Clean, high density and melter’s commodity of choice

Apr 20, 2009 | 09:25 AM |

Shredded scrap has become the commodity of choice for all steelmakers, not just those operating electric-arc furnaces, as scrap appetites grow.

Part of the reason can be attributed to the big megashredders that have been installed throughout the country in recent years, changing the mix of scrap grades that aren't available to mills, one mill buyer said. The machines can shred heavier grades of scrap, material that in the past was sold as No. 1 or No. 2 heavy melting steel. Now, much of that scrap goes to shredders, he said.

"No. 2 heavy melt was once a regular commodity (in the ferrous scrap market), but now much of that is shredded and what you see the mills buying is a mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melt," one western Pennsylvania broker said.

Shredded scrap holds a special appeal to EF melt shops because it fills the voids in the furnace if they're using plate and structural scrap. They get the heavy density and can keep the loading down to a one- or two-bucket charge.....

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