Why Briquette Your Scrap Metal Swarf

Photograph taken by Glenn McKechnie, September 2005
Swarf samples and Briquette

What’s the metal briquetting procedure?

CNC metal chips and metal swarf are compressed under high pressure into a block by briquetting. An added benefit of this process is the recovery of coolants and other valuable lubricants.

Just how much more is a briquette worth when compared with loose metal chips?

The yield is raised. Briquettes also increase the amount of material processed each time in a melting cycle.

Why are briquettes priced more than loose CNC metal chips?

Briquette prices is based on briquette quality, the type of metal, the location of the factory, the state of the market, and the volume to be recycled. Companies have sold briquettes for as much as three times the price of loose chips. Check with your recycler and ask about the greater value you can provide with quality briquettes.

How much moisture can be removed?

Briquette machines can expel up to 99 percent of moisture in loose metal chips. Because coolants can make up as much as 30% of the weight of the loose metal chips, reclaiming lost CNC coolant gives financial benefit.

Can reclaimed cutting fluids be reused?

Cutting fluids are extracted in the course of briquetting.

The briquetting machines accumulate this liquid fluid in a tank, where it could be pumped out, filtered, and re-used.

How much volume can be reduced in the material?

The structure and grade of the metal determines how much volume can be reduced. Yields from laboratories were three to twenty times less than the volume of the original metal chips. Converting twenty drums of metal chips into one drum of briquettes increases the quantity of material that can be trucked each time to the recycler. It also cuts down on storage space requirements.

How long is the payback period?

The length of time required to recover the cost is between 6 months and 3 years. The actual payback period depends on processing the quantity of material, the type of metal, and the quality of the briquettes. It also depends on how much CNC coolant is recovered and the reliability of the machine.

How big is a briquetter?

Based upon the model and choices, briquetters occupy between 20 and 70 sq ft. of space.

How can foundries benefit from briquettes?

Briquettes give higher returns in the remelt procedure because of higher density. Also, because the surface area of briquettes are less than loose chips, less oxidation takes place.

Briquettes are safer and easier to manage because it has less moisture.

After briquetting, the material is a solid block, so it cannot be contaminated by other metals. The result is a cleaner, more uniform product for remelting.

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