As new and shinier computers enter the market, many people find themselves replacing systems at an alarming rate. Especially in the case of businesses with multiple, computer-using departments, there is a lot of technology being tossed aside when a new standard is unveiled. Don't be so quick to throw the entire computer into the dumpster; consider a few metals and other resources that can be scrapped for profit and environmental impact.
Metal Recovery In Cases
Older computer cases were known for their sturdy, heavy cases made of aluminum or steel. These metals have been replaced by plastic covers and shrouds, but the chassis underneath may have a few materials available. Full plastic computers were a brief infatuation with the computer industry. They melted too easily, especially with rising computer processing power and internal heat, so the inner build is often made of a folded aluminum or steel alloy.
If you need to remove the plastic overlay for scrapping, the covers are often held down by tabs. Make sure to inspect the covers, as some plastic-looking side panels may be acrylic-painted metal sheets.
Trace Metals In Circuit Boards
Computer components such as motherboards, video cards and sound cards use valuable metals to transfer information in the form of converted electrical signals. Gold, copper and sometimes tungsten are commonly used for data transfer purposes. If you plan on scrapping the metals yourself, you'll need a meltdown process or scraping process to get the metals off of the cards. Ask a scrap metal professional for the best way to get it done, or what the fees would be (if any) to turn in the circuit boards whole.
Hard Drive Material Recovery
The metal casing for hard drives may be composed of aluminum or steel, depending on how sturdy and shock-absorbent the hard drive needs to be. Although hard drives feel heavy for their size, they're deceptively not full of a lot of metal. A lot of the non-case weight comes from the information-storing platters, which may look like metal. In the past, different metals would be used for storage. Modern hard drives, unfortunately, use a glass-like material to store information with a reflective coating.
The real material recovery comes from the rare-earth magnets that hold the reading arms in place. These magnets can sometimes be worth more than the hard drive in scrapping value, and some junkyards aren't computer savvy to the point of knowing what's inside.
If you're interested in the rare-earth magnets market or have more than a couple hard drives, certainly break open hard drives that you don't plan on re-using. For assistance with finding critical scrap metal points in computers, contact a scrap professional like Pasco Inc.