(Image 1: STEINERT LSS with LIBS technology sorts aluminium by alloy type at AMAG Austria Metall AG.)

As always, purity is the primary objective when it comes to recovering secondary raw materials. Exporting materials of low-value and quality is a thing of the past. Today, achieving the very highest purity levels is essential. STEINERT has set further milestones in the sorting of aluminium scrap by introducing the first LIBS sorting plant in Europe, bridging crucial gaps for its customer, and enabling even more secondary scrap to be returned to resource cycles.

X-ray transmission (also known as “XRT”) separates heavy metals from light metals

Returning aluminium to recycling circuits requires pure fractions which processors can only manufacture on a step-by-step basis. The recycling process initially involves the separation of ferrous and non-ferrous metals – both of which are possible with STEINERT’s magnetic separation technology.

(Image 2: STEINERT XSS® T EVO 5.0: Olivo Foglieni, Chair of the FECS holding, to which Stemin belongs, is once again turning to STEINERT XRT sorting technology.)

In the following process step, key technology comes into play: X-ray transmission separates heavy metals from light metals. This produces clean, defined aluminium mixtures. The STEINERT XSS T EVO 5.0 is at the forefront of technology, world-wide. As confirmed by Stemin S.p.A., the Italian aluminium recycling specialist that has relied on STEINERT’s sorting machines for many years: “We have opted to buy from Steinert because of its ongoing research and development in the field of metal recycling, the fact that the quality that its machines achieve, when sorting, is improving all the time and because its ever-more efficient sorting machines help us to produce the quality levels we need. This was absolutely the right decision for us,” said Olivo Foglieni, chair of the holding company FECS to which Stemin belongs.

(Image 3: Clean wrought aluminium: coarse fraction from STEINERT XSS® T EVO 5.0)

STEINERT LSS | LIBS sorting system separates aluminium by alloy

This sorting machine for aluminium recyclers, which processes pre-sorted aluminium by alloy type, has been in operation at AMAG Austria Metall AG since 2018, and will be implemented by other companies in 2022.

The STEINERT LSS (Line Sorting System) enables the customer to separate multiple alloys in just one detection run by the LIBS sensor. LIBS – short for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy – is a technology used for elemental analysis. By default, the calibration methods stored in the measuring device analyse the concentrations of the alloy elements Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Si, Zn and Cr. The sorting of alloys involves first separating the shredded material mixture in such a way that the material is fed past the laser, so that the laser pulses hit the surface of the material. This causes tiny particles of material to evaporate. The emitted energy spectrum is recorded and analysed simultaneously to detect the alloy itself and the individual alloy components of each individual object. Up to seven different materials are detected in the first part of the machine. Compressed air nozzles then shoot these materials into different bunkers in the second part of the machine, depending on their elemental composition.

If you would like more information on this topic, visit us at Stand 6F01, Hall 6, at the Aluminium 2022 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 27th to 29th September 2022.


STEINERT can look back on a 130-year history: founded in 1889 in Cologne, this family-run business is one of the world’s leading companies in magnetic separation and sensor sorting. With 400 employees, STEINERT generates an annual turnover of around EUR 100 million. In addition to 50 sales partnerships and joint ventures around the globe, the company also has subsidiaries in Germany, Australia, the USA, and Brazil.