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Wire Rope Recycling


	Local wire rope manufacturers generate scrap wire rope heavily
lubricated with grease.  The scrap varies from tangled single strands of
wire about .25 inches in diameter, to large cables 6 inches and larger in
diameter composed of multiple interwoven strands of wire.  The scrap is sent
to a scrap dealer that cuts the wire into 3-foot lengths for the smelter.
The problem is how to cut the wire rope in an environmentally friendly way.

	Historically, the operation is performed outside and a cutting torch
is used.  The torch creates unacceptable air emissions - welding fumes plus
additional smoke from the grease burning and occasionally catching fire
(water is applied by the operator to extinguish the fire).  The Air Program
would like to see the source enclosed with proper emission controls in
place.  This would be a very expensive "cure" for what is described as a
high volume/low profit scrap and would most likely cause the scrap to be
landfilled, or for the problem to simply move to another less-regulated
	Attempts to cut the wire rope using a 400 ton shear failed.
	Chop-saws also could not handle the job.
	Direct recycling of scrap wire rope to a smelter, without cutting,
is reportedly unacceptable.

Please note that the grease DOES NOT seem to pose problems for the end
smelter.  The volume of scrap wire rope is about 1100 tons annually (11.3
million pounds over 5 years).

Minimizing the generation of scrap by the manufacturer is one obvious goal
but destructive testing will still produce some scrap, as will defects,
excess length, and end-of-reel lengths of wire (of course, this should not
be lubricated).  The scrap dealer has been instructed to get the generators
involved in finding a solution.

Any ideas on how to make the cut?  (Please e-mail me if you would like more
information.)    Thank you, Ric