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Aluminium profiles

A closing-the-loop success story: the aluminum profiles from Safe

A win-win for both Hydro and Safe by handing in their depreciated aluminum profiles called longitudinal girders, which make up Safe's support structures, to Hydro and simultaneously purchasing new profiles. "It was an easy choice," explains Head of Engineering at Safe, John van Asten. "These longitudinal supports were in storage and our preference was for heavier, more frequently used profiles."

Years of collaboration

Safe, the leading company in the Benelux in the field of support structures for concrete construction, has been a customer for 37 years. First at Sapa, and now Hydro. With their own design they offer possibilities for horizontal support for concrete construction. Safe is active in sectors such as residential-, utility-, and civil construction, or as they call this last category themselves: "all works of art such as bridges and viaducts".  In Hydro they have always found a good sparring partner, both for the design of new profiles and for thinking along with these types of recycling and closing-the-loop projects.

A win-win story

One of Hydro's main focal points is recycling. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, without loss of quality. Hydro's recycling units process both pre-consumer scrap (factory scrap) and post-consumer scrap. Post-consumer scrap is aluminum that has already had a life as a product. Like the profiles from Safe. They have purchased new, more current profiles in its place. The post-consumer scrap is remelted into billets in the Hydro recycling unit and thus given a second life as a new product. All of this, the submission of the aluminum to the remelting and re-pressing, is done under one roof, at the same location within Hydro.

"The longcarriers are profiles that we actually use less," John explains regarding the choice they made to turn in their old profiles. "These had been in storage with us for a while. Instead of these longcarriers, we needed heavier profiles. In this regard, we went around 360 degrees. We hand in the old and get new in return".

Aluminium profiles

Closing the loop together

At Safe they temporarily set up their own assembly line to be able to deliver all profiles bundled and ready for use. The result was two trucks filled with 53 tons of aluminum. The total volume is expected to reach 150 tons that will be recycled at Hydro in the near future. The 26 tons of new profiles purchased by Safe have an estimated life span of 20-25 years. In short, Safe is going into the future well prepared. A great success, according to John: "Certainly as long as the residential construction industry stays like this, I estimate the chances are high that we will be doing this more often!" 

The collaboration between Safe and Hydro is a successful closing-the-loop story. As we say at Hydro: together we are closing the loop!

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