Going Out Of Business? Recycle Your Computers' Circuit Boards And Other Parts With Smelting

Posted on: 4 August 2015

If your business is closing or going out of business soon, you want to get rid of the data in your computer systems safely and effectively.  Simply recycling the parts leaves you and your employees vulnerable to identity theft and other crimes. By smelting the broken down computer parts, you can better protect your company and get some extra cash. Smelting is a unique process that involves melting metal parts, such as copper wiring, memory chips and circuit boards, in high temperatures. The heat completely destroys any data found on your computer parts. Here's how smelting works and why it's essential that you use it.

How Do You Prepare for the Smelting Process?

To get started on the smelting process, you'll need to do a few things first. You want to remove or strip every piece of metal from your computers. Many computer parts contain small amounts of gold, copper and other precious metals, so it's in your best interest to remove as much of the metal pieces listed below as possible.

Here's what you're looking for:

  • Memory chips, including the CPUs
  • Capacitors
  • Circuit boards and circuit board fingers
  • Contacts and pins
  • Graphic cards

Once you remove the items listed above, find and strip as much of the other metal pieces from your computers as you can. Your smelting company may ask for them. The company won't accept any parts that don't contain precious metal, like hard drives, keyboards, and monitors. 

How Does Smelting Work?

After you have your parts picked up or sent to the smelting company, the computer parts undergo an extensive heating process that separates the impure materials called waste from the most valuable materials called ore. Ores contain the purest forms or compounds of metals.

Depending on the type of metal your computer parts contain, the smelting company uses different furnaces to melt them down. For example, if your computer parts contain copper, the company will use a large furnace filled with oxygen to extract the ore from them. Oxygen or air mixes with the impurities inside the copper so that they turn into a gas. Once the gas leaves, only the valuable copper ore remains behind.

The smelting company often uses two or more furnaces during the process, especially if it's difficult to separate the waste products from their metals. In addition, a great number of metals require the use of extremely high heat to reach their melting points. If the furnaces don't reach the melting points of certain metals, such as copper and iron, the company can't remove the ores properly.

an You Recycle the Melted Computer Parts?

You can recycle the metals from your computers once the smelting company melts the pieces down. The recycling process can take a while to carry out, especially if the company has a great deal of melted metal to sort through. The smelting company must sort and organize the most valuable precious metals first in order to get you back the most money. 

If you have other concerns or questions about smelting your computer parts, contact a company like Mid-States Recycling & Refining.