Hydro, Austin AI to develop automotive aluminum alloy sorting technology

The aluminum company Norsk Hydro, based in Oslo, Norway, has signed a cooperation agreement with the equipment company Austin AI Inc. (AAI), Austin, Texas, to jointly develop and test advanced technology to sort automotive aluminum alloys. In a news release about the project, the companies state that new developments could bring a step change to recycling manufacturing scrap and used cars.

The automotive industry has been increasing its use of aluminum to build lighter cars with better fuel economy. The auto press shops that supply the aluminum alloys to the automakers stamp different sheet components, requiring separation of production scrap.

According to Hydro and AAI, AAI’s technology, which is based on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), can help to separate 500-series from 600-series alloys. This technology, according to AAI, brings advantages compared with other LIBS configurations and has shown good results in tests sorting alloys for clear separation and clean recycling.

To test the new technology, AAI will install a pilot scale sorting facility at Hydro’s research and development (R&D) center in Bonn, Germany. At the center, Hydro scientists, along with representatives of AAI, gradually will advance the facility’s processes and features. The goal of the test is to increase the effectiveness of the sorting system and to ensure high-quality sorting results at the required throughput. Once it is determined that the new system can meet demands, AAI will expand the equipment for full-scale industrial use.

Klaus Vieregge, head of Hydro’s R&D Center, says, “By developing robust processes, based on LIBS technology, Hydro can accommodate the needs of our automotive industry customers for converting their production scrap today—and help to master future challenges in end-of-life recycling for cars with more aluminum in them. We are pleased with the positive feedback and high interest from several of our key automotive customers.”

Kansas recycler expands

Allmetal Recycling, a scrap metal recycling company headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, has expanded its operations in the area with the purchase of the Wichita operations of SOS Metals. The acquired company’s primary focus is the commercial nonferrous business, with a significant focus on the aerospace sector.

Clint Cornejo, co-owner of Allmetal, says the acquired assets will give the company access to more aluminum, titanium and high-temp alloys, metals that are typically generated by the aerospace industry.

“The addition of this operation and its staff are a great fit for our company,” Cornejo adds. “It will strengthen our position in the aerospace alloy market, with the added volume benefiting our entire customer base.”

In addition to Wichita, Allmetal has a location in Newton, Kansas. The company provides a variety of services, including recycling, certified destruction, dismantling and industry asset liquidation.

“The additional line of processing equipment, along with our design capabilities and field service technicians, provide our customers a full-service provider for their metal and alloy recycling needs,” Cornejo says.

GLR expands its auto salvage operations

Roseville, Michigan-based GLR Advanced Recycling has announced it is opening a new auto savage operation in Flint, Michigan. The yard has been designed to accept scrap vehicles from the general public and from commercial accounts, such as car dealerships and towing companies.

The Flint location will be GLR’s third auto salvage operation. The company, formerly known as Great Lakes Recycling, has roots in scrap metal and paper recycling in the Detroit area.

GLR Advanced locations in Michigan, as of late 2016, include:

  • Roseville, scrap metal and headquarters;
  • Flint, auto salvage only (no scrap metals are purchased at this location);
  • Livonia, scrap metal and auto salvage;
  • Port Huron, scrap metal and auto salvage;
  • Ann Arbor, scrap metal;
  • Northville, paper, plastic, cardboard; and
  • Oak Park, electronic scrap.

The company also operates metal, paper and plastics recycling plants in Flint, Michigan, and in Tonawanda, New York.