How to properly dispose of and recycle (not only) gas springs?
Although the lifetime of Berthold Merx gas springs and Setra products is very long, their usage may lead to damage over time or, simply, to the end of their life, and they need to be replaced with new ones.
Gas springs must be neutralized first
Gas springs are made of high-quality metals, most often of lacquered steel. Recycling is therefore a must. However, each spring must first be rid of unwanted elements. Even a damaged spring may still contain nitrogen, which needs to be released and the oil drained.
Although this procedure is not explicitly dangerous, it is not intended for laypeople and ordinary users. Safety procedures must be followed to avoid injuries caused by their handling. Improper handling may result in serious damage to the eyes or face.
Disposal of an old spring consists of several steps:
- The spring must be firmly secured in a vice or in a designated device in the vertical position. The piston rod must face downwards and be extended to the maximum length.
- A hole with a 3 mm diameter should be drilled into the body at a precise location (usually 20 mm from the upper end of the spring). This is the most dangerous part of the entire process. Nitrogen in the spring is under pressure and can escape rapidly when drilling, along with oil and metal sawdust. You may become injured without any eye and face protection and without covering the drilled part.
- Some gas springs have several points that need to be drilled and gas released from. They vary depending on the type of gas spring. (For example, two holes at both ends must be drilled into a locking gas spring.)
- Nitrogen escapes through the created hole. It is non-toxic and non-flammable, so there is no danger.
- Oil inside the spring is pushed out into a container using the piston. Oil must be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner; it must not be poured into household waste or into a sewer.
Thus prepared gas spring is ready for recycling.
How to recycle gaskets and fittings
In both cases, it is very important to first dismantle the gasket or the fitting from the place where it was used. It is important to separate individual materials from each other.
Rubber gaskets and gaskets with a plastic addition
Gaskets by Dirak are made of PVC, EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber), neoprene, NBR (nitrile butadiene rubber) or a combination of foam rubber and PVC. The appropriate type is chosen according to the application site and the requirements for the gasket’s function.
Rubber gaskets need to be collected and handed over to an authorized company. The company then either transfers the product to a waste treatment company or it is purchased by a recycling line.
In practice, products with different applications are commonly obtained by recycling rubber products. A raw material of energetic significance (gas, liquid) is obtained by pyrolysis (heating the material above the temperature of its thermal stability). It can either be used directly to drive a pyrolysis plant or sold as fuel (for example, for cogeneration plants).
Another possibility to recycle rubber is to grind it into granulate. Processed granulate can be found, for example, in the flooring for children’s playgrounds and gymnasiums.
What to do with the metal parts?
Regarding the recycling of industrial fittings and other metal products, the best idea is to separate individual metals while still in your company. If possible, separate pure aluminum from alloys and other materials. You get much more money for pure materials at collection yards than when you give them undefined material.
We hope that our article replied to your question about the recycling of our products. When dealing with the waste issue in your company, it is always best to consult a waste disposal company to save your firm from problems and unnecessary fines.