Want to take advantage of high aluminum prices? Here's what you need to know

February 22, 2022

Profit from rising aluminum prices with SciAps

Clean aluminum prices have skyrocketed in recent months. For example, clean/new 6063 and 5052 aluminum is $1.60/pound, whereas several months ago the scrap price hovered around $0.70/pound. If you can quickly sort your 5052 and 6063 from your other aluminum and MLCs accurately, you can really get an upgrade.You may be thinking, “That’s great… more money per pound!” But here's the catch: the freight to move that material has now risen from $0.04 to $0.12 per pound. It now costs you triple to move it to your buyer. If you mix in 6061 or other alloyed aluminum product and get a load rejected, you’ll have to pay triple again to move that rejected load back to your yard. Then, you have to sell it as MLC and pay freight a third time! Not a good outcome.

Optimal aluminum scrap recycling in 2022 requires both fast and accurate sorting. Historically, XRF analyzers have been slow sorting aluminum alloys, and caused downgrades and rejections. But, XRF is the ideal tool for sorting high temps, red metals, turnings and most specialty alloys.

Taking into account the widespread use of XRF, SciAps invested heavily to improve aluminum sorting. Operators of SciAps X-550 with the patented Aluminum App can now accurately sort even low magnesium alloys like 6063 in a few seconds while preserving the performance on high temps and other alloys. For those who don’t want X-ray, or who want even more performance on low concentrations of magnesium and measure elements X-ray can’t see like beryllium, boron, and lithium, SciAps LIBS is the perfect tool.With either technology — SciAps XRF or LIBS — you can reliably sort your new aluminums and sell for that premium, not risking the downgrade that's become so expensive due to the high cost of shipping.

See the X-Series in action

Video: Fast, accurate sorting with Aluminum App

The X-550 comes with the patented Aluminum App, which will allow you to accurately sort ALL of your aluminum, including low Mg aluminums, in 1-2 seconds.

SciAps_X and Z of Scrap Processing

The X and Z of Scrap Processing

Grading aluminum with SciAps X-550

Brad Rudover uses SciAps X-550 in the scrapyard.

Brad Rudover, one of the founders of Scrap University, recently shared some hints on grading aluminum, one of the many training sessions offered at Scrap University's Certified Scrap Metal Professional training course for individuals and companies.“Tough/Taboo is one of the most common grades of aluminum found at a scrap yard,” Rudover says. But it goes by different names and can have strong upgrade potential.“In the past, making use of an analyzer to identify each grade of aluminum didn’t help capture upgrades as they would typically report ‘light element’ rather than the actual grade. It wasn’t until SciAps entered the market that specific aluminum grades could be identified with an analyzer,” Rudover says.

Brad says he loves working with SciAps X-550 — "It looks like a Lamborghini, and performs like one too."

Chris Costanza talks about grading aluminum at ISRI.

At ISRI 2022, Chris Costanza II, general manager, Cronimet Tampa how he uses the X-550.Mills are stringent with specs, Chris says. So, he notes, “Every piece of metal that comes into the yard, we’re shooting it with the SciAps [analyzer] and reporting those results to our customers so that when we are loading a barge of stainless and sending our package to the mill, we don’t have to worry about that copper spec being too high or something else being outside of the acceptable limit.”

“For us to pull aluminum out of a load that you guys are sending us, when today, aluminum prices are through the roof, that’s easily thousands of dollars that is not going in your pocket when it should be.” —Chris Costanza II

Ian Hewitt at CARI with SciAps anayzers.

Ian Hewitt from IR Supplies and Services in Canada works exclusively with SciAps handheld analyzers. Why?Ian says: "First, if you own a scrapyard, you need to own an XRF. And if you are going to buy an XRF, buy SciAps. The XRF units are smaller, lighter, and have the best detection limits. Magnesium detection is the lowest in the industry, which means it can sort your aluminums faster and more accurately than any other analyzer on the market. No other company is innovating and improving their analyzers like SciAps is.”

 “It's like deciding between a flip phone and a smartphone. There's no comparison." —Ian Hewitt

Steve Solomon from Solomon Metals recently met with CJ McLaughlin to talk about the SciAps X-550 and why he uses it every day.“Consumers are very particular about what they buy, looking for trace elements and things that can make the heat go bad, and it’s important for us to be able to ship to our customers and have confidence that we’re shipping what they want. We use it as a quality control tool before it goes on a truck when we’re shipping material to make sure that it is what we already believe that it is.”

“Being able to know exactly what alloy you have right now is really advantageous in getting your full value for your material.” —Steve Solomon

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