Non-Ferrous Metals Industry

Non-Ferrous Metals Industry

Copper (Cu) is nonmagnetic metal. Cu is received as a result of the fire refining (fire reduction) and electrolytic refining (electrorefining). In the form of cathodes, slab ingots and round ingots. Copper found the very wide application mainly due to high electrical and thermal conductivity, high corrosion resistance and good ductility. More than half the consumption of copper falls on electrical engineering and electronics and is used in the form of strips, sheets, profiles and wires. From copper are made pipes for water installations, production of which has significant earnings growth, in recent years.

Copper has the ability to create many very valuable alloys, such as brasses and bronzes.

Aluminium (Al) is second metal, after iron, in terms of consumption size worldwide. Pure aluminium in combination with other metals is able to ensure the strength of steel, weighing moreover three time less. Combination of primary aluminium and its alloys make that can be easily formed in all processes of treatment, such as rolling, extrusion and drawing, forging and casting. Aluminium is used for packaging food and beverages industry. Recycling Al saves about 95% of the energy it would take to produce aluminium from its original source.

Aluminium has use in electrical wires and cables in power supply systems.

Lead (Pb) is very prevalent metal and well-known, even in antiquity. A large specific gravity is a feature that allows for proper classification of the metal at the stage of its recycling. Lead is resistant to action of atmosphere, sulphuric acid and sulphates. Has a high ductility, it can be easily modify as dough (production of sheets, tubes and foils). It is easy to soldering and welding. It has good casting properties. These characteristics determine the directions of lead consumption for this metal.

The largest share in total consumption of lead has the production of lead-acid batteries/lead-acid accumulators, intended for the automotive industry, which currently amounts to about 80% and has the strongly growth tendency.

The buying in batteries, well organized in Poland and ease recycling allows for the recycling to 95% of this metal.

Zinc (Zn) – importance of zinc results from its anticorrosive features and the role of alloy component, especially in brasses. Consumption of this metal is strongly associated with the production of steel products, particularly rolled products.

The structure of zinc consumption in Poland:

50% - for covering metal sheets and steel strips and cast-iron products;
20% - production of brasses for engineering industry;
15% - pressure castings for automotive industry;
7% - zinc white for chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

Silver (Ag) is a soft, plastic metal with excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. In the state of alloying it strongly absorbs oxygen. Silver readily forms complex compounds with cyanide and solutions with copper, lead, platinum group metals, gold and beryllium.

Pure silver and alloys have a variety of applications in electronics and electrical engineering (contacts and wires), photography, medicine, chemical silvering, decoration and manufacture of jewelry, coinage and tableware as well as an additive to tin-lead binding agents.

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