sorting of steel scrap grades, a task in which a Bruker XRF steel scrap analyzer gun performs with admirable efficiency. Contact us now! Our experts are standing by to address any questions you may have about the advantages of opting for a Bruker XRF gun for steel scrap testing purposes.

Although steel scrap prices vary significantly depending on location, they chiefly depend on the steel grades found in supplied ferrous material. Reports of steel scrap prices regularly appear in a few sources, such as American Metal Market (in the US) and on the Scrap Metal Prices & Auctions website (both US based). Important non-American sources include The Steel Index (whose steel scrap coverage includes the USA).

More Information

A cool fact: recycling one metric ton (1,000 kilograms) of steel saves 1.1 metric tons of iron ore, 630 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone,” according to

Steel analysis with handheld XRF has numerous industrial applications. One of the most important is the use of handheld XRF sorters in steel scrap testing in scrapyards. The various types of scrap used in steelmaking include:

  • Heavy Melting Steel Scrap, consisting of steel that is more than 6mm thick. Coming mostly from commercial sources, it includes scrap machinery and equipment as well as steel plates, beams, etc.
  • Pressing Steel Scrap, comprising steel of no more than 6mm thick, mostly from domestic sources, commonly including “white goods” (washing machines, dryers, refrigerators), steel sheets and roofing steel.
  • Scrap Vehicles, with their interiors and wheels either in place or removed.
  • Cast Iron Scrap, including machinery, engine blocks, bathtubs, gates, and pipes.
  • Rebars and Mesh.
  • Manganese Steel, a hardened, nonmagnetic steel commonly used in mining and certain other kinds of machinery, such as cement mixers.
  • Disused Rails

Bruker handheld XRF analyzers are widely used at collection sites, in scrapyards, and in labs to identify all types of alloys and their grades. Send us your query today!

Industries we Influence
Metallurgy, Aero Space, Scrap and Recycling, Food Processing, Plumbing, Petrochemicals Metallurgy, Aero Space, Scrap and Recycling, Food Processing, Plumbing, Petrochemicals

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