PHILADELPHIA The quality
of scrap arriving at steel mills is crucial and should motivate
auto shredders to enhance their reputations by providing
low-residual feedstock on a consistent basis.
"We are willing to pay a premium
for reliable-quality scrap, but it has to be reliable-quality
scrap," John Zanieski, president of Evraz Inc. North
Americas Evraz Recycling division, told attendees at
AMMs 6th Annual Steel Scrap Conference in
Philadelphia. Suppliers who have a proven track record of
delivering loads of material with low copper and chrome levels
are valued sources, he said.
"Quality certainly matters, as
it can result in bad heats," he said. "Quality has to occur
before it reaches the furnace."
Shredders have the ability to
increase the quality of their scrap, according to Dan Pflaum,
president of Dayton, Ky.-based Gamma-Tech LLC. "From watching
the shredders, they possess the ability to control the
In addition to employees
vigilance on the copper-picking line, advanced technology is
available and cost-effective in the long run, he said, adding
that a scrap analyzer costs less than 1 percent of the scrap
It is a myth that todays
price of copper serves as enough motivation for shredders to
remove copper from their scrap. "There is a cost to get that
copper contamination out of the stream, and it may not always
be cost-effective," Pflaum added.
Shredder operators who choose to
sell mediocre scrap to lower their operating costs are
short-selling themselves, according to panel moderator Philip
Hoffman, chairman and chief executive officer of Hoffman Iron
& Steel LLC and vice president of U.S. ferrous scrap
trading at Medtrade. "It is estimated to cost an additional $2
a ton to reduce copper content, but mills will pay as much as a
$10 premium to secure scrap that has very low copper
residuals," he said.
One scrap executive on the panel
said low-residual scrap isnt a guarantee that mills will
"I have some bush clips coming
in and can guarantee a 0.05 (percent) copper (content). I put
it on the market as an industrial bundle commodity, but it
hasnt got much response," Kevin Crary, business
development/project manager at Burnham, Ill.-based Scrap Metal
Services LLC, said. "They (mills) claim they like the idea of
low residuals, but it is out there and it is not getting a lot
Mills test for copper in their
scrap, but scientific data have shown the daily average ranges
from 0.22 to 0.38 percent, Pflaum said.
"Melt tests are very valuable,
but its really nothing more than a photograph of a moving
picture," he said.