Car crusher extends metals cycle

The recycling arm of the Metso group will soon be boosted by a vehicle metals crusher, familiar from action movie scenes, but never seen in action in Africa before.

The ‘car crusher’ offers fragmentation, size reduction, compaction, and separation in an automated process. Metals prices remain buoyant on the back of high development levels and high energy and transport costs, offering a boost to metals recycling technology upgrade.

The price for scrap bronze, for example, hovers around R67 per kilogram. The construction sector has grown markedly of late, along with a demand for building material recycling equipment.

Metso is a highly diversified company, with interests including steel, minerals, and paper, making the circular chance game of ‘rock, scissors, and paper’ part of its boardroom strategising. In the Vereeniging foundry, components for cone, jaw and gyratory crushers dominate.

Crusher bowl linings are cast in a highly leaded bronze alloy, containing some 70% copper, 13% to 16% lead, 3% to 6% tin, and about 2% zinc. The alloy has a high bearing-carrying capacity and a high tolerance of burning.

Metso Minerals treated a group of mining visitors to a crusher component bronze pour at its Vereeniging foundry in August. The group also showcased its new Jet Park office, before a bus tour to southern Gauteng.

More than half the Metso business now comes from emerging markets, including Eastern Europe, South and Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, said Metso Southern African vice president Dave Moon.

Elevation diagram of the planned vehicle crusher plant, a first for SA.

Casting of a bronze crusher component, from alloy heated to a calibrated temperature.

Machined components are tolerance tested using a set of micrometers.

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