Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Shotgun shell recycling machine

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shotgun shell recycling machine

    Hi again

    I've been toying with an idea of building a machine to recycle used shotgun shells, as our sports shooting club ends up with half a million of these per year and they just end up in the land fill as such as due to the lead residue the plastic isn't recyclable. There is 1.6 tons of metal and 2.1 tons of plastic in those shell casings.

    The metal however is recyclable as is the plastic ring in the bottom of the shell, as it hasn't come in contact with lead. So both of these could be recycled and only the plastic casing would go to landfill.

    Option A: Just shred everything (link) and do a metal/plastic separator, but that way some of the plastic ends up in the metal as it doesn't ensure it gets separated in the shredder.

    Option B: Make a machine that pulls the plastic casing out of the metal base, pops the plastic bottom off and thus separates each shell in to three different bins. The plastic casing could then be shredded to reduce it's storage size, so the garbage truck wouldn't have to visit so often, which leads to savings.

    Option C: Pull/rip the plastic casing off the metal, shred all the plastic and recycle the metal. Somewhat easier to do mechanically, but this puts the HDPE plastic to landfill that could be recycled.

    My initial plan here is to try and go with option B and do a completely electromechanical machine, meaning plug it in and that's it. No hydraulics, no pressurised air, no electronics. I've been trying to find examples and only found two from YouTube (link 1 and link 2). Both seem to operate a little bit differently but in the end accomplish the same thing I've been thinking.

    Now my problem is in designing a good gripper to grip the plastic casing so it doesn't slip when pulled. The first machine on Youtube seems to be using a hydraulic jaw configuration which presses against a mandrel and the second one has some sort of camming plate that again cams against a mandrel.

    Do you guys have any good ideas on how to make the gripper part function mechanically? I've been thinking of putting stiff tool springs behind the jaws that are then operated with a knee-type linkage joint from the middle, so that at one end of the stroke the jaws will be forced open and at the other end the knee-joint is "broken" so the spring will force the jaws in contact for the pull. The actual jaws would be somewhat serrated probably unless a smoother version grips the same.

    Also, couple of minute details: Most of the shells are of the size 12/70, but some 20 gauge is also mixed in as well as 16 gauge and once a year .410" is found. I have a feeder designed that will line up everything the same way and rejects any non-shot shells and separates the odd-ball calipers to a separate bin based on their size (basically move them over different hole sizes and they drop once a correct hole is found).
    Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

  • #2
    Can you not truly re-cycle the cases? Push out the expended primer and re-load them for re-use then all you have to deal with is a pile of expended primers that are presumably brass ?

    Comment


    • #3
      Why is the plastic contaminated ? First the lead shot in a shotgun shell sits inside a plastic wad, it never touches the plastic hull. Second, lead does not leach into plastic. If you are that concerned with it you could just wash them with regular soap and water, which is what is done at most ammunition reloading facilities . Most of the black you will see in the water is just soot from the burned powder.
      As far as the design of your machine, I have no clue, I value my shotgun hulls and brass too much as I reload them. Has your club looked into shell reloading ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Why not reload, the ultimate recycling?
        "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
        world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
        country, in easy stages."
        ~ James Madison

        Comment


        • #5
          Re-loading is not an option, as the rules are that you are only allowed to use your own reloads, thus you can't reload for someone else. And many think that in small batches the savings are pennies per shot, as the new ones cost around 4.50 EUR per 25 shots. I do not personally know what reloading costs, but if I were to do it, I would need some serious runs and not onesy-twosies to reload. And at some point you can't reload it anymore and that's when the recycling comes in.

          Regarding the lead contamination, it is not severe but it is there as evidenced by testing. That is one reason why one company stopped shredding the whole casings as the lead residue becomes airborne as dust and it wasn't economically viable to shield everything and whatnot. But lead or not, the plastic casing can't be recycled as remelted plastic due to the partly burned insides also, as that part of plastic doesn't melt anymore. Maybe it wouldn't affect in a product like a garbage can, but when no plastic moulding company wants the stuff, the landfill is the only option. And I believe they also don't want it as there is so little of it and it is mixed color. I know one client of us who uses that 2 tons in a week and it is not a big company, so 2 tons of partly burned per year isn't worth it. Sucks, but that's business I guess.

          The actual metal is steel (magnet clings to it), I have yet not encountered brass in anything. The actual head is brass or nickel plated and the primer and anvil is copper plated and the primers little cup that the striker hits is nickel plated in most that I've seen. So scrap value is low, but metal in a landfill is not very nice in my mind.

          I did a quickie test by putting an 18 mm mandrel inside the casing, then took two halves of a 20 mm ID pipe and used some tongs to clamp around it and with a very strong pull I could get the plastic to come off without hesitation and without slipping. The inside of that pipe was a bit corroded but looked like DOM tubing, so it seems it might just be a matter of getting enough mechanical closing force to keep the jaws from slipping. And little serrations wouldn't hurt, maybe knurl the mandrel a little?

          Main issue now is to get a good and reliable idea for operating jaws so that they close at one end, then release at the other and travel to the other end as released. One option is that knee-toggle link that I described earlier and one other I just came up with. This other idea would have springs behind the jaws and there would be some type of sloped surface to interact with the jaw. So at one end the sliding part is pushed in and that releases the jaws to move and at the other end of the stroke this sliding part is pushed back the opposite way, thus forcing the jaws outward. There would be a piece of flat area so that the sliding part stays in place until it is again pushed from its end at the end of the stroke.

          Any other mechanical ideas that would be easy to make or any corrections to the ones I talked about?
          Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would just sell them, there are plenty of people that would buy empty hulls for reloading. I can understand the rules being you can only use your own re-loads. Too many liability issues come into play when you sell reloaded ammo. I have a friend who blew his Browning up right in front of his face due to a 4 x over charged 12ga. reload.

            JL................

            Comment


            • #7
              For grip, some form of sliding cam, would seem to allow expansion or contraction, independent of size.

              Internal grip via tapered thread (rod or screw pusher) ?
              External via tapered slide ?

              Tapers can be made, I think, with plastic slide bushing from igues. Just ride on anything flattish.
              Maybe, ideal for this use.
              Cheap, last forever, dont mind contaminants.

              And you can have the tapers be non-linear, so it might be fast first, and then strong- but thats size specific.

              Options.
              If you can make good threads, motion control ie trapzoidal.
              Two inside/outside threads can do both internal grip and external, with simple rotation (or push/pull via sliders).
              One expands, one contracts.

              This is my favourite.
              Use some magnets for grippers.
              2 of.
              One gets hold (close). Fast, not strong. The final gripper rides on it, via slide.

              Second (lever) puts the grim reaper grip on. Small movement, very strong.
              24 V magnets are dirt cheap, 25€-30 each, with == 50 kgf pull.
              At 1:5, => 250 kgf lateral force.
              0.2 secs action.

              (Finnish).
              Kuka ampuu 1/2 M vuosi ?
              Meilla oli sissikerhossa vain noin 100 aktiivista jasenta (ehka 1000 kaikenkaikkaan), ja maarat oli paljon pienempia.
              Muutin barcelonaan 99, joten siita on aikaa..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
                Re-loading is not an option, as the rules are that you are only allowed to use your own reloads, thus you can't reload for someone else. And many think that in small batches the savings are pennies per shot, as the new ones cost around 4.50 EUR per 25 shots. I do not personally know what reloading costs, but if I were to do it, I would need some serious runs and not onesy-twosies to reload. And at some point you can't reload it anymore and that's when the recycling comes in.

                Regarding the lead contamination, it is not severe but it is there as evidenced by testing. That is one reason why one company stopped shredding the whole casings as the lead residue becomes airborne as dust and it wasn't economically viable to shield everything and whatnot. But lead or not, the plastic casing can't be recycled as remelted plastic due to the partly burned insides also, as that part of plastic doesn't melt anymore. Maybe it wouldn't affect in a product like a garbage can, but when no plastic moulding company wants the stuff, the landfill is the only option. And I believe they also don't want it as there is so little of it and it is mixed color. I know one client of us who uses that 2 tons in a week and it is not a big company, so 2 tons of partly burned per year isn't worth it. Sucks, but that's business I guess.

                The actual metal is steel (magnet clings to it), I have yet not encountered brass in anything. The actual head is brass or nickel plated and the primer and anvil is copper plated and the primers little cup that the striker hits is nickel plated in most that I've seen. So scrap value is low, but metal in a landfill is not very nice in my mind.

                I did a quickie test by putting an 18 mm mandrel inside the casing, then took two halves of a 20 mm ID pipe and used some tongs to clamp around it and with a very strong pull I could get the plastic to come off without hesitation and without slipping. The inside of that pipe was a bit corroded but looked like DOM tubing, so it seems it might just be a matter of getting enough mechanical closing force to keep the jaws from slipping. And little serrations wouldn't hurt, maybe knurl the mandrel a little?

                Main issue now is to get a good and reliable idea for operating jaws so that they close at one end, then release at the other and travel to the other end as released. One option is that knee-toggle link that I described earlier and one other I just came up with. This other idea would have springs behind the jaws and there would be some type of sloped surface to interact with the jaw. So at one end the sliding part is pushed in and that releases the jaws to move and at the other end of the stroke this sliding part is pushed back the opposite way, thus forcing the jaws outward. There would be a piece of flat area so that the sliding part stays in place until it is again pushed from its end at the end of the stroke.
                Any other mechanical ideas that would be easy to make or any corrections to the ones I talked about?
                It sounds to me you are Europe, here in the states all shot gun shells use steel shot . I used to shoot a lot of skeet and trap my friend and i where able to reload the plastic shells 4 times and saved at least 75% of the new cost

                Comment


                • #9
                  Maybe the puller could be combined with the gripper. Two counter rotating knurled cylinders that would hold onto the plastic and pull it out by virtue of the rotation?
                  paul
                  ARS W9PCS

                  Esto Vigilans

                  Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                  but you may have to

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    concern about that amount of lead on the plastic? someone is pulling your chain! look around for other plastic recyclers. ANY plastic turned in for recycle will have all sorts of contaminents, it's their job to clean and use as necessary.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GEP View Post
                      It sounds to me you are Europe, here in the states all shot gun shells use steel shot . I used to shoot a lot of skeet and trap my friend and i where able to reload the plastic shells 4 times and saved at least 75% of the new cost
                      Not true, steel is only used in waterfoul (duck & goose) shooting & in California. Lead shot is used for trap & skeet shooting & small game shooting.
                      "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                      world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                      country, in easy stages."
                      ~ James Madison

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        GEP, yes I'm in Finland, we use lead at the range, steel is used mostly in hunting.

                        Juiceclone, we all have opinions, but regulations, test results and speaking to those who do the recycling say otherwise about the plastics recyclability.

                        Originally posted by greystone View Post
                        (Finnish).
                        Kuka ampuu 1/2 M vuosi ?
                        Meilla oli sissikerhossa vain noin 100 aktiivista jasenta (ehka 1000 kaikenkaikkaan), ja maarat oli paljon pienempia.
                        Muutin barcelonaan 99, joten siita on aikaa..
                        Great ideas, have to think about it a little if it is doable. As for your question: Kokkovuoren haulikkoampumakeskus tننllن Pirkkalan kupeessa, taitanee olla Suomen suurin ja siellن tuota tavaraa menee. P-HA:n omistuksessa ja jنseniن on koko kerhossa jo yli 1100. Jos satut joskus Suomessa olemaan, niin tuu poikkeaan
                        Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Think about the motion of a 5C Lever collet closer. You could use a normal 5C collet or make an emergency collet with a mandrel with rings cut in it like a hose barb only fine and closely spaced. It could be mounted vertical. The lever could be opened and closed by a cam action. This could be stationary and the part pulling the metal off could move in, grab the rim and move out. The metal pulling gripper then opens and drops that part. Then the collet opens, dropping the plastic part, ready for the next one. The shell feeding could be the same as for a high volume reloading press. It could all be done with cams.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You will have to sort the shells by size first and have a quick changeover feature so each size can be ran separately.Otherwise trying to build a machine that does all gauge casing will be a nightmare to design and build and most likely will be tough to operate without constant supervision.
                            There are systems designed to process contaminated plastic that are fairly simple.Shredding would be done wet,so dust isn't an issue.The shreds would have to be washed in water with strong detergents,then rinsed with hot water and finally spun through a centrifugal dryer.The contaminated water at some point would be pushed through a high pressure paper filter and the water either reused or evaporated leaving only a small amount of concentrate.The paper filter can be pressed dry and burned in an inert atmosphere to recover any metals present.

                            Shredding has one big advantage,it replaces one very complicated machine,with several simple ones.And one other benefit,if the odd live shell makes it through,the shredder's hopper takes the hit,instead of the complicated machine and the person running it
                            Last edited by wierdscience; 12-06-2015, 12:12 PM.
                            I just need one more tool,just one!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If as posted, the plastic is HDPE, contaminated and if there is little or no market for it in Finland or other EU countries, then shredding, washing, bailing the plastic is a waste of time and energy. Separate the metal, discard the rest. If the .410 shells occupy a very small percentage of the group, sift out and discard them. For recycling to work on any scale, it must turn a profit or at least not cost money to operate.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X