Everything You Need to Know About Types of Copper Scrap

Types of Copper Scrap

Copper scrap refers to copper materials that are recycled or repurposed after being discarded or no longer in use. The value of copper scrap lies in its ability to be recycled and reused, reducing the need for mining new copper ores. Different types of copper scrap exist, categorized based on their composition, purity, and form. Here are some common types of copper scrap:

1. Bare Bright Copper

Bare Bright Copper, also known as #1 Copper, is the highest grade of copper scrap with the highest purity. It consists of uncoated, unalloyed, and untinned copper wire or bus bars that are clean and free from any impurities or attachments. Bare Bright Copper is highly valued in recycling due to its high copper content, making it suitable for direct use in manufacturing new copper products.

2. #1 Copper

#1 Copper is a category that includes clean copper tubing, pipes, wire, and other solid copper forms. It may have slight impurities such as solder or paint, but it should be mostly free of contamination. #1 Copper is still highly desirable in recycling due to its high copper content and can be used to produce new copper-based products.

3. #2 Copper

#2 Copper is a lower grade of copper scrap that may contain a higher level of impurities and attachments compared to #1 Copper. It typically includes copper tubing, pipes, and wire with various levels of contamination, such as solder, paint, or insulation. While #2 Copper has a lower value compared to higher-grade copper scrap, it is still recyclable and can be processed to recover usable copper.

4. Copper Wire and Cable

Copper wire and cable scrap refer to various types of copper wires, cables, and harnesses that are no longer in use or have been replaced. This category includes insulated copper wire, such as electrical wiring with plastic or rubber insulation, as well as coaxial cables and data cables. Copper wire and cable scrap can be processed to separate the copper from the insulation for recycling.

5. Copper Radiators

Copper radiators are found in various applications, such as automotive radiators, air conditioning units, and heat exchangers. They contain copper tubing with aluminum or other metal fins. Copper radiators can be recycled by separating the copper from the other materials, allowing the copper to be reused.

6. Mixed Copper

Mixed Copper refers to a combination of various copper scrap materials, including different grades, forms, and levels of contamination. It may include a mixture of copper wire, tubing, sheet metal, and other copper-based materials. Mixed Copper is typically sorted and processed to separate the different copper components for recycling.

These are some common types of copper scrap that can be recycled and repurposed to reduce the demand for new copper production. It’s important to properly sort and prepare copper scrap before recycling to ensure efficient processing and maximize the value of the recovered copper.