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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.

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