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image - A Guide to Recycling Muraflex Products: Glass and Aluminum

A Guide to Recycling Muraflex Products: Glass and Aluminum

As a globe, we need to work together towards a livable planet for generations to come. We have grown out of the industrial era where landfills served as a quick fix.  We are now aware that reusing and recycling beautifies the planet and eases life. Sustainability with small items is easy. Sustainability with construction material need not be intimidating. Here’s how Muraflex products help you towards this common goal. 

What was once an energy and material-consuming industry, construction need not be wasteful anymore. Muraflex – by default as well as by choice – employs sustainable practices to protect and improve the environment and the beings that live in it. Our primary materials – glass and aluminum – happen to be fully recyclable.

Different types of material are processed and handled in different ways. Environmental-sustainability practices include several factors, from acquiring the material, to shipping, to amount of waste produced during the manufacturing process, to reusability of the construction materials, to their final destination, whether that’s a recycling center or an unfortunate landfill. 

Muraflex is designed for flexibility. It is, after all, in its name: “mur” – meaning wall in French, and “flex”, from flexible. Muraflex prioritizes and embraces one of the many definitions of recycling: to take something old and make something new out of it. All our walls are demountable, so clients need not commit to the concrete walls that are more costly to move or replace.

Repurpose First

Demountable walls at Muraflex are designed to be flexible. Should you desire a new look for your office, it is now easier than ever with MIMO, FINO, QUADRO, PLANIKA or EXPO. Reconfiguring drywall requires extra material, more time, and higher costs to rebuild and replace. Demountable walls’ ability to repurpose existing space makes them significantly easier to handle, without expending additional energy and costs.

Lean Manufacturing

Muraflex practices lean manufacturing, the process of acquiring just enough material to be used in the manufacturing process so that there are none leftover. Our state-of-the-art SAP calculates the precise amount of material needed for any given project.  Lean manufacturing not only consumes less construction material, it also shortens lead times and uses less transportation. Most importantly, however, lean manufacturing significantly increases productivity levels due to reduced clutter. The fewer materials going into input, even fewer are resulting as output.  Going lean is good for business and the planet alike.

Different Types of Recycling

The three types of recycling are as follows:

Mechanical Recycling: Mechanical processes are used to reconvert products into the same product as they were before. Glass once again becomes glass. Windows are recycled back into windows. Aluminum extrusions are reborn into aluminum extrusions.

Energy Recycling: Once they fulfill their purpose, products are turned into forms of energy, including thermal and electric energy.  

Chemical Recycling: Chemical recycling has the most complex process of the three types. The products’ chemical structures are used as raw materials for various industries

The most cost-effective and least energy-consuming type of recycling is mechanical recycling. This is the process used for glass and aluminum and metal recycling, while the latter two mainly recycle plastics.

How is glass recycled?

Once glass is taken into recycling centre and gone through the sorting process, it is then smashed into dust using 24 hammers the size of a human forearm. Hydraulic moisture is added to prevent the glass particles from becoming airborne.

These are then put through a trommel or a sieve to separate the glass pieces from other material. It is then put through a bed drier to remove the moisture from the previous steps. In bottle recycling, it has the added advantage of loosening the glue that once held paper to, as well as heating away the sugar and bacteria.

It then goes through a screening process, which is similar to the breaking process. The glass is put into a pulverizer and broken down even further. The glass cutlets are then once again put into three classifications: pebbles, sand, and powder. After this final step, glass is once again rebuilt into something new.

How is aluminium recycled?

What was once a metal more expensive than gold, aluminum is now a frequently used material in construction, packaging, technology, and vehicles. Like glass, aluminum retains its quality after recycling and so is infinitely recyclable.

After aluminum is collected, it is taken to a scrapyard. Aluminum is composed of hundreds of other alloys. Unlike before, we are now able to separate alloys from each other. It is put into a furnace. Aluminum has a relatively low melting point. Once removed from impurities, aluminum is crushed into shreds by shears and a conventional shredder that has hammers. A special x-ray machine makes sure that only recyclable material goes through magnetic separators, which further separates metal screws and hinges, as well as other material from the shreds. It is then put through a second shredder which slices the aluminum parts into 4-6 cm chips. It is once again put into x-ray machines to discard leftover impurities. When ready, it is shaped back into extrusions, frames, and other vehicle and construction parts.

Key Takeaways

Demountable walls have several benefits. First and foremost, Muraflex products are beautiful: our commitment to European aesthetics does not compromise on function. In addition to elegant glazed walls that promote teamwork, contributes to LEED points, and allow natural light to flourish in your space, demountable walls make redesigning far more efficient and cost-effective. Once used, glass and aluminum are both 100% recyclable, and retain their quality after their trip to the recycling center.

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