Cars are pretty much like everything else when it comes to recycling. Once they’ve reached the end of their usable life, they’re pulverized and processed so that the materials they’re made of can be reused. The only thing is, recycling a car isn’t quite as simple as recycling a bunch of cardboard boxes. To get the job done, you need a shredder that’s powerful enough to chew through big chunks of metal.
Enter: the VB 950 “Red Giant” industrial shredder from German outfit Hammel Recyclingtecnik. This beast is designed to much up metal quicker than Kobayashi wolfs down a plate full of hotdogs — including the incredibly dense parts of cars, such as the engine block and transmission. Just check out the video below.
Pretty crazy, right? I mean, engine blocks are quite literally designed to keep small explosions contained, so even the crappiest ones are fairly stout — yet this thing crunches them into bits like its no big deal.
So how does it do this? Well for starters, the Red Giant is powered by a monstrous 710-horsepower CAT C18 diesel motor, capable of generating a whopping 324,527 foot-pounds of torque. This motor spins two intertwining shredding shafts outfitted with special teeth that draw materials deeper into the machine, where they’re shattered into smaller pieces for easy recycling.
Contrary to what you might think, the teeth on this beast aren’t made from some sort of ultra-tough superalloy. It’s actually quite the opposite. The teeth or “hammers” of most industrial shredders are typically made from softer metal alloys (at least on the inside) so that they deform slightly when they’re put under lots of stress, instead of cracking and breaking like a harder, more brittle metal would.
Over time, the teeth get worn down and must be replaced — but when they’re in their prime, they can rip through just about anything.