The aluminium recycling process
The recycling process starts with old aluminium profiles being dismantled and ends with brand new doors, windows, and façades installed in your project. By following these next few steps, we can provide high-quality solutions with a limited environmental impact:
Cutting and sorting aluminium
After the old joinery is removed from the building, the aluminium is separated from all other material types and cut into easy-to-process pieces.
Melting aluminium and casting billets
When the sorted aluminium is pure enough to be reused as base material, it is melted and cast into billets. A billet is the shape used to transport the aluminium to extruders, who feed it into the extrusion machines.
Extruding the profiles
The billets are re-melted to the right temperature and pushed through a mould under high pressure. The material that comes out is stretched a bit to straighten it, and then cut to the correct length – in most cases about seven metres.
Ordering profiles for a project
Based on on-site measurements, a window fabricator orders profiles in a specific colour for their next project. That is why the seven-metre-long profiles go through a painting or anodising process before they are shipped to the fabricator.
Fabricating and installing new windows
The fabricator cuts the profiles to the right size and assembles them appropriately. When the windows are ready, they are transported to the building site and installed in the structure. After a few decades, the cycle can start all over again.
Why we recycle aluminium
Now you know how, but let us explain why we recycle aluminium. As aluminium is the main material used in our systems, it has the largest impact when improving the sustainability of our products.
Up to 95% of all “end-of-life” aluminium is currently going through the recycling process as described above. However, the current global demand for aluminium exceeds the availably of recycled aluminium – meaning the industry still needs to produce primary aluminium. Luckily, many companies – including Reynaers Aluminium – try to decrease their carbon footprint by supporting aluminium production with renewable energy sources, such as hydropower. The result is what we call “low-carbon aluminium”.
Reynaers Aluminium aims for a perfect balance between recycled and low-carbon aluminium in all its products. That way, we can offer the perfect solution for your low-energy or passive building project. And with improved thermal performance and acoustic insulation, multiple safety features and unlimited design options, our green building components match the architectural needs of any structure flawlessly.
Want to learn more about the environmental impact of aluminium?
The Giving Tree – Faulkner Architects (architects), Joe Fletcher Photography (photographer)