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The recycling society: Steel (09/02/22 19:20:52)
    Disclosure: I am not a metallurgist.

    To preserve limited resources, recycling of material is necessary. A thousand more years of collecting unrecyclable material in landfill would be a severe, perhaps unbearable, burden.

    We do already recycle gold, silver, copper and aluminium. Some losses are inevitable.
    I'd concentrate on steel, which is a complex material

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alloy_steel
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-strength_low-alloy_steel
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathering_steel

    For successful recycling to take place, there must be sufficient quantities available at the same time and place - and there must be a smelter equipped and qualified for the task. The quality of the material depends on the purity of the scrap metal available. The real expert recycler would know beforehand what the product would be like, and what additional components to add.

    Removing components looks difficult if not impossible. So - in 1000 years maybe all steel will be stainless multi-alloyed . Shall I guess: One decree more complexity every 50 years?

    Separating out the different elements seems like a very expensive task. So perhaps it is time to mandate detailed marking of all steel object and fund research into simplified and effective recycling of alloyed steels?
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The recycling society: Steel