Glossary of

We recognize that the world of metal recycling can be full of jargon and acronyms. Please use our glossary to help you understand the terms we commonly use to explain this vital enterprise.


A mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements. Examples of alloys include solder, brass, pewter, phosphor bronze and amalgam.


A facility approved by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for the safe and environmentally friendly treatment of end-of-life vehicles.


Material left over after a car or vehicle has been shredded and the ferrous metal and other sellable materials, such as tires, fluids and the catalytic converter, have been separated. This is also known as fluff.


A machine that compresses recycled metal into condensed cubes ready for shipment and transportation.


Steel shaped into long and thin units used to make furniture and railings.

Catalytic Converter (CAT)

A catalytic converter or CAT is a vehicle emissions control device which converts the toxic by-products of combustion in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine to less toxic substances by way of a catalysed chemical reactions.


Sheets of steel that are wound up into coils for transportation.


The process by which a car is stripped of hazardous material and made safe for further recycling.


End-of-Life Vehicle. A vehicle that is no longer fit for use that needs to be recycled or broken down for parts.


Any material used at the beginning of an industrial process, such as vehicles that would feed a shredder.

Ferrous Metal

Materials mainly containing the element iron, i.e. iron and steel.


A workshop or factory for casting metal. Foundries melt the metal into liquid that can be poured into a mould for casting into the desired shape for resale.

Gross Ton

Equivalent to 2,240 pounds. Often used to measure ferrous scrap.


A high-speed rotor of large hammers used to pulverize metal objects into smaller pieces, used within a shredder.

London Metal Exchange (LME)

The global exchange for industrial metals trading. It publishes market data, news and educational materials on base metal markets and is often the source of price movements in markets.

Magnetic Separation

The removal of ferrous metals from other materials using magnets. The magnet can be in-built into the processing machine or simply attached to the crane maneuvering items around the scrap yard.

No. 2 Scrap

Ferrous scrap containing iron and steel between ¼ and 1/8 of an inch thick, and measuring no more than 60 inches by 18 inches, to fit in a standard charging box.

Non-ferrous Metal

All metals except ferrous metals (iron and steel). Non-ferrous metals include aluminium, copper, lead, nickel, tin, titanium, zinc and alloys such as brass.


Sheets of steel that are ¼-inch to 12- inches thick and over 8 inches wide.

Pig Iron

A product produced by smelting iron ore in blast furnaces often cast into ingots and sold as feedstock for foundries

Primary metals

A metal which has been produced from ore as distinct from that produced from scrap.

Prohibited Waste

Waste that we cannot accept either because we cannot process it or it is hazardous.

Prompt Industrial Scrap

Excess steel or other material generated at manufacturing facilities such as trimmings, stampings turnings or borings left over after processing.


A processing plant which produces high purity metal either by electrolysis, electrowinning or fire-refining. In copper and lead production, refining is preceded by smelting, but for tin, zinc and nickel, smelting and refining blend into one process to recover marketable quality metal from concentrates.

Reinforcing bar (rebar)

Steel bar that is used in concrete to reinforce the construction of roads, bridges and buildings.


Secondary metal-containing materials that require smelting to recover the metal, as distinct from scrap which may only require melting and blending.


Round, thin steel that is wound for transportation.


Thin steel, rolled flat and coiled for transportation.

Short Ton

Equivalent to 2,000 pounds, a ton measurement used in the USA.


Thick steel that is 10 inches thick and between 30 inches to 85 inches wide.


A machine that is used to cut bulky metals into smaller units for transportation.


The demolition of marine structures for either a source of parts, which can be sold for re-use, or for the extraction of raw materials, mostly metal.


A powerful machine used in the scrap industry to batter large items of scrap such as cars and domestic equipment into fragments.

Special Bar Quality (SBQ)

A type of steel bar with metallurgic specifications made to fill customized orders.


Large and thick steel pieces used by the construction industry.

Toll processing

Performing a process to improve material belonging to another company. This could be the processing of prompt scrap from a manufacturer or shredding auto feedstock from a smaller scrap merchant.


Small bits of scrap generated through industrial and manufacturing operations.

Virgin metal

Primary metal produced from ore.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

End-of-life electrical and electronic equipment covering everything with a plug or battery.

White Goods

Large household appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers.


The thinnest type of steel rods.