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What are different recycled scrap metals used for?

Recycled scrap metal has almost limitless uses and applications, and in most cases can be substituted directly in place of virgin metals to cut down on resource depletion and energy consumption.

Different types of recycled metal have different uses, and again these are broadly in line with what the original metal would have been used for.

Most metals can be recycled endlessly with no loss of quality, and may only need processing to remove impurities in order to retain their original strength and other characteristics – this is done as part of the recycling process, so the metal offers its best attributes at the point of purchase.

How to recycle scrap metal

Metal recycling is a well-established and sophisticated process. Many years of research into how to recycle scrap metal have led to techniques that reliable separate and reprocess metals, for a very high standard of finished product.

First, mixed metals are separated from any other recyclable materials. Steel is easy to separate as it’s magnetic, so can be extracted just using a powerful magnet.

Eddy current separators are used to separate the non-ferrous (i.e. non-magnetic) metals, by moving them through an electromagnetic field which ejects the metals from the non-metallic waste.

What is scrap metal used for?

Once it’s sorted and separated, scrap metal can be recycled by shredding it, melting it down and removing any remaining impurities, before casting the molten metal into new products.

Some examples of the uses of recycled scrap metal include:


Aluminium is used in aeroplane manufacture due to its high strength and low weight. Recycled aluminium is used increasingly and typically contributes up to 80% of the aircraft’s frame.

Recycled aluminium can also be used in containers such as drinks cans, food tins and so on. It’s clean, hygienic and energy-efficient, with recycled aluminium using up to 95% less energy than producing the same metal from ore.


Copper is easily recognised by its distinctive colour, which makes it easy for people to spot where copper is used around the home – and recycled copper can be substituted into many of those applications.

Recycled copper therefore finds its way into copper pipes, guttering and other gas and water conduits, as well as in electrical wiring. Recycled copper uses about 85% less energy than fresh copper.


Recycled steel is strong and, when processed correctly, never loses its original quality and attributes. This makes recycled steel as versatile as newly produced steel.

As a result, recycled steel is used in structural applications, appliances and white goods, and throughout the transportation industry from new cars to railway tracks. Recycled scrap steel can save up to about 75% of energy consumption.

Where to recycle scrap metal

J Davidson Scrap Metal Processors are specialists in scrap car and metal recycling, and we process more than 40,000 tonnes of metal every year, saving energy, resources and carbon emissions.

We aim to pay the best scrap metal prices in Manchester while providing valuable recyclable metal scrap to keep the cost of building materials low – a win-win for businesses across the North West.

Best scrap prices help you have a happy new car

Scrapping a car could be the perfect start to your New Year, giving you money you can put towards a new vehicle for 2023 and beyond.

At J Davidson Scrap we aim to offer the best scrap car prices in the north-west, and you can get a quick estimate of how much your scrap car is worth by filling in our instant online quote form.

We’ll take care of everything – we can collect your vehicle if it’s a non-runner, sort out the paperwork to prove it’s been scrapped, and if you have the log book we can even liaise with the DVLA so that they know it’s been destroyed too.

Why is scrapping a car a good idea?

There are plenty of reasons why scrapping a car is a good way to start the new year…

A reliable set of wheels for winter

If your current car won’t start on a frosty morning, or you have trouble keeping the battery charged, then putting your scrap car money towards a more reliable replacement could be the best way to start 2023.

Save on fuel costs in the long run

There’s no time like the present to start saving money on fuel economy, and this is one area where many modern vehicles significantly outperform their older equivalents. Saving pounds at the pump will all add up and, on top of your scrap car money, could eventually cover the cost of your new car.

Time to try an electric car?

Hybrids and battery electric vehicles are well established in the mainstream market now, with plenty of charging infrastructure around when you need it. Is it time to think about scrapping a car and replacing it with one that doesn’t use petrol or diesel at all?

How to scrap a car

If you’ve never scrapped a car before, don’t worry, it’s not difficult. To start, just enter the vehicle’s details on our website and we’ll give you a quick quote based on our best prices for scrap cars in the current market.

This is based on a few different factors including the make and model of the car, and the likely value of the recyclable materials contained in its bodywork.

We will carefully dismantle your scrap vehicle, dispose of any hazardous materials like hydraulic fluids, and recycle the rest to avoid sending it to landfill sites.

Want to know more?

If you have an old car to scrap there’s no need to wait – contact us today and we can get the ball rolling, and can arrange to collect your car and log book from your home or roadside if necessary.

As always, remember if you have personalised number plates, you must transfer them away from the vehicle BEFORE you scrap it, or the number will be scrapped along with the car and you’ll lose the right to use it on your next vehicle.

For any more hints and tips, or if you have any questions about the car scrapping process, give us a call on 0161 928 9981 and we’ll be happy to help.

Environmental Impacts of Car Scrapping

Your local scrap yard might not look much like a nature reserve, but car scrapping can have some big benefits for the environment – so how are all those scrap cars helping to protect the planet?

It’s all about something the natural world has been doing for centuries: evolution. Year by year, cars evolve, getting gradually greener with each new generation of vehicles.

For internal combustion engines, catalytic converters were the gamechanger. Then there was LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), although that never really caught on.

Now as we move towards all-electric vehicles and a ban on manufacturing internal combustion engines in 2030, we’re likely to see even more scrap cars in the coming decade.

Why is car scrapping good?

Scrapping cars takes older, more polluting vehicles off the road. Even if you upgrade to a newer petrol car, it’s likely to give more miles to the gallon with fewer emissions.

That’s good news for your pocket, as you’ll spend less on petrol. You might even avoid paying the fee in some low-emission zones or get a reduction on your road tax, if your new car has very low emissions.

But it’s also good for the environment as a whole. Less pollution from car exhausts means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, but even more directly than that, it helps to avoid harming the air quality in your own town or city.

What about the scrap cars?

Don’t worry – we don’t just bury them somewhere. Car scrapping is now an almost surgical process as we carefully dismantle the vehicle and recycle its component parts separately:

  • Remove batteries, tyres and fluids
  • Separate recyclable materials
  • Process recyclable metals

J Davidson Scrap were one of the first Authorised Treatment Facilities in the North West, giving us unmatched experience and expertise to make sure we recover every reusable part from scrap cars.

Again, this is good news for the economy as well as the environment. We can sell the valuable recyclable metal parts – and pass on that value to you with some of the best prices for scrap cars in Manchester.

Can anyone scrap cars?

No. Scrap metal dealers need to be licensed to scrap cars. As a licensed ATF, we have bought special equipment to dismantle and de-pollute scrap cars in line with the 2003 regulations.

We can liaise with the DVLA to confirm that your vehicle has been scrapped – so you don’t have to keep paying its road tax – and to issue you a DVLA Certificate of Destruction.

All of this makes it faster and easier to scrap your old polluting car with J Davidson Scrap, and puts more into your budget to buy the most eco-friendly vehicle possible, whether that’s a low-emission petrol car or a zero-carbon EV.

Get in touch

If you have an old car to scrap, contact J Davidson Scrap today and we’ll be happy to give you a quote for how much we can pay you for it.

You’ll need your log book, and let us know if any parts are missing from the vehicle. We can collect non-runners if the engine won’t start. Just remember to transfer any personalised plates off the vehicle, as you’ll lose them if they’re still registered to your car when it’s scrapped.

Fill in our online form for a quick quote or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help get your car scrapped, and get you in a clean, green, mean machine ready for the summer!

Scrap Metal Firm donates ambulance to help Ukraine.

Jamie Davidson, along with volunteers Nathan Evans and

J Davidson will be part of a convey of four ambulances set to be delivered to the war-torn Ukraine.

Organised by a team from Greater Manchester Businesses and the voluntary sector, they plan to set off today on the 3-day, 1250 miles journey this coming weekend, having raised funds to purchase former NHS ambulances.

With donations from local businesses and a crowd funding page the group have manged to raise in excess of £35,000.

Volunteer, Nathan explained, “It’s been nearly a year since the invasion in the Ukraine and support is still required, there’s so many people suffering over there. The ambulances don’t just provide first aid and medical supplies, they are often the only means of transportation for the evacuation of innocent civilians.”

Nathan Evans, from the team, then added “We can’t thank J Davidson’s, and everyone else involved enough for their contribution and allowing us to make this happen.”

With four months in planning, the ambulances will now be driven via Dover to Calais, through Belgium, Netherlands and Germany before a handover to support charities in Poland. It’s then anticipated the vehicles with be taken to areas of combat, Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Rivne and Chernihiv.

J Davidsons, Managing Director, Jamie Davidson added, “We think Nathan and his team are incredible. It’s so commendable what they have set out to achieve and it’s a pleasure to support them.”

How scrap metal is sorted and graded

Sorting scrap metal is an important part of the metal recycling process. Accurate scrap metal grading increases recovery rates and improves the purity of recycled metals, but how is this achieved on a massive scale?

There are two main stages in the process:

  1. Magnetic separation of ferrous metals (e.g. iron and steel)
  2. Eddy current separation of non-ferrous metals (e.g. aluminium and copper)

Remaining mixed waste after these two processes has little to no remaining metal content and is taken away for further processing and disposal.

Let’s look at the two processes in more detail to understand how different types of metal are separated and sorted for recycling.

Ferrous metals

Ferrous metals such as iron and steel are magnetic, whereas aluminium, brass and copper are not. Despite popular belief, iron is not the only magnetic element: cobalt and nickel are also magnetic.

Metal alloys and compounds that contain iron, nickel or cobalt can also be magnetic, e.g. steel and stainless steel, ferrite, permalloy and alnico.

Strictly speaking, ‘ferrous’ relates only to metals that contain iron. But ‘ferromagnetic’ is used for all permanently magnetic metals, which are some of the easiest to separate out of shredded mixed scrap.

In this stage, the mixed waste passes along a conveyor belt under a strong magnet. Any ferromagnetic scrap is pulled out by the magnet, while the rest continues to stage two.

Non-ferrous metals

Once the magnetic metals are gone, the remaining waste is a mix of non-ferrous metals, along with other materials like glass, plastic and stone.

This is where eddy current separation (ECS) is crucial for scrap metal grading. During ECS, the mixed shredded waste passes through a powerful magnetic field as it continues along the conveyor belt.

Because non-ferrous metals are conductors of electricity, they are subject to an electromagnetic effect (this is given by Faraday’s Law, which describes how the magnetic field and electric current produce a force acting on the conductive materials).

This ‘electromotive’ force gives the metals a push, so they are thrown further from the end of the conveyor belt, while the remaining non-metal materials drop straight down into a different container.

Why does scrap metal grading matter?

These two relatively simple methods are used for sorting scrap metal automatically with quite high accuracy, producing purer recycled metals and reducing the amount of metal missed during waste processing.

Crucially, because both techniques work well with mixed shredded materials, there’s no need to manually sort the larger pieces of metal by hand – the whole mixed batch can be processed in the same way.

Higher purity allows recycled metal to retain more of its valuable characteristics and ensures it can be recycled again and again in the future.

What about scrap cars?

Scrap cars contain a mixture of materials, including different metals, plastic bumpers and interior panels, and upholstery.

This kind of automated scrap metal grading makes it easier to extract the valuable recyclable materials, allowing us to offer the best prices for scrap cars in Manchester and the North West.

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