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Copper Cable Scrap Metal

scrap metal recycling heavy steel

Copper Cable Scrap Recycling

Copper Cables Scrap. Copper cables are used primarily as conductors or carriers of electrical current either for power or communication. The usage has increased over the years especially since the surge in public perception of electricity as a green option over coal or fossil fuels.

Copper has the highest electrical conductivity rating of all non-precious metals. Electrical conductivity is a measure of how well a material transports an electric charge. Aluminum for example only has 61% of the conductivity of copper. Copper is the second most conductive material in the world after silver and due to its excellent physical properties copper wire is used in almost every electrical application.

The inherent strength, hardness, and flexibility of copper wire makes it very easy to work with. Even though it has some flexibility, it doesn’t lose any toughness. It is not brittle when you bend it, so it will not crack or break and since copper melts at 1981.4ºF /1083.0ºC it takes a lot of current to melt a copper wire. In terms of safety, copper is going to be one of your best options. If an overload or surge comes through the wire, it is not likely to melt or burn.

Copper wire more often than not has some sort of coating. The type of coating depends on where the copper wire will be used. Enameled Wire or (magnet wire) is a wire coated with a thin layer of varnish. Enameled copper wire is used for the construction of transformers, motors, inductors, electromagnets.

Tinned Wire is a copper wire that has had a thin layer of tin applied to the outer surface of the material. Tinning the wire strengthens the coppers natural properties making it more resistant to high temperatures, humid and wet conditions. Tinned copper wire is very easy to solder making it useful for connecting components and internal contacts.

Copper wire is a single solid conductor. The size of the wire can be quoted in three different ways. By the size of the strand, the outer diameter or by its gauge.

Strand Sizing will be typically shown like 1/0.2 mm 1/ 0.5 mm 1/0.63 mm. The first number before the slash will denote the number of conductors, in this case 1 single solid conductor. The second number after the slash refers to the OD of the solid conductor.

The percentage of the copper content of the wire dictates the value as a scrap item. The higher the percentage the greater the value. Copper is currently at an extremely high price level due to compromised supply thanks to covid 19 and high demand due to global increased standard of living.

Insulation of copper cable may be pvc, steel armored, lead armored, or all three. PVC covered cable is the most common but whenever a copper cable carries a high voltage, it will generally be armored with a steel sheath for safety’s sake. Additionally, when a cable is submerged in water it will most likely be lead armored as well as coated in a water resistant gel.

Copper insulated wire may be processed in a couple of different ways. Many years ago, it was common practice to burn the pvc off the wire. This proved to be dangerous to the environment and this practice is now illegal in many developed nations. It is now common to strip the pvc from the copper using either knives or cable stripping machinery. The most effective method using the latest technology involves granulating the copper cable which essentially cuts the copper into tiny specks and separates the copper from the pvc using shaking conveyors and wind sifters.

Top Dollar annually recycles more than 300 tonnes of copper cables and has ongoing commitments to both local and international foundries.