Scrap use increases productivity and reduces CO2 emissions
At Ternium Industrial Complex, scrap is synonymous with productivity. The material, which has been rendered unusable by the time of use, or scraps from other industrial processes, takes on a new role by being melted with pig iron from the blast furnace for conversion to liquid steel and slab production.
At Ternium Brazil, for instance, approximately 12% of the volume of steel slabs produced monthly comes from the increase of output provided using scrap.
Increasing productivity is not the only benefit of scrap utilization by the metallurgical industry. The practice is environmentally beneficial, with a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, energy, water, and non-renewable resources such as iron ore, coal, and limestone. Sustainability lies in the reuse of internal and external waste and co-products.
“The goal for the 2020/2021 two-year period is to use 92,000 tons of scrap per month for metal production. The use of waste is essential to increase our production,” says Leonardo Demuner, Steelworks General Manager.
Ternium recycles domestic, external, or industrial scrap. The plates end, obsolete consumer and capital goods for use, equipment, and slag waste steel, and cast iron rejected due to poor quality are of domestic origin. The foreign scrap comes from the processes of other industries, foundries, and obsolete goods, such as pipes, beams, and metal profiles, as well as equipment, automobiles, and appliances.
The internal scraps go through processing, breaking, and cutting plants to adapt the density, grain size, and metal content. The processing capacity is 25 thousand tons per month. The external is purchased already processed, going through the process of segregation to adapt to the steel fabrication recipe. The quality of the final product is a constant concern of Ternium as the company produces high-quality steel for the automotive industry. The used material is under strict control, as explained by the General Manager of the Steelworks. “Scrap can influence the quality of steel, but we control the type of scrap we buy, inspect the ones we receive, and define the mix that can be used for each type of steel produced, thus preventing contamination and ensuring quality.”
The steel mill’s current storage capacity is 35,000 tons, but an average of 50,000 tons per month is handled for consumption in the furnace converters where the transformation of pig iron and scrap into liquid steel takes place.