What Happens To Cars When They Are Scrapped?

December 19, 2012 / by / 0 Comment
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Sadly, cars don’t last forever, and when they finally come to the end of their lives, they go to a scrap yard of some description. Fortunately, the materials used in the construction of a vehicle are extremely useful in a number of other applications, which means that even once your car has been dismantled; it is of use to someone.

by Wikimedia Commons

Often, there are regulations upon scrapping a car, but once these have been followed, the car is ready to be dismantled. The first thing that happens when the car goes to a scrap yard is that it is assessed in terms of its working parts. Some of the components may still be functioning perfectly well, which means that they can be sold on to use with other cars. There may also be expensive parts such as the engine, which could actually be reconditioned and installed in another vehicle. These parts are taken out of the car and brought back to a working level.

The rest of the car, or the whole of it if it is not salvageable, is then dealt with. The first thing that happens is that all liquids, including the battery, are drained from the car. Usually, industrial hydraulic presses will then be used to crush the car into a much smaller and more manageable size. Some of these huge crushers are capable of compacting hundreds of cars an hour. From there, the scrap yard will usually sell the cars or scrap to recyclers who will further process the vehicle. More information on the types of hydraulic press can be found at SGS

A variety of methods will be used to sort out the different parts of the scrap vehicle. Often, this can be done by using magnets to separate the magnetic metal from everything else. Compressed air is also used to blast things apart. This whole process is known as dense media separation.

The raw parts are distributed to a variety of sources. Plastics and metals can be melted down and used again; indeed, you may find that a great deal of a scrap car will once again form parts of other cars once recycled.


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