Lead, Zinc, Magnesium, Carbide and Catalytic Converters Recycling

Other lesser-used metals we purchase include lead, zinc, tungsten carbide and catalytic converters.

Lead has been used for a long time in fishing line sinkers and automotive wheel weights, although environmental concerns about lead are leading to material substitution.  To test lead, you should be able to cut into it with a knife and it will show a dark gray color.  When you cut it in half, you can take the freshly cut piece and rub it against paper – it will make a mark like a pencil does.  Wheel weights pay less than ordinary lead due to the steel clips attached and a difference in alloy.

Auto batteries have lead plates inside, but there is no money to be made by removing them from the plastic case.  We sell to smelters that recycle the lead, plastic and even the acid, so a battery has its fullest value when it is intact.  Opening a battery yourself only leads to environmental problems:  spilled acid and lead residue on the plastic case when you dispose of it.

Zinc has been used for many years to make carburetors on cars and lawnmowers.  Older cars had zinc grills in front of the radiator, not to mention hood ornaments and the frames that went around headlights and taillights.  Zinc is also a dark, grayish metal, compared to the light color of aluminum.

Another lesser-used metal is magnesium.  Lawnmower decks and old Volkswagen engines are two items that were often composed of magnesium.  It is lightweight, like aluminum, and light-colored.  If you file or grind a spot, then put a drop of vinegar on it, you will find that vinegar makes bubbles on magnesium but has no reaction with other metals.

Catalytic Convertors are part of the exhaust system on automobiles.  They have platinum-group metals inside a stainless steel or chrome-steel shell.  Remove the convertor from the exhaust pipe and it is ready to sell.

Tungsten carbide is used in various metal-working industries in small amounts.  We confirm its grade and value by using our X-Ray Analyzer to determine how much of each element is present.  It is slightly magnetic, compared to ordinary steel which is strongly magnetic.