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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:05 am
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Are the metal things that the magnets are attached to in hard drives just plain steel? or? Is there a place that tells what metals are inside hard drives? I know aluminum, but others...Is there a way to easily distinguish stainless from other steel?

This forum is very hard to search. All words are too common, lol.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:13 am 
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Well, there’s lots of metals in a hard drive
The shell is usually aluminium but may be magnesium or manganese.
The top of standard size drives are a two ply stainless. One is ferromagnetic, one is non.
Inside you have the platter mount. Normally aluminium or stainless. Then the platters, usually aluminium or glass, and the rings, aluminium or magnesium.
The swing arm is normally aluminium. The wire contacts are rhodium connected to high tension nickel with silver or silveride wires. The arm mount is normally a stainless pin.
Neodymium or cobalt magnets with a nickel plating attached to permalloy.
An aluminium motor and some gold contacts as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:05 am
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Thanks Lost,

That helps. I guess I need to keep the permalloy separate from my other "steel." I do not know if the scrap yards around where I live(TN) will even buy permalloy.

What grade aluminum would the "shell" be classified?

Sorry for the "noob" questions.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:13 pm 
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You’ll need many pounds of permalloy before you’ll even be offered a price from a yard that would take it.
That said any yard that buys nickel as a class will probably be interested.
You can learn more here but it’s 75-85% nickel. True permalloy is 80/20 but anything above 74% works for this intended use.

The drive shells usually go as #1 or #2 cast (not die cast). Depending on if it’s totally clear of everything or if you left something behind, like the motor wire contacts that usually leave something behind on me.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:17 pm 
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Somewhere on the site I did a step by step breakdown of a drive with everything you could want to know.
I’ll look for the link later. I can’t search for it because most words are too “common”!
[[facepalm]]

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:52 pm
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Most of the scrap yards I have dealt with in Southeast Tennessee don't really buy anything but the standard scrap, ie, iron, stainless, and aluminum. A few will buy electric motors, but non I know of buy "breakage", or "copper bearing", and if they do offer a class, it is usually less than shred.
On a side note, Junior Samples on the TV show, Hee-Haw, where he was a used car salesman, used the phone number BR 549, which was a number in use in Bradley County Tennessee during that time. Needless to say the phone customer got lots of calls.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:05 am
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PSC Metals, LLC is the nearest major scrap yard to me and it is 50 miles away. On their website it just says they buy aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, insulated wire and wire under non-ferrous scrap. I have not called them yet to see if they buy electric motors, "breakage", or "copper bearing."


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:52 pm
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You understand that I am talking as a small time recycling individual, whose amounts of nickel, zinc, titanium, tungsten carbide, etc is measured in handfuls, rather than barrels. If you have enough of any one type, some will offer you a price...usually nowhere near spot prices. PSC has the RFX? and may id your metal for you depending on if you are a regular customer, or have sufficient quantity. Sometimes a smaller local yard will pay more than the big boys if the local guy has a buyer that he sells directly to, rather than thru another junkyard. My yard pays 40-60 for scrap catalytic converters, whereas the big companies only offer a flat ten bucks each.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:26 am 
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David lays it out well.
All yards are different. Most are honest. But honesty doesn’t mean anything towards pricing. If you’re the only person who brings in tungsten and you only have a pound a year it’s not worth it to them to pay for it. They’ll toss it in lite iron and move on. On the other hand every industrial city, Nashville and Memphis in your case, has at least one specialist buyer of scrap. I stumbled upon a battery buyer by accident who pay nicely for alkaline batteries. I then used the paper receipts to convince my primary yard to buy them at 20% less in large quantities (5-10lbs per trip). They load a van up and make bank. I have one stop instead of 2.
Most mid-Volume yards will work with you if you show them respect. Showing up in the middle of the day or 15 minutes before closing won’t cut it. But an hour after they open. Even better call and ask for an appointment to talk the the scale master or owner. Most will take some level of steps to at least listen.

If you get an appointment; bring samples. Not a load! Individual samples. Be honest on how much you have and can bring. How often. No matter what don’t take no personally. They may simply not have a market up-stream for that class.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:25 am
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My husband and I own a recycling yard, and lostinlodos is right, bring samples, not the whole load if you are not sure what you have or what they buy. And he is right about not showing up just before they close as they will not give you the full attention you need. When someone comes in by us not knowing things, we will explain it until they understand but not if they show up just before closing. And yep, the mornings are the best time to arrive. Our yard has a really great start rating, and that is because we treat people as people, but yes most yards just don't care, you will have to find a yard that treats you right.

I tear apart all my hard drives, the shell will go into cast aluminum, but make sure you get just about everything off of it or it will be put into a lower class material, maybe even in breakage if you leave too much other stuff on it. If you don't sell the magnets on your own, they will be just steel, the platter will be something on their own and most yards will not buy them, we don't as our buyer does not buy them. Ask your local yard about the arms, for us I throw them into dirty sheet aluminum, dirty means, there are other materials on it other than aluminum. The screws are usually stainless, but there are times they are steel so it is good to run a magnet over them as you take them out. The rings are usually aluminum, but some I have found were stainless.

The way to tell Steel from "true" stainless is that stainless will not stick to a magnet. Now with that said, some stainless will stick to a magnet but that is because it is cheap stainless and the magnet barely sticks to it, but it is still steel. Stainless can not stick to a magnet at all. And to tell the difference between stainless and aluminum, first is the weight stainless is much heavier, but since we are working with such small pieces scratching it is best. Stainless pretty much does not scratch like aluminum does. When you scratch aluminum it pretty much digs into the metal, but it will not with stainless. If your yard does not buy the motors, they do sell on ebay, robotics creators sometimes buy them.


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