Metal Scrapyard: A Behind The Scenes Look At Massive Machines

5 05 2011

The history:

Sunday, March 24th: Ayo and I and have a Passover meal with our new friends Irwin and Tina. They are longtime Phoenix residents and are a fun couple. I find out that Irwin owns a metal recycling scrapyard and I tell him that I want to check it out.

Wednesday, May 4th: I watch an $800,000, 750 horsepower diesel-powered shredder make mincemeat (mincesteel?) of two-inch-thick steel plates. The metal was fed into the shredder by a $400,000 crane that can lift, oh, 35 tons.

Oxygen + Propane Cutting Torch, Giving Hell To Three-Inch-Thick Steel

An Oxy-Propane Torch Giving 4,530° Hell To Three-Inch-Thick Steel (Click For Hi-Res)

When I first heard that Irwin’s operation included a shredder that could rip lawnmowers to pieces, the Y-chromosome in me lit up. Imagine my reaction when we were watching the machine do its thing and he told me that it does a pretty fine job on cars as well. (He knows. He’s SHREDDED them. Yes, cars. Yes, like the ones you drive. Yes, even if you drive an RV.)

Irwin owns American Metals Co., which deals in scrap metal. They purchase metals from a variety of sources, sort them, shred them, package the shreds (frequently in 7,000 pound bales), and ship the metals off to foundries. No pictures can do justice to the coolness of AMC’s operation, but here’s a taste of what I witnessed.

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posted by yair




2 responses

5 05 2011

I want to see that SO BAD.

5 05 2011

You would love it. I asked about visiting a foundry, but evidently places that melt lead have tighter safety rules and yadda yadda yadda.

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