Arnold Magnetic Technologies takes great pride in the high performance, high quality magnets we manufacture. Our strict quality inspections ensure that only the best get shipped to our customers. The magnets that fall outside of our customer’s specifications become unusable for the tolerances we are expected to provide. Being environmentally conscious we were inspired to implement some recycling programs to stop this unused material from ending up in area landfills.
Rare Earth permanent magnets are becoming more desirable for high tech applications. This requires increased production which, along with more precise manufacturing standards, creates additional unused material. It is difficult to completely recycle this material, but we have found a partner that will melt the material and recycle the cobalt, which can then be reused in new magnets.
At this time we are only able to recycle our own unused material due to the possibilities of unknown or undesirable components such as glue or other metals.
FLEXIBLE SHEET AND STRIP MAGNETS
Our flexible sheet and strip magnets are used throughout many different industries. With multiple applications comes many opportunities for recycling. Not only is this material highly reusable, there are recycling processes used in the manufacturing of this product.
The base raw material in standard flexible magnets is strontium ferrite which is made from strontium carbonate and iron oxide (rust). Iron oxide makes up 85% of strontium ferrite, which is 90% by weight of a flexible magnet. Iron oxide is generated during an acid recycling process used for the steel industry. Sheet metal when formed is inevitably covered in rust and scale. To remove the rust and scale the steel is run through an acid bath and creates a “pickle liquor” (iron chloride solution). It is then sprayed into a large oven which creates iron oxide along with chlorine gas. These are collected and recycled back to its usable state and returned to the steel plant and strontium ferrite producer. Approximately 77% of the flexible magnet is made with recycled raw materials based on this recycling process.
How do we collect the unusable parts of the flexible magnetic sheet? As we manufacture the product it is necessary, for multiple reasons, to trim the edge. Approximately 12% is trimmed in the forming operation as well as additional trimming downstream which could increase that percentage to as much as 75%. This unused material is automatically recycled back into the product.
We are also working with our existing customers to take back plain and vinyl laminated material by using returnable packaging to consolidate freight. The material is always inspected upon arrival to make sure it is not contaminated. If useable, the material is recycled back into the proper products eliminating the need to dispose of it in a landfill. We are unable to accept material that we did not manufacture due to its unknown composition.
We are continuously looking for ways to improve our products and processes to create a more sustainable future. For more information regarding the recycle efforts in your area visit your local environmental agency’s website.