One of the postcards left by the tragedy that occurred this weekend in the Valparaíso region are the thousands of cars burned by the forest fires that gave no respite. Therefore, we wonder what happens to the remains of the bodywork and, of course, whether or not they are covered by insurance.
What appeared to be a calm and warm Friday, February 2 in the Valparaiso region, It became hell when a fire that started near Casablanca advanced until it reached the town of Vina del Mar where it ended up causing the deadliest forest tragedy in our country’s memory.
One of the most difficult postcards to understand the scale of the disaster in Viña del Mar and its surroundings were the aerial shots which showed not only the damage in the forest areas, but also in the urban areas, with remains of burned-out homes and cars where bustling neighborhoods once existed . And there were so many people who, desperate to escape, caused traffic collapses, who ultimately chose to abandon their vehicles, which were then hit by the fire.
This is why in this article we will try to guide you on What is the process to give a second life to the steel present in these bodies? , which involves a series of important steps to prevent this waste from ending up in an illegal dump. However, before we get into the recycling process itself, It is crucial to resolve certain administrative and legal aspects, especially if the vehicle had credit or insurance in force at the time of the accident.
So first of all, it is important to know if it is covered by insurance. On this subject, If the car is insured, the insurance company should be contacted to determine if the policy covers the specific fire. . Be careful, as each policy offers specific coverage. It is therefore essential to clearly state what the insurance covers and what it does not cover.
If it is covered, The insurance company may be able to take care of part or all of the process associated with auto body recycling. since the owner and the insurer agree to cancel the insured vehicle. Here you can also negotiate that the insurer does not remove the bodywork from the scene of the incident. to be included in a collective retirement program with the rest of the vehicles concerned.
In case the car has a pledge resulting from a loan, you must manage its release with the corresponding financial institution . This implies that the vehicle owner must negotiate with the financial institution to obtain the necessary authorization to proceed with the recycling of the bodywork.
Actually, This is the main reason why many of these vehicles cannot be recycled immediately. because if there is no insurance involved and no state of disaster has been declared in the fire zone, The owner concerned will generally have to continue to pay the remaining installments, without the possibility of negotiation.
What is recycling?
Once the legal and administrative aspects have been resolved, you can proceed with the process of recycling the body of the burned car.
Comments from Felipe López Díaz, mechanical civil engineer that “fire significantly affects the mechanical and chemical properties of the steel present in the bodywork. The heat of the fire accelerates the oxidation of the metal, resulting in the loss of its structural properties.
After the fire, the metal continues to gradually oxidize simply on contact with ambient oxygen. However, it is still possible to recover and recycle the metal through the smelting process. During smelting, contaminating compounds, such as rust and sulfates, are removed from the steelmaking furnace in the form of slag.
The result of this process is cast iron, made from recycled steel and other materials. About 70% of the steel initially used in car bodies can be reused after smelting, while the rest is transformed into slag.
It is therefore possible to ensure that some of the results of tragedies such as the recent fires in the 5th region do not end up in a landfill, increasing environmental damage, but rather it is possible that they have a second life for restart. .