How Stainless Steel is Recycled

One of the many advantages of stainless steel is its ability to be recycled an infinite number of times without any effect on its qualities or performance, making the metal one of the world's most sustainable materials. In this edition of the BS Stainless blog, we will be taking a closer look at the process of recycling, as well as the projected growth of the global stainless steel recycling market. 

The process of recycling begins with the collection of stainless steel scrap, which comes from two main sources. The first of these is from consumers, who take stainless steel products to municipal recycling centres. The other comes from the industrial sector, which sends its factory scrap and manufacturing rejects for recycling. Once collected, the stainless steel scrap is taken to a central recycling facility. 

Upon arrival at this facility, the stainless steel is sorted into its various types, such as martensitic, austenitic and ferritic. Once sorted, the stainless steel scrap is shredded into small pieces, which makes the process of recycling easier and more efficient.
The shredded metal is placed into an electric arc furnace, within which extreme temperatures cause the stainless steel to become molten. Chemicals are added to the molten stainless steel to purify it, removing any impurities. After this stage of the process, the purified molten stainless steel is cast into large pieces called 'ingots' and allowed to solidify. They can then be processed by machining, forging or rolling to create the desired shape.

A new report from Benzinga reveals that the global stainless steel recycling market is set to grow at a CAGR of 14% between now and 2030. The rapid growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including the rising need to conserve raw materials, an increasing awareness about recycling's environmental advantages and a growing demand for products that are produced in a sustainable manner.

The report suggests that Europe will dominate the stainless steel recycling market, thanks to the region's strict industrial regulations and sustainable policies. Other factors that will play a part in ensuring Europe's dominance include a strong emphasis on sustainability, the presence of advanced technologies and a well-established recycling infrastructure. 

For more details about the sustainability of stainless steel, along with the comprehensive portfolio of products supplied by BS Stainless, please browse our website. If you need further information, please get in touch with a member of our dedicated technical team.

Posted in Product news on