The "2015 stainless steel multi-stage cycle" study conducted by Barbara Reck, a senior research scientist at Yale University, concluded that once the service life is reached, an average of 85% of the stainless steel will be recycled or become new stainless steel.
The study also considered the recycled content of stainless steel (the amount of scrap used to produce new stainless steel). Globally, the average recycling rate of stainless steel is 44% (32% stainless steel scrap and 12% carbon steel scrap). However, there are significant differences between regions. For example, in the United States and Europe, the recycling rate of stainless steel is 71% and 70%, respectively. Global data is strongly influenced by China, which produced 52% of the world's stainless steel in 2015, but on average only contains 23% of recyclable components. This may well reflect the fact that China’s supply of stainless steel scrap is low, because most of the stainless steel in use has not reached the end of its life.
The study also analyzed specific scrapping processes in the end-use sector. The scrap rate of household appliances, electronic products and metal products is the lowest, but the highest, at 80%, while the scrap rate of buildings and infrastructure is 85%, and the scrap rate of transportation and industrial machinery is the highest. The life collection rate reaches 90%.
Kai Hasenclever, Director of Economics and Statistics and Long-term Product of ISSF, and the project leader of the stainless steel team project, commented:
"Stainless steel supports many important applications in our modern world, from transportation, construction, bridges and water pipes to medical uses and food preparation. As people pay more and more attention to sustainability, there is an increasing need to quantify the material life cycle of stainless steel and its evolution. Efficiency from production to manufacturing, manufacturing, use, recycling and disposal.
"The latest research on stainless steel inventory and flow cycle has confirmed its high service life recyclability, and in most areas, its recycling rate is very high. Coupled with the durability and long life of stainless steel, it clearly proves that it is a sustainable Select the qualifications of the materials."