Shredder yards can upgrade scrap and earn higher profits

June 21, 2022 - 07:00am

A groundbreaking method for upgrading shredded scrap using a Shred1 Ballistic Separator coupled with magnetic separation equipment to create a low-copper shredded product is the topic of a new white paper from Eriez. 

According to Eriez, in many instances the lower copper scrap commands a premium of more than $40 per ton when sold to steel mills.

“Producing Low Copper Shred for Steel Mills,” written by Eriez Recycling Market Manager Mike Shattuck, explained that standard shredded scrap provided to steel mills ranges in copper content from 0.26%-0.56%. The exact percentage depends on the infeed material to the shredder and the downstream process after the shredder, as well as the process and testing methods of the resulting product, according to Shattuck. 

As Shattuck explained, sheet steel mills use a blend of Pig Iron, DRI (direct reduced iron/sponge iron) and pre-consumer scrap (bushing). Typically, only about 25% of lower cost shredded scrap is used in the blend with the remaining 75% a mix of the higher cost Pig Iron, DRI and pre-consumer scrap.

“With the higher cost of Pig Iron, DRI, and premium scrap and the limited availability of these commodities, using a higher percentage of low copper shredded scrap will allow steel mills to reduce the cost per ton of steel produced,” Shattuck said.

The Shred1 uses ballistics to efficiently separate iron-rich ferrous from much of the mixed metals post-drum magnet flow. This separator delivers two distinct fractions: a premium low-copper ferrous product (in the range of 0.16-0.20% cu) and a traditional #2 shred.

Installing a Shred1 Ballistic Separator and a polishing drum allows scrap yards to provide premium low copper shredded scrap to steel mills while reducing labor and increasing copper pickings.

“We developed this white paper to support our ongoing efforts to push the grade/recovery curve through customer education and product innovation,” said Shattuck.

To learn more about the Shred1 Ballistic Separator, visit To download “Producing Low Copper Shred for Steel Mills,” go to

Related Glossary Terms

  • polishing


    Abrasive process that improves surface finish and blends contours. Abrasive particles attached to a flexible backing abrade the workpiece.


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