Aluminum, Metal of choice for sustainable cans

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crashed soda cans

the Aluminum Association and Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) new report states that aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage containers in the market, they have the highest recycling rate. A can usually contains 70% of recycled content, which is 3 times more than plastic or glass containers all this while being around 300 percent more valuable than other materials. A can is generally turned into a new can and back on store shelves within 60 days.
In addition aluminum cans have become lighter by 38 percent since 1972 in the United States, with a weight of 12.99 grams approximately. Aluminum cans are more than 15 times lighter than standard 12 oz. glass bottles, which makes it easier to transport bigger quantities of beverage and optimizing their transportation costs.

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An Aluminum can goes through several steps during its life span from one recycling process to a new one

Stage 1 : Can Shredding

In this step cans are shredded into pieces the size of a walnut. The shreds are then passed through a double magnetic drum separator to remove any steel that may have been mixed into the bale.

Stage 2 :  De-coating

Any paint or other chemical coating on the aluminum is removed by blowing hot air (around 550°C) through the shreds on a slowly moving insulated conveyor. The exhaust gases from this process are first passed through an afterburner and then used to heat incoming process air via a heat exchanger, minimizing the energy requirements of the system

Stage 3 : Melting

After the de-coated process, the aluminum shreds are put into a melting furnace containing submerged stirrers that create a vortex in the pool of molten aluminum and drag the shreds quickly down into the melt.

Stage 4 : Aluminum Casting

The molten metal is transferred into a furnace to remove impurities and start the casting process then Ingots are cast from the remaining pure metal.

Once in the mold, cool water is sprayed around and through the base of the mold. The aluminum ingot ten solidifies for the next three hours. The finished 18-ton ingots, each containing approximately 1.5 million used cans, are shipped to a mill for rolling into the sheet from which aluminum can makers subsequently produce new cans and the whole process begins again.

source: www.aluminum.org and homeguides.sfgate.com

Shanghai Metal Corporation offers a wide range of aluminum products and is conscious about ecology and sustainable business . You can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Houria // SMC Editor

The Eden Project: Bringing The Ancient Copper Back To Life

Copper is known to be a major metal and an essential element used all around the globe. It is the oldest metal known to man and was first discovered and used about 10,000 years ago, however it was only alloyed in bronze circa 3000 BC, making it the first engineering material known to man. image

The first facts about copper relates to the pyramids of Cheops, located in Egypt. Archeologists have found water pipes partly made from copper. Piping network has been used in Egypt for more than 5000 years. Therefore, copper was believed as the symbol of the eternal life. In the hieroglyph system, the ancient Egyptian people utilized the ankh symbol to represent copper.

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Nowadays, copper is not only restricted to piping work, but it has expanded to include heating, cooling and refrigeration, electrical wiring, electronics, power generation and transmission, automotive applications, antimicrobial uses and many more. Moreover, copper can still be considered a symbol of eternal life for the Egyptians; however it can also be considered a sustainable material; when taking in consideration the processes of extraction, production and retail.

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Therefore, The Eden Project based in Cornwall, England is one of the most innovative and high profile of the Millennium Projects. It is the largest plant enclosure in the world built in the lightest and most ecological way possible. Eden’s aim was to build the Core (education center) with the highest sustainable specifications, challenging the conventions for sustainable design and construction, with targets above the national benchmarks and using carefully selected materials. The team considered the complex interaction between a range of criteria of sustainable issues, specifically waste neutrality, positive futures, recycled content, certification of materials and local sourcing implications.

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The key criteria affecting the choice of roofing material were:

• to make a bold architectural statement to complement Eden’s ground-breaking architecture and landscapes;

• to be durable, strong and relatively lightweight;

• to be malleable enough to cope with the complex structure of the roof;

• to have excellent sustainability credentials, and

• most importantly for a building dedicated to education at Eden, the roof should highlight a progressive message relating to sustainable development issues.

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Panoramic view of the geodesic dome structures of Eden Project eden3 eden1

While copper can be relatively expensive for a roof and is in strong competition with other roofing materials, it is robust, even when turned into sheets, malleable, completely waterproof and very long lasting: physical properties that made it ideal for the roof’s complex design. Aesthetically too, copper is the only common metal; other than gold,  that isn’t grey or silver, making it one of the most easily recognized metals, thus aiding engagement with visitors as a first step to relating the sustainability message.

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As an international manufacturer and supplier for copper sheet and bronze sheet, Shanghai Metal Corporation produces slitting, edging, and oscillates winding to fit your specific copper requirements. For more information on our copper products please visit our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our Linkedln group, Facebook and Instagram.

You can also read more articles by our team at SMC:

Who To Blame (Or Thank) For Your Braces

Most Creative Statues

How To Do A Better Job Than Jack

Sources: The Eden project

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#BuildingValueAcrossTheGlobe

William P.//SMC Editor