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Metal chip briquetting FAQ

Command metal chip briquetters are John Hart’s range of USA built briquette machines which are designed and built by John Hart USA from the ground up, to process all types of metal chips and metal swarf into briquettes, resulting in many benefits to the end user.


cnc metal chip briquettes


What is the metal briquetting process?

The briquetting process takes CNC metal chips and CNC metal swarf and compresses them under high pressure into a briquette form, with the added benefit of being able to recover the coolant and other valuable lubricants squeezed out during the process.

What are the benefits of briquetting?
  • Briquetting increases the value of your CNC scrap metal and turns your scrap chips into an ongoing income stream.
  • Costly CNC cutting fluids previously lost due to seepage in transport and storage can be reclaimed and re-used.
  • Briquetted material helps alleviate any potential cross contamination with other materials.
  • Briquettes are almost free of CNC coolant compared with loose metal chips and don’t leak coolant during transportation around the factory or en route to the recycler.
  • Briquetters eliminate the need for drying racks or centrifugal driers, removing a costly handling process.
  • Transportation, handling and storage costs are lowered as a result of the volume reduction achieved through briquetting.
  • Machine briquette counters allow you to accurately monitor the amount of scrap being produced.
  • Briquetting your swarf allows a substantially more localised and tidy storage of your scrap, thus reducing your occupational health and safety risks
  • Briquettes are mostly free of coolant, reducing your potential EPA liability.
What type of metal chips can be briquetted?
  • Aluminum swarf/chips
  • Steel swarf/chips
  • Stainless Steel swarf/chips
  • Brass swarf/chips
  • Titanium swarf/chips
  • Cast Iron swarf/chips
  • Copper swarf/chips
  • Nickel swarf/chips
Why do recyclers pay more for briquettes compared with loose CNC metal chips?

Briquettes are drier and “purer” than loose CNC chips. As a result the need for the recycler to dispose of waste CNC coolants is reduced.

The material yield in the melting process is increased with briquettes and the amount of material processed per melting cycle is also increased.

How much more can I expect to earn for a briquette compared to loose CNC metal chips?

Briquette prices vary depending on the briquette quality, material type, company location, market conditions and recycler volumes. Companies have achieved as much as 3 times the value for briquettes compared to loose chips, start by speaking to your recycler about the increased value achievable for quality briquettes.

How much moisture will be removed from my scrap chips?

Command series briquetters typically expel up to 99% of moisture contained in loose CNC metal chips. As CNC coolant can comprise as much as 30% of total loose chip weight, reclaiming lost CNC coolant is worthwhile financially.

How do I re-use reclaimed CNC cutting fluids?

During the briquetting process CNC cutting fluids are extracted. The Command series briquetting machines collect this reclaimed fluid into an internal tank from where it can be pumped out into a filtering system and re-used.

What is the typical volume reduction of material?

Volume reduction is based on metal chip structure and grade of the material being processed. Our lab testing has yielded reduction ratios ranging from 3:1 to as much as 20:1. Eg; reducing 20 barrels of metal chips into 1 barrel of briquettes increases the material that is transported per load to the recycler and reduces valuable factory storage space requirements.

What is a typical payback time for a briquetter?

Payback for a metal briquetting system can range anywhere from 6 months to 3 years depending on many factors including the amount of material being processed, the material type, the quality of the briquettes, the savings from CNC coolant recovery and the reliability of the briquetter.

How much space does a briquetter require?

Depending on the model and options, standard Command series briquetter installations have a footprint of between ~20–70 sq ft.

What advantages do briquettes offer foundries?

Briquettes achieve higher yields in the remelt process. Due to the density of briquettes, less oxidation of the material takes place due to decreased surface area of the material as compared to loose chips. This increases the volume of pure material recovered during the remelt making briquettes more valuable to the re-melter.

Reduced moisture in briquettes means it is safer and easier to handle.

Once a material is briquetted, due to its near solid state it cannot be mixed with other materials ensuring a high quality product for remelting.

Can I have a sample of my metal chips tested before I buy a briquetter?

Absolutely. We will test your metal chips on one of our metal briquetting machines to show output quality and to help specify the right metal briquetting machine for your requirements. You will be able to take these sample briquettes to your recycler to determine their increase in value.