Recycling Metals and Other Materials

How Is Marine-Grade Stainless Steel Recycled?

Although marine-grade stainless steel is a widely used term, it is not an official one. Typically, steel that is designed for marine and coastal environments will be specified as grade 316. Scrapped 316 stainless steel is often highly sought-after by scrap metal buyers. Essentially, 316 stainless steel is a molybdenum alloy which means that it has additional anti-corrosive properties compared with other forms of the metal. When scrap steel of a marine-grade is repurposed, it will often be in extremely good condition because of its lack of rust. Only in cases of severe degradation will such scrap steel be melted down to separate its other constituent metallic elements, like nickel, titanium and aluminium.

  • Salvaging Scrap Metal

Like other scrap metal, marine-grade stainless steel can only be recycled if it is salvaged in the first place. In many cases, this will be simple enough because the metal will be removed from a larger object that is being decommissioned, such as an ocean-going vessel. In other cases, divers will need to retrieve the stainless steel from beneath the waves. Since this metal is sometimes used for quayside and harbour-front infrastructure, some of it will inevitably end up in the sea. Nevertheless, the additional cost associated with retrieving such scrap steel remains viable thanks to its higher-than-average scrap value.

  • Contaminant Removal

Pure 316 stainless steel does not need to be decontaminated and can go to recycling centres directly. Pure stainless steel bollards which were cast as a single item, for example, would fall into this category. However, many of the products that are made from marine-grade steels can only be reprocessed when other items are removed from them. A typical former use for this sort of scrap steel would be portholes. Therefore, non-steel screw fixings and any remaining traces of glass will need to be removed, sometimes by hand, before recycling is possible. Marine-grade stainless steel is not painted very often, so it rarely needs to go into industrial furnaces have paint burned off. That said, powder coating is sometimes applied, which means contaminant removal processes may be required.

  • What Is Recycled Marine-Grade Stainless Steel Turned Into?

All sorts of products which will go into coastal environments are made from recycled scrap steel of a marine grade. It is also highly sought after in certain medical and laboratory products, too. Some jet engine parts and components for the mining industry also make use of it.

Contact a metal recycling service to learn more.