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What Happens To Your Car After It Is Scrapped?

Turning your car into cash is an extremely simple process. You simply call up, describe your vehicle, have someone pick up your car (or drive it to a scrapyard yourself if you wish), and instantly receive payment. Voila.

Little do people know, however, that once your car is scrapped, it goes through a regimented process consisting of various complex stages and high calibre machinery to transform your car into individual metal parts. This article will be explaining exactly what happens to your car after it is scrapped and how your car is used to help the environment.

1. Depollution

Once hands have shaken and ownership has been transferred, your car is now in the safe hands of a professional scrap service. The first thing that will happen to your car is a process called ‘depollution’; this is where all the hazardous materials are removed. The operation is handled in a covered depollution building, and great care is taken to by a specialist team to ensure all the hazardous materials are removed safely and reused where possible.

The depollution process begins by removing the car battery. All batteries – even standard household batteries – contain toxic materials and will need to be removed. Next comes the removal of the tyres. It may come as a surprise that tyres are arguably the most dangerous part of the car. Tyres are a major fire hazard and can burn for days at a time at extremely high temperatures.

Following tyre removal, all the fluids are drained from the car. This includes petrol, oil and even windscreen washing fluid. Finally, the catalytic converter, which is home to all sorts of toxic gases and compounds, is also removed.

Although not pollutants, most scrap companies will also remove all the glass from the windows and windscreens, as well as the bumpers and other large plastic components. These will be sent for recycling.

2. Crushing

Now that the car has been stripped and depolluted, it’s time to crush the metal chassis. In this stage, the car is picked up and placed into a car crusher. The crusher compresses the car in several directions until it becomes a compact cube.

3. Shredding

After being crushed in one huge industrial machine, the compact metal cube is transferred to a second huge industrial machine; this time in the form of a shredder. Here, the car is effortlessly sliced into significantly smaller chunks, with most being small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.

4. Conveyor belt

The shredded pieces exit along a conveyor belt, where they travel under a vacuum to remove any lightweight parts, such as plastics. The metal that remains continues travelling along the conveyor belt and is separated into ferrous and non-ferrous metals via a magnet. Non-ferrous metals are metals that don’t contain iron. These metals are more valuable, more useful and therefore more sought after by scrap yards.

5. Heavy Media Separator

The final stage of the scrapping process involves sending the non-ferrous metals to a heavy media separator. Continuing to pass on the conveyor belt, the metals are introduced to a molten fluid. This fluid causes different metals to float at different levels, thus separating and completing the process from full car to individual metals.

6. What happens next?

Finally, the metals are sent off to a recycling centre, where they are reused to make other products instead of being thrown into a landfill to rot. Voila – you’ve helped the environment, one small car at a time.

Hill Metal Recycling is a DVLA and Environment agency affiliated business who are driven to help the planet through recycling. Our expert team have 25 years of experience in the industry and work meticulously to ensure the highest standards of safety and care are adhered to. If you wish to help the environment by either scrapping your car or any excess metal you may have, get in touch for the best available prices.