Yamaichi Metal’s aluminum-can recycling
Every month, we buy used aluminum cans from wholesalers and administrative organizations throughout Japan. We’ve pursued CAN TO CAN recycling, which is the recycling of used aluminum cans so they can be reused, as our main business for over 30 years.
Under a slogan calling for the creation of ingots that are not melted, our company has eliminated melting from the used aluminum-can recycling flow and researched and developed low-cost, high-quality products (Yamaichi tablets).
In addition, for our process, because we roast used aluminum cans to remove the surface coating, the resin component of the aluminum laminate foil can be utilized in place of heavy oil as a combustion improver. This has enabled us to reduce the amount of heavy oil used at our company’s factory and achieve CAN TO CAN recycling that is more efficient than the conventional approach.
Yamaichi Metal’s aluminum-can recycling advantage
Technology to separate the aluminum can body and lid
Thanks to our many years of technological development, we achieved the practical application of technology to separate an aluminum-can body (aluminum 3004) and lid (5000 series). These bodies (aluminum 3004) are mainly used as raw materials for new can bodies, while the lids (5000 series) are mainly used as raw materials for new can lids.
We use an automated line for everything from the input of raw materials to the completion of our products. The operator checks the machine numbers and other details for each process, handles production, and establishes process-internal quality assurance.
Technical capabilities cultivated during our long history and established trust
We have been involved in aluminum-can resource recovery for more than 30 years. The technical capabilities we have cultivated during our long history include many capabilities unique to us, which has enabled us to recycle more than 400,000 tons of used aluminum cans.
By separating the body and lid of the aluminum can, we were able to produce pellets that are as close as possible to the body component (3004 series).The 3004 series pellets are melted in an induction furnace to produce 3004 series RSI. The basic package is a 1-ton lump, and it is used as a raw material for aluminum can body material.
This product is made by compressing 3004 series pellets into a tablet form. It has a specific gravity of about 2.3, and compared to our 3004 RSI, it has a price advantage because it eliminates melting and processing costs. These pellets are used as raw materials for aluminum can body materials by major rolling mills in Japan. The primary yield of 3004 series pellets in our induction furnace is over 98%.
By separating the body of the aluminum can from the lid, we were able to produce Series 5000 pellets, which are as close as possible to the lid component (Series 5182). The 5000 series pellets are melted in an induction furnace to produce 5000 series RSI. The basic package is 500kg lump, and it is mainly used as a raw material for aluminum can lids.
This product is made by compressing 5000 series pellets into a tablet form. It has a specific gravity of about 2.3, and compared to our 5000 series RSI, it has a price advantage because it eliminates melting and processing costs. These pellets are used as raw materials for aluminum can lids by major rolling mills in Japan. The primary yield of 5000 series pellets in our induction furnace is over 98%.
Our aluminum-can recycling process
We recycle approximately 3 billion used aluminum cans per year.
We use a belt conveyor to send the aluminum cans to our crushing process. This is the starting point of aluminum-can recycling.
During the crushing process, a shredder is used to tear the aluminum cans down to the appropriate size. Next, iron, non-ferrous metals, and other things are removed from the aluminum cans.
The crushed aluminum cans are roasted, and the surface coating and organic matter are removed.
These are aluminum pellets from which the surface paint, coating, and carbides have been removed.
These are tablets, which are formed by compressing and then casting the aluminum pellets.
The aluminum pellets are melted to cast RSIs.
Aluminum is being cast.
RSIs have a mass of 1 ton. (The photo shows aluminum-3004 RSIs.)