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THE ALUMINUM CYCLE
- Loose Aluminum Scrap—Scrap is obtained from two sources: manufacturers provide industrial grades, and the general public contributes obsolete material such as siding, beverage cans, and other aluminum products.
- Packaged Aluminum Briquettes—The scrap is identified, sorted, and packaged for remelting. Melting scrap aluminum to produce new aluminum requires much less energy than does melting virgin ore, so the benefits are both economical and ecological.
- Secondary Aluminum—Scrap aluminum is refined into ingots or molten metal, which become the basic raw material for most automotive and cast-aluminum products.
- New Aluminum Sheet—Scrap can also be melted, cast, and rolled into aluminum sheet alloys. Aluminum sheet is then formed or stamped into components that become siding, cans, and so on.
- New Aluminum Products—Aluminum reaches its final stage as a consumer or industrial product. Once the product becomes obsolete, the aluminum returns to the cycle as scrap.
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