Winter in Houston is generally very wet. The past few days, we’ve been getting a lot of corroded scrap metal brought into the shop. While we still accept most scrap metal that has been affected by water, There are certain types of corrosion that we like to avoid. Our team decided it would be best if we explained what types of corrosion and wear we cannot accept for scrap metal recycling.
First, we’d like to note that only iron rusts, or oxidizes. Over time, iron reacts with air and begins to turn that rust red color we are all familiar with. Naturally, metal alloys that are composed of iron also oxidize and decay, but generally at a much slower rate.
While we accept iron and steel with some rust, we cannot accept scrap that is too far along the decaying process.
Just like rusting, tarnish results from a chemical reaction between metals and a non-metal, generally oxygen. All metals, except for precious metals, tarnish with time. Bronze, copper, and aluminum are particularly prone to tarnishing.
Luckily, tarnish does not affect the recyclability of metals. Essentially, feel free to bring your tarnished scrap to our shop!
Some Tricks for Keeping your Scrap Safe
Scrap metal is usually pretty worn down by the time one sells it for recycling. While most centers will accept dirty and broken scrap, not all will pay for scrap that has fallen victim to heavy corrosion.
One of the best ways to protect your scrap from excess damage is to keep it covered. The trick is to either store it in a roofed in area or to cover with water repellant material, such as a plastic tarp.
Another way to reduce corrosion is to recycle it almost immediately. Part of the reason steel begins to rust is that people take to long to bring it into the center and sell it. With most scrap buyers offering free pick up, selling your scrap has never been easier.
For more information concerning what types of scrap we accept and what condition your scrap needs to be in, please call Gulf Coast Scrap Metal at 713-868-4111.