The Benefits of Magnets in Steel Processing and Demolition

Reduce Reuse RecycleDemolition is an art. A masterful demolition company can do more than knock down a building safely and according to the client’s needs. The best demolition firms also work efficiently, finishing projects ahead of schedule. Investment in technology often sets apart the most efficient firms in the field of industrial demolition.

Oregon to Washington to California, Elder Demolition is one of the leading scrap metal recyclers on the West Coast, which isn’t too surprising given that we take down dozens of steel structures every year. We can remove practically any steel structure, and we specialize in recycling scrap metal from all manner of steel projects, including bridge decks, radio towers, water tanks, floating steel docks and drying chambers. Because we recycle thousands of tons of steel every year, we have invested in equipment to maximize our efficiency.

Our processing tools (hammers, crushers, etc.) are equipped with electromagnets that are powerful enough to gather recyclable metals from job sites. Other demolition operations that hope to incorporate scrap metal recycling must rely on a ground crew to pick through debris – a task that can take dozens of hours.

You may be wondering – if they provide such huge labor savings, why aren’t electromagnets used by every company offering industrial demolition? Oregon scrap metal managers know why: because electromagnets are quite expensive. A single scrap-handling magnet can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Here at Elder Demolition, we use two 48-inch Deep Field Scrap Handling Magnets from NW Magnet; one contains a copper coil, while the other has an aluminum coil. (Copper scrap magnets can pick up greater weights and function in hot metal applications.) To provide a bit of scientific background, the electromagnets on these machines operate by way of coiled wires. Every electromagnet is similar in structure, consisting of a coiled wire wrapped around a piece of metal. When electricity is sent through the wire, it creates a magnetic field far stronger than that of a regular magnet. The magnetic properties of an electromagnet are turned off and on with the electric current.

We use our powerful electromagnets to gather demolished materials for scrap metal recycling. Setting up our equipment is fairly easy. First, the electromagnet’s generator and all its equipment is loaded on each processing tool. When the magnet is needed, we simply use a chain to hook it to the end of the excavator. Finally, we plug in the cord, sending hundreds of volts of current through the electromagnet. We can pick up very heavy scrap metal with our NW Magnet electromagnets – this is the same technology, after all, that scrap yards use to pick up entire cars. Electromagnets are simple, fast and effective to use. Here are a few benefits we and other demolition companies see from using electromagnets:

Benefits of Magnets in Steel Processing and Demolition

  • Electromagnets make it easy to sort scrap metal, load it into recycling containers and clean up the project area.
  • Demolition companies (and our clients) can achieve significant savings by using an electromagnet rather than employing an entire pickup crew.
  • Electromagnets facilitate scrap metal recycling, which is good for the environment because it reduces the amount of materials that must be mined for new projects.

Bottom line: It just makes sense for demolition contractors and scrap metal recyclers to make use of electromagnets.

[Photo by Steve Snodgrass, via CC License]


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