Turnings and borings find a niche market among electric furnace melters

Feb 01, 2010 | 05:51 AM | Michael Marley

Turnings, whether the smaller machine shop item or the short shoveling variety, are often seen as the dregs of industrial ferrous scrap. They were rarely, if ever, used by integrated mills in their open hearths and basic oxygen furnaces. And while they have become more desirable as melt materials since the development of the electric-arc furnace, they still don't get much respect.

The material charged into most mini-mill furnaces normally includes only between 2 and 5 percent turnings, much lower than the 30 to 40 percent of bushelings and shredded material used to fill the charge buckets. This scrap, however, has found a home in the electric furnace shop—well, more like a back bedroom or an efficiency apartment.

While turnings might not be the most desirable scrap, they still require sorting and checking, according to Mitch Padnos, executive vice president of sales and marketing at family owned and operated Louis Padnos Iron & Metals Co. in Holland, Mich. "We check all the inbound loads to make sure it isn't getting mixed (with alloy or stainless turnings)," he said.....

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