Existing technology has been used for some time to separate light non-ferrous alloys from heavier non-ferrous alloys; however, over the past three years, there is a significant added value in performing additional separations to recover specific high dollar alloys. Examples of such are separating pure copper from copper alloys (brass and bronze) or wrought from cast aluminum. The only way to do this reliably is by alloy chemistry. Austin AI’s QXR-M, an automated tool with integrated feeder, conveyer and separation mechanics, was recently evaluated and approved as the only tool capable of processing economically viable quantities of NFR metals and accurately separating them by alloy chemistry. This same proprietary technology can be also used on the fluff line to clean up induction system output, by increasing the total metal content, removing copper from the stainless steel, and even grading the recovered stainless steel.
Widely used by automotive shredders, eddy current systems provide a first pass metal/non-metal separation on the NFR. A longthrow splitter or additional eddy current can be used to further separate the aluminum and copper products from the mixed metals fraction. Though these products can be separated, comingling is expected. The separated piles of materials if further split, would result in higher profit margins. For example, at the time of this writing pure copper is selling for approximately1 33 % over mixed copper based alloys.