Aluminum production is an involved, labor-intensive process, primarily due to the fact that aluminum itself is never to be found “on its own,” but rather as part of a compound of various other elements, the most frequent of them being oxygen and silicon (“bauxite”). In order to refine aluminum into a usable state, one must first mix it with sodium hydroxide to eliminate all extraneous impurities. Then, one must mix the aluminum extract with cryolite (sodium fluoride and aluminum fluoride) and heat the admixture to a temperature of almost 1000 degrees Celsius. Being that aluminum is a critical mainstay of modern industry, one that has applications ranging from shipbuilding to Budweiser cans, and being that it isn’t a metal that (unlike, say, iron) is subject to corrosion, it is small wonder that such a vast industry has sprouted around the recycling and reprocessing of old aluminum for new operations.
Recycling aluminum is a very effective means both of reducing industrial waste and cutting labor costs, since it is much less painstaking process than actual bauxite extraction. That being said, the process doesn’t come without its price-tag. One must still have the means of heating old beer cans (and the like) to such a degree that they can return to a pure liquid state. Furthermore, one must have a streamlined means of conveyance of these recyclables, since in order to reconstitute significant amounts of aluminum for new usage; one must recycle a huge number of cans, plate metal, bars, etc.
This is where Furnace Belt’s Gratex conveyor belts come into play. Since our Gratex belts are built to sustain high heat exposure while still carrying minute, individual components, they are an ideal choice for aluminum recycling. In fact, we have several customers throughout the States who can attest to the quality of our Gratex conveyor belts in aiding them with their recycling operations.