A scientist at the University of California in Los Angeles has devised a new method of retrieving pure aluminium from tin cans -- a significant contribution to the ecology debate in a country that produces some 40 million tons of metallic waste every year.
MS & CU Man cleans empty cans
CU Cans crushed under foot
CU Cans put in melting pot (2 shots)
CU Molten aluminium poured into mould
CU Technician opens mould (2 shots)
MS Technician at testing machine and CU of graft
CU Sample metal stretched
SCUs Technician makes more tests (2 shots)
MS, CU and SCU Technicians at instrument panel and CU screen (6 shots)
CU Empty drinks cans
Initials OS/1529 OS/1541
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Background: A scientist at the University of California in Los Angeles has devised a new method of retrieving pure aluminium from tin cans -- a significant contribution to the ecology debate in a country that produces some 40 million tons of metallic waste every year.
The process is also important from another point of view: it could not only be highly profitable for industry but could also eliminate the need to import pure aluminium from exporting countries as far away as South Africa and The People's Republic of China.
This film is relevant in the light of two years' preparation for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, from June 5 to 16, 1972. The issue of re-cycling waste materials is likely to be a main point on the agenda of this conference, which will be attended by 1,700 delegates and observers from more than 100 countries.
SYNOPSIS: Every year, the United States produces some forty million tons of metallic waste. Now, a scientist at the University of California has found a way to retrieve pure aluminium from tin cans.
It's an important discovery, for pure aluminium is made from Bauxite ore which must be imported. And refining the ore into pure aluminium is an expensive process.
Cleaned tins are flattened, then melted down at temperatures of seven-hundred degrees centigrade. The molten aluminium is then placed in small ingots. When it's cooled, specimens are machined from the cast ingots in strips. This machine tests the tensile strength of the cooled aluminium at room temperature.
The metal is stretched -- and then studied under an electron microprobe analyzer to detect impurities. For Doctor Alfred Yue, the engineering professor who devised the method, it's an important breakthrough. It means that aluminium cans used for beverages, for instance, can be converted back into commercially pure aluminium -- eliminating the costly process it took to make them in the first place. The process is also a potentially vital step forward in the ecology debate. For while scientists and industrialists are learning to cope with liquid waste, there's been no real advance made so far in the battle to re-cycle industrial solid waste.
Now, hopefully, all that's about to change