So you have probably been to a hospital before, you have seen the tables, the chairs, the weird machines that they use, but have you ever thought of what could get scrapped in the medical world?!
Most Common Metal: Stainless Steel
Let’s start with something easy, stainless steel. Stainless steel is the most common metal that you will find in the medical field and it is used for all types of materials/tools/equipment/tables and more. Stainless steel is used for multiple reasons but the main one is its corrosion resistance along with its ease to sanitize and clean after procedures are done.
Stainless steel has such strength in it due to the Nickel content along with the iron that makes up its composition that it really makes it a great metal in the medical field. They use two types of stainless steel, the first is called 304 stainless and the second type is called 316 stainless steel. These two metals have a high nickel content and thats what makes it so they don’t rust, corrode, and can withstand medical procedures on a daily use basis. Check with your scrap yard and ask how they analyze your stainless steel for various grades.
What’s Inside: Titanium & 316L Stainless Steel
Let’s talk about the screws that they use in the field for all of the bones that they put together, plates that get installed, and whatever else the doctors use to piece people back together. The metal bolts, screws, plates, pins, and whatever else is used in the medical world are normally one of these metals: Titanium or 316L Stainless Steel. These will generally have no reaction inside of the body and will not cause any type of reaction once they are put in the bones to hold them together.
These two metals are also used in the plates and full metal body part replacements that you could get in surgery. Whether it is a new rod in a spine or anything else, it is great to know what they use…and if you can find a scrap place that takes used medical screws you will be in luck!
Machines & Equipment: Copper & E-Scrap
While they may seem like they have a lot of plastic attached many medical machines and equipment have a good deal of copper wire, circuit breakers, computer components, and alloy metals inside. If you are able to work with local offices to get some machines like computers, measurement equipment, and X-Ray machines, you can be in luck. Take a look at the piece of equipment you have and realistically see what is available for scrap. You can certainly cut off any copper wires and unscrew some covers to see the e-scrap materials that may be inside.
X-Ray Films: Lead Film
The films from x-rays are worth money in scrap. The film itself is usually Lead or silver based material. Therefore, if you find the right scrap yard that accepts the x-ray film you can bring them in for scrap. Now if you just have one x-ray film from when your kid fell and broke his arm, that won’t be quite enough to sell. However, if you are working with a medical office that is cleaning up, moving, or transferring their files to digital, they may have a large quantity of x-ray films that can be recycled. You can contact local yards in your area and ask if they accept those materials.
What To Expect With Medical Field Scrap Metal
The equipment in the surgical field is almost exclusively made from stainless steel. For the same reasons we went into earlier, stainless will have the strength, the sustainability, and the overall durability to last in the medical field…but all things will get scrapped. Many medical offices will take their equipment and recycle it each year so they can use their budgets to get newer and more upgraded/efficient tools in…and that is where you come in. The scrap that will be generated from the medical field will be constant, maybe not on an every month basis, but it will come often because of the overall size of the medical field.
You have to know what to look out for and once you have a good idea you will be able to really capitalize and scrap things often. Sometimes you can even resell some equipment to a medical refurbisher online or in person if you can find a local outlet.