Why is a scrapped airplane worth a lot more than a scrapped automobile?
Chances are you answered that question with a smart reply like, “Well, isn’t an airplane a whole lot bigger than a car?”
If that was your answer, you’d be right. Or partially right, anyhow. Because you see, sheer size isn’t the only issue. Pound-for-pound, aerospace scrap is worth more than automotive scrap. And here are some of the reasons why . . .
Airplanes – Even Older Airplanes – Contain More Exotic Alloys and Compounds than Cars Do
For example, they contain silver cadmium in switches and relays, mercury and chromium in gauges, platinum in thermocouples, and a lot more precious metals that you will rarely find in scrapped cars.
Precious Metals are Extensively Used in Aircraft Engines
Platinum and palladium are used because they are stable, corrosion-resistant and durable. You’ll find them and other precious metals in fuel nozzles, heat exchangers, turbine vanes, and elsewhere. You won’t find those materials widely used in automotive engines, unless you’re looking at exotic racing cars. According to some estimates, a used modern jet engine that is being scrapped should contain more than $15,000 worth of precious metals.
Modern Airplanes Contain Many More Circuit Boards than Cars Do
A modern automobile contains gold-bearing printed circuit boards in the engine monitoring module, the GPS unit, the sound system, and a handful of other locations. In contrast, planes have gold-bearing printed circuit boards just about everywhere – in radios and communication devices, navigation systems, altimeters and other gauges and displays, computers, and dozens of other applications that don’t exist on cars. If you ever see an airplane cockpit being dismantled, you will be surprised by the number and size of electronic components that are found there.
How to Mine the Value from Aviation Scrap
It requires specialized knowledge and technology to identify and recycle precious metals like gold and platinum from aeronautical scrap. To learn how to reclaim the most dollars from aerospace scrap that you have on hand call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners today at 800-426-2344.
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