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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A massive shredder for pulping cars

You people must have seen old cars, and maybe heard about that old cars get crushed an re-used. Given how large and heavy cars are, it may seem a bit difficult to visualize how cars are crushed. Further, a car contains so many different parts, contains oils (engine, gasoline, brake oil, etc), and what happens to all of these ?
Well, here is a small article on Wired (link) that takes a massive car such as the Camry and shreds it down in less than 2 minutes. The largest such machines can handle around 450 cars per hour (which is a huge number). This machine plays a huge role in recycling, since it sends a huge amount of steel to steelworks. The site also has a great diagram that explains the overall steps that are needed to make this a smooth operation, and needs some initial manual operations.

What's not to love about a machine that can chew up a Camry and spit it out as metal confetti in less than two minutes? The largest mega-shredder ever — located in Newport, Wales — can digest 450 cars an hour. At its heart is a 9,200-hp motor driving a gauntlet of rollers and hammers that swallow 3,000 tons of metal a day. All that scrap gets shipped to steelworks, where it's reincarnated as SUVs or stoves or shopping carts. The recycling operation saves enough energy in steel production to power about 82,000 UK households.

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