Why Mill Scale?

What is Mill Scale

Mill Scale is a flaky material that is formed on the outer surface of new or re-heated steel or iron, the iron/steel cools and oxidizes. This useful material was once considered a troublesome waste or by-product.

Resourceful recycle-rs discovered the iron rich material had many useful purposes. In the early 2000’s China entered the global steel market, sourcing raw materials for steel making became a very competitive market. This material soon went from a waste stream to valuable, recyclable raw material.

When used in the sintering process and mixed with iron fines, iron ore or pellets becomes usable iron units. This of course raised the value of the material. However scale has many other industrial applications due to the high iron content and density which we will explain.

We are purchasing mill scale in volumes of 500 tons plus, if you have mill scale available please contact us and include a full elemental analysis with total Fe. Materials in the Midwest U.S. and Eastern USA are preferential.

MillScale.org Consulting & Sales

Saucon Resources is a National Supplier and Exporter of scales, furnace scraps, fines and other ferrous additives in bulk.

We have experience exporting mill scale as well. Please contact us if you are looking for new materials or possibly get a better quote.

We are also Mill Scale Buyers. Materials we currently purchase or have interest in: EAF Dust, Mill Scale, Furnace Scraps and most other Ferrous Materials.

Copper Slag for Sale, we are offering bulk copper slag for cement, industrial and construction uses.

Our company handles,stores and sells recycled by-products and we are sometimes asked to explain the materials we sell. I reference videos or shows that explain steel or iron manufacturing. When the video shows a red hot slab or plate of steel coming out of the steel mill’s furnace: Mill scale is basically the coating which almost instantly forms on the poured steel or newly cast surface. The scale appears flaky and can be seen easily on the red hot surface.

The materials are produced on the plates outer surface, profiles or sheets. Production starts by rolling the steel billets and hot iron in steel rolling mills or cooled and shipped to other end users.

The scale or oxides are like a hard brittle material which is mainly composed of mostly ferric, iron oxides and is generally bluish black in color. Also produced during hot rolling, conditioning and reheating operation for new steel production, initially the material adheres to the surface of the steel and also protects it from atmospheric corrosion. The scale is taken off by air blown or physical shaking, the material is then piled up, put into containers or hauled away to storage areas. This is where our company comes in.

Mill Scale
Quick Facts

Mill Scale Information

Historically, these materials are collected and sold to the cement plants for iron requirements(to increase it’s density). This byproduct is a very valuable metallurgical raw material as it contains about 65 to 70% iron. Due to its chemical, mineralogical and physical properties, the substance is also used for other high density materials as needed.

QUICK FACT: MILL SCALE DENSITY, Mill Scale has a Density of 160 lbs/cu ft, High quality Mill Scale is closer to 170 lbs/cu ft – Further Information is in the MSDS.

Although, this material is a waste stream, with the heavy depletion of many standard iron/steel scrap sources in the world many producers are now using scale to add ferrous (iron) units to pre-sintered materials. Composition does depend on the type of steel being produced.


Mill Scale Used as Iron Units

For the most part this byproduct contains a high amount of iron as well as low amount of alumina and silica, called residuals. Recycling it via the sintering process will add savings on other raw materials such as limestone and iron ore. Some of the desired sinter properties can be achieved by using 40 to 50 kg of recycled materials per sinter ton.

Let’s discuss material uses both general recycling uses and specific industrial applications.

As discussed Iron Oxide or scale refers to the substance that is formed due to oxidation of steel during operations like hot rolling, hot press, hot forming, heating/reheating, continuous casting, flame scarfing, conditioning, etc. Other than precious metals, all other metals are found in nature as oxides. The spontaneous corrosion of the surface of steel into ferrous oxide results in creation of scale. We will list material uses in industry today and the future.

Mill Scale was once discarded as an unavoidable waste product generated during the steel and iron manufacturing process, it is now possible to remove the scale by a combination of process such as pickling or gravity separation, this generates a useful material that has a multitude of industrial applications.

Here are some of the basic Mill Scale Uses:


This byproduct can be mixed with copper during hot rolling and forging processes to manufacture the negative electrode or plates in alkaline batteries.


Mill scale can be utilized as catalysts in chemical processes requiring iron oxides to produce acetic acid.

Cement clinker

Raw material buyers rely on efficiency which means that there is less reliance on virgin materials. Cement plants are using industrial waste streams and byproducts to save money and make better products.

Mill scale used in counterweights


Composite counterweights, which are commonly used in industrial manufacturing processes and machines, consist of a waste-product or by-product of an industrial process that is bound with material of uniform mass. These ferrous byproducts can be used in the manufacture of counterweights. The product so prepared is then used in the finished machine or equipment. The scale is being used in place of standard heavy concrete as counterweights in washing machines. The material is mixed with water and used as filling material. These counterweights are used in the manufacturing process of basic metals as well as for production of general machinery and transportation equipment. The result is a smaller counterweight which allows better use of space in design and development.

Heat Conservation

Use of mill scale for separation of volatile metals, iron, slag, and other impurities facilitates heat conservation and improves energy efficiency. Processing waste materials in an Electric Arc Furnace can help improve productivity and output and reduce wastage. Heat conservation helps avoid unnecessary wastage of resources when processing waste materials.

Generation of Exothermic Power

Combining waste products generated during the manufacturing process of heavy metals with scale will result in a low-density material that can injected into the furnace to create an exothermic reaction without excessive use of raw materials.

Iron Feedstock

This material is a waste product that is rich in iron making one of mill scale uses a FE additive. This material can be mixed with industrial waste and by products to create iron feedstock for the manufacturing process. Mill scale can be processed through leaching, roasting, and other processes.

Mill scale used in making ferro alloys


Refining ferro-alloys involves addition of oxidizing agents that will combine with the impurities and rise to the surface. Or, the slag will separate or get diffused as gas by products. Mill scale is a suitable agent removing impurities from alloys.

Mixed Fertilizers

Magnetic carrier additives can enhance the performance and efficacy of mixed fertilizers. Mill scale is used as the magnetizing synergist agent to provide additional nutrients to the crop. Mill scale is also used as a de-siliconization agent that is an integral part of the phosphate fertilizer production process. Mill scale can also be used in the manufacture of water-treatment chemicals that are used in agricultural, forestry, fishing, and scientific activities related to research and development.

Foundry Iron

Mill scale is used as a source of iron for manufacture of iron and steel from scrap materials. The submerged arc furnace produces very little slag, which facilitates use of mill scale as reducing agents to produce alloy metal with very little slag and impurities.

Friction Products

Auto brakes rely on friction to bring the vehicle to a halt. In products that use sponge iron as the principal material for generating friction, mill scale can be used to replace up to half of the sponge iron without compromising on efficacy or performance of the friction material. This makes mill scale a useful raw material for the manufacture of a wide range of equipment including industrial machines as well as consumer goods.

Colored Glass

Colored glass is made primarily by using slag contents that contain iron, manganese, and other metals that causes the glass to have the desired hue. Small amounts of mill scale can be used as a replacement for iron-based colorants during the glass manufacturing process.

Heavy Concrete

This type of concrete does not require additional thickeners and is manufactured by mixing cement, a heavy aggregate and water. Mill scale can be combined with feedstock and used as a part of the heavy aggregate material that differentiates this type of concrete from standard concrete.

mill scale used in the making or iron oxides and iron salts

Iron Oxides

Heating mill scale and iron oxide will result in production of iron oxide pigments of shades of red, brown, or black. Further addition of mill scale and heating the resulting mixture will result produce iron oxide black pigment. Leaching of mill scale at high temperatures in a high-pressure environment can lead to recovery of ferric oxide, which can then be used for various industrial applications and processes.

Melting Charge

Mill scale can be kept in containers that are then used as electric furnace melting charge controllers.

Mill scale used in mineral wool

Mineral wool

Mineral wool requires use of fluxing materials during its production process. Mill scale can be used as one such material.

Iron Oxide Paint

Shielding material consists of building material combined with a shielding component that makes it possible for the material to reflect or absorb electromagnetic radiation. Since ferrous materials can be used for shielding, dry mill scale can be used to manufacture materials that are capable of blocking electromagnetic radiation.


Refractory material is made by crushing dolomite and mixing it with a flux suspension liquid or paint. Mill scale can be used as flux material that is combined with the liquid binder and ultimate used to produce the refractory material.

Stone Production

Mill scale is an ideal raw material for manufacturing high-content stone with magnetite ore for use in high-grade food, medical, and military equipment. This stone has very little impurities and undergoes a stringent purification process.

Mill scale used in making some tool steels

Tool Steel

Removing carbon in specific parts of tool steel molds where free carbon may impair safety or strength can be done by introducing an oxidizing agent like scale. This material offers greater control over the overall content of free carbon along with the ability to vary carbon content in different parts of the metal product or article which is a very specific example of mill scale uses.

Water and Soil Treatment

Contaminated soil or ground water containing halogen compounds can be purified by use of iron-based purification particles. Mill scale is an effective purification material that can be introduced into the contamination-removal process. See our soil enhancement project: BioRoc.com

Road Construction

For building roads that offer greater adhesion between the tire and the surface, greater ability to withstand abrasive contact, and even conduction of surface heat, mill scale can be added to the building material as an additional component to enhance safety, quality, and durability of the surface of the road.

Sinter Material

Mill scale is a byproduct that can be used for sintering iron and zinc ore. The scale is mixed with a fuel and an agglomeration agent is used to create the mixture. The sinter bed is then heated to bring the process to its conclusion.

Slag Formers

For foaming slag to be truly effective, the foam must be created up to a certain height on top of the molten steel material. Introducing mill scale will ensure the foam is of the amount and volume that will ensure the molten steel is completely protected by the foaming slag.

Mill scale used in making welding electrodes

Welding Electrodes

Electric arc welding electrodes are made of an alkali meal oxide that is combined with metal compounds like oxides of iron, manganese, aluminum or silicon dioxide. Mill scale is an effective source of iron oxides for the manufacture of electrodes that are used in the welding process.

Heavy Weight Aggregates

Heavy concrete and mortar require fine aggregate particles with metal iron as its primary constituent one of the major mill scale uses. The heavy weight aggregate is manufactured by mixing materials like mill scale of specific diameters, pig iron particles, and granulated slags. Mill scale uses are multiple, this byproduct is versatile and can be used for coloring, binding, heat transfer, lubrication, viscosity adjustment, and as agents for binding or absorbing gases or liquids. If your company or organization requires mill scale or other Fe related materials please contact us. Saucon Resources has Multiple resources for supplying mill scale. If you are in an industry that is suited to mill scale use please contact us.

Recent Questions :


Is mill scale hazardous?

Mill scale is not generally hazardous. Oily mill scale is not immediately hazardous as well but long term exposure to oil can potentially be harmful. Standard precautions advised, gloves and eye protection.


How is mill scale moved?

Mill scale is non hazardous and generally transported in super sacks, shipping containers, truckloads or bulk on barges or ships. Transportation is a large factor in choosing mill scale supply options as it adds a considerable amount to the cost.


What are Mill Scale Prices?

Mill scale prices change with the scrap, ore and steel markets. Mill scale is generally sold under yearly bids or spot purchases. There are services that provide current mill scale pricing.


Mill scale composition?

Mill scale generally consists of 65% to 71% Fe , the remainder of the make up is other elements such as Mn,Cu,Si,Ca,Ni,Cr,Mg,Hf,Ho,Zn and several other trace elements. The composition greatly depends on the type of metal produced.


Mill scale density?

Mill Scale has a Density of 160 lbs/cu ft, Higher quality Mill Scale is closer to 170 lbs/cu ft


What is meant by mill scale?

Mill Scale is an Oxide that forms on Iron or Steel.


What does mill scale look like?

Scale can look like flat flakes to small flat particles, or “scales”. If you are looking at effected iron it will appear as flaky or scale like.


Does mill scale prevent rust?

Scale is basically rust or iron oxide. Mill Scale vs Rust As stated Scale is basically rust or iron oxide, but rust happens over time and exposure to the elements. Generally formed during the manufacturing of iron or steel. Scales are easier to remove as well because it forms in light flaky layers. Rust forms in corners, crevices and can cause deep pitting or damage to metals.


Current Materials Available:

As Mill Scale Suppliers, we can arrange and facilitate contracts for materials produced in the U.S. for volumes of 500 to 5000 net tons per month. Looking for Material Prices? Contact our Team for up to date quotes.


Material allotments available of 30,000 mt +/_ 10%. Mill Scale, Iron Ore Pellets, Fines.


Iron Fines produced in the U.S. FE content +70% , 3000 MT per month


Pig Iron Briquettes, 90% FE+ 500-5000 tons per month. Made to order, larger volumes available.

Cement Companies

We have several materials suited for your industry and in large volumes.

Mill Scale Consulting-Uses and Sales

Iron is used in soil additives and a basic mineral