Promoting sourced recycled aluminium
Gränges strives to increase the volumes of sourced recycled aluminium as the extraction of bauxite and production of primary aluminium are energy intensive processes with undesired effects on both costs and the environment. Recycled aluminium requires about 5 per cent of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium. Thus, the higher the share of recycled input materials, the lower the carbon footprint from purchased materials and services.
The company’s procurement teams actively coordinate with the production units to optimize sourcing so that the operations can make efficient use of process scrap, and to maximize recycling. Gränges sources recycled aluminium from recycling companies or directly from customers.
Finding sufficient quality
Due to the high number of alloys used to produce Gränges’ clad aluminium products, it can be challenging to find recycled aluminium which fits well in the re-melting process. When using recycled clad aluminium from its customers, Gränges requires strict sorting of the process scrap.
Gränges Asia currently only sources small volumes of recycled aluminium as it is difficult to obtain a stable supply of recycled aluminium of sufficient quality, and as there is little price difference between primary and recycled aluminium in China. Gränges Asia intends to establish source channels gradually, to source recycled aluminium.
Collaborating with customers
Gränges Americas produces alloy applications that are more standardized and allow for wider composition limits, compared with alloys for brazed heat exchanger applications which are produced in Gränges Asia and Gränges Europe. It is therefore possible to reach higher volumes of sourced recycled aluminium in the re-melting process.
Innovating for increased recyclability
Material for brazed heat exchangers are clad with high silicon level alloys to allow for brazing and suitable material properties, which makes recycling more complex. To increase the use of recycled aluminium as input materials for its clad aluminium products, research and innovation activities are focused on identifying integrated solutions that achieve the required technical specification, and improve recycling rates.