Dealing in scrap metal can be lucrative if you are well prepared and do your research. The sources for your inventory are plentiful, and there is an active buyer's market for recycled steel and other metals. A key to this business is to stay tuned to the current market rates for your scrap, which you can get from several sources.
Learning the Terms
Familiarize yourself with the principle scrap steel categories. HMS or heavy melting scrap is the term for recyclable steel and wrought iron. There are two grades of HMS steel: #1 is 1/4-inch thick or larger, while #2 is at least 1/8-inch thick. The prefix SS indicates stainless steel, which is graded depending on the percentage content of various metals and the physical characteristics: tensile strength, heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and formability.
Find Prices Online
Find market scrap prices online. Several websites give comprehensive price quotes and are regularly updated. ScrapRegister.com carries three grades of HMS steel in dollars per metric ton, and five major grades of stainless in dollars per pound. Prices are given for four regions of the United States. Your local scrap dealer may have his own prices posted, broken down into his own categories. For example, Metro Metals Recycling, located in Minneapolis, quotes prices on grade 304 and 318 stainless, stainless breakage, stainless turnings and "bulky stainless."
Testing Your Steel
Bring your scrap down to the dealer for a quote, especially if you're unsure of its grade or proper classification. Unless you're an expert in evaluating steel, actually knowing what you have can be tricky, as this material doesn't typically carry an identifying classification number. Steel BX, also known as armored cable, has served as electrical conduit for about a century, but its value can vary depending on whether it's manufactured from basic steel or more valuable aluminum.
Contact a metals broker if you have a large amount of steel to buy or sell. Brokers work across international borders and negotiate individual deals between suppliers and consumers, which for the most part are metal processors and factories. A broker can arrange inspection of your metal as well as financing, transportation and customs clearance. As of publication, leading scrap metal brokers include Sims Metal Management, DJJ, Alter Trading, Scrap Metal Services and GLE Scrap Metal.
- Photo Credit SafakOguz/iStock/Getty Images
Price of Galvanized Steel Vs. Stainless Steel
Galvanized steel and stainless steel are both used in environments where they will be exposed and prone to corrosion. Costs for either...
The Price of Structural Steel per Pound
The price of structural steel per pound depends on several factors including what type, or shape, of steel you are purchasing, whether...
How to Check Scrap Metal Prices
When metal prices rise, it leads to a busy market in scrap and recyclable metal. Steel, aluminum, copper, brass and iron all...
How to Identify Scrap Metal Types
There are several types of scrap metal, and when you're able to identify them, you can recycle them for money or to...
What Metals Can I Scrap?
Visit with your local scrap dealers or recyclers before you decide to haul your scrap metal to the landfill. Scrap metal buyers...
What Metals Do Scrap Yards Take?
Scrap yards will accept any type of metal that it can resell for a profit. The most common metals resold are steel...
A List of Scrap Metal Items
Most homes, businesses, manufacturing facilities and farms have items that constitute scrap metal. With a little research, you should be able to...
Definition of Short Steel in Metal Recycling
Recycling metals can be a good way to keep useful materials out of landfills while making a quick buck; many recycling and...