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Do It Yourself: How To De-Can Your Catalytic Converters

Do It Yourself: How To De-Can Your Catalytic Converters

It is first important to understand that quantity is KING. It is not worth de-canning your converters if you cannot collect a large quantity of loose catalyst. This blog will go over the tools necessary to de-can your catalytic converters to reach the loose catalyst weight requirement.

How To De-Can Your Catalytic Converters & Reach The Top Of The Market

The right safety equipment and tools are essential if you wish to De-Can your catalytic converters. This equipment ensures you maximize the collection of extracted precious  metals from your catalytic converters and are safe in the process.



First and foremost, you absolutely need safety equipment. When operating this machinery and working around the dust output the right equipment will keep you safe from injuries and inhaling toxic particulates. Start with protective clothing like heavy duty gloves, a long sleeve shirt, goggles and/face shield. We recommend wearing an air purifying system. These systems keep you cool by bringing in fresh clean air and keeping out any harmful dust particulates.

Proper Shear

Now that you have your safety equipment you will need the tools to start cutting your catalytic converters. We recommend using the guillotine shear rather than the commonly used alligator shear. This is for safety but also with this shear you can puncture the catalytic converter with its sharp point and use the head block to squeeze the converter to crush the catalyst, thus helping you extract the ceramic monolith within. It is important to note that you should remove the stainless steel mesh located within the converter shell. This mesh has a higher scrap value than the converter shell itself. The shell is a 409 ferritic grade and the stainless steel mesh is a 304 stainless grade. This can be separated and sold as scrap metal.  

How To Collect Your Catalyst

Now that you are familiar with what shear to use when de-canning your catalytic converters you need to know how to collect the material. To collect your catalyst properly we recommend using a super sack inside of a gaylord box. You can place this underneath the shear as you de-can. We advise you to refrain from just using a gaylord box without a super sack because your loose catalyst can easily leak or escape through the small openings of the box causing you to lose your highly precious material. We also advise you to not use a steel drum because they are difficult to clean and harder to close than a super sack.


One of the most important and often overlooked pieces of equipment that helps you maximize the collection of your material is a dust collection system/bag house. We suggest using a cartridge type system because they are easy to clean. With a dust collection system you protect yourself from the toxic particles floating around and you collect as much dust as possible since there is value in the dust. This system is most effective when there is a ventilation hose in the front and back of your shear at least 2500 CFMs and a cartridge that will filter down to at least 0.5 microns as you are de-canning.


Finally with all your equipment it is important to run proper maintenance to ensure your system is operating at maximum efficiency. Check the system prior to every session for any leaks, loose fittings, lack of hydraulic fluid and a dull blade.



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