Orchard scrap UK

Discussion in 'General foundry chat' started by Peedee, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Peedee

    Peedee Silver

    Came across this on one of those day-time UK channels (Yep, the sort of crap you watch when you're off work sick)

    http://www.whorchardandson.co.uk/aluminiumrecycling.php

    They are a smallish scrap yard that has a couple of very large reducing/reverb style furnaces using the waste fluids as fuel and knocking out some pretty big ingots. I'm not sure I'd want the grade of metal they produce but I like the inventiveness. The hydraulic sump/tank puncher to drain fuel looks a bit lethal!

    Quite how they haven't been shut down for polutants and emmisions (the gasses are re-circulated and re-burnt so I'm guessing monitored to comply....)

    I found it fun
     
  2. There are some pretty cool X-ray sorting machines, they run the shredded metal through an X-ray fluorescence sorting machine to sort aluminium from everything else. It then goes through another to to sort cast alloys from sheet alloys, the non aluminium gets sorted through a third X-ray. So you end up with sorted, dense materials ready for the furnace.

     
  3. Peedee

    Peedee Silver

    That is pretty cool tech, these guys just rip the engine and trans out with a grab... pipes, crap and all the debris then throw it in the furnace. Presumably the volatiles will add to the temp as they decompose assuming there is enough air blast. The run off from the firat joins the second furnce pool of cleaner scrap to then tap the aluminium. Don't get me wrong, it would be my perfect set-up for recycling, just amazed they get away with doing it as a small concern.
     
  4. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    Imagine the smell of that dumpster fire:eek: I'm guessing the fine folks at the EU haven't seen this place..... yet!
     
  5. The Orchard guys do mention getting three times as much metal onto the truck by casting ingots which has to be great for shipping, I think their aluminium is going to need a bit of processing to get iron and other contaminants out. Volatiles cease to be a problem once you get above a certain temperature and break all the organic molecules down, they could probably have a sideline incinerating waste chemicals in the furnace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Petee716 likes this.
  6. Jason

    Jason Silver Banner Member

    That's what my city council said we they bought MILLION dollar trucks that can be operated by one guy. Now I get pickup just once a week and I watch the truck make 4 trips past my house. "Look how efficient we are!!" I'm convinced anyone that touts their lack of ecological impact is the one doing the most harm. It's all a sell job. Green is green alright... $$$$$$$$

    I agree, I bet their aluminum is utter mystery metal. But there is a lot of worthless junk made today that doesnt rely on some certified alloy. Scary part is you KNOW the chinese are buying this trash and turning it into stuff that probably shouldn't be made out of it.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  7. It all depends on their scrap merchant, if they only pay a pittance, then it makes sense to have a compact, dense load of scrap regardless of the metal's quality. The guy I'm learning off of has tried piston, cylinder heads etc. in the past and he just buys reprocessed known ingots with grain refiner additives already added. The main reason is all the labour involved to get crucible sized chunks into the crucible, messing around getting steel studs and valve seats out of cylinder heads and cleaning carbon deposits, then sawing up is not his idea of fun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  8. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Silver Banner Member

    I was impressed by the clever custom-engineered steel totes, rakes, etc. that worked so well for the specific jobs they did. It looked like a single heat-shielded forklift could do all the various charging, transporting, and stacking jobs efficiently since some clever designer studied and understood what functionality was needed and then made simple functional tools to do the job. Same was true for the sow molds—-they dump out cleanly, stack well, fit side by side on a standard flatbed, and fit the forks. Nice.

    Good design can save money and time all around.

    Denis
     
  9. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    I think Mark is on the right track in several aspects plus I don't think the orchard vid is showing everything. Of course it's an overview video, not a detailed one. Crank and cam shafts among other things won't just float to the top as irony dross, yet by the time they show flow into the ingot molds the metal looks pretty free of debris. But once it's cast into an ingot it pretty much eliminates any chance of mechanical separation. But if they have a market for their product then good on them.

    Pete
     
  10. Peedee

    Peedee Silver

    I agree, it may be a mix of metals and some traces of Fe in solution. The TV docu suggested they were getting 2 tonnes per tap at £1.5k per tonne. Several taps per day and free fuel seems like a good living for a small familly operation. (Minus initial outlay, repairs and overheads, which would be minimal relatively)

    They did mention they had an unpleasant incident some years back when a gas cyclinder had be un-knowingly stashed in the back of a car shell, when crushed they set fire to half the yard! (not that is relevant to the furnace side of things)

    A later shot shows the owner picking through the scraped out 'dross' to salvage starters and alternators for the copper content, they do mean business!
     
  11. Melterskelter

    Melterskelter Silver Banner Member

    Ya, wouldn’t the iron and steel debris just settle to the bottom of the melt tank?

    This aluminum (“alloy”) no doubt ends up as the many many simple die cast parts we find in all sorts of consumer goods. No need for tightly controlled composition there when the designer can assume less-than-perfect composition and just add a little cheap mass to compensate.

    Denis
     
  12. Petee716

    Petee716 Silver Banner Member

    This is reminiscent of the many many noobie posts we've seen over the years of folks wanting to build a "forge" or "foundry" to "smelt" their scrap into ingots and cash in at the scrap yard. Don't try this at home. It's a loser!

    Pete
     
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  13. Peedee

    Peedee Silver

    Pete, they have an advantage over a back yard as they already have a buyer that would have taken their mixed loose scrap before and can demonstrate their slightly more refined product with a relative amount of security. Too many people still think they can melt their soda cans into gold......no doubt many more to follow!
     
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