Understanding Grades of Copper Scrap - Manor Scrap

22 June 2017
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Copper is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used metals in constructions, motors, industrial machinery and electronics. The ability to infinitely recycle copper makes it an excellent product for the trade where people can earn a living as a part-time or full-time collecting crap. Similar to many metals, copper comes in various grades which are priced differently by different metal dealers. Understanding the different categories available will go a long way in knowing the best price to sell or buy the commodity and help you in determining which type of copper you can focus on for better profits. Various features set apart the different grades of copper.

#2 copper
The grimy appearance of this grade of copper is used mainly to distinguish it from the rest of classes. For any copper to be classified #2, it should contain a minimum of 94-96% of copper content and wire must be thinner than a 16th an inch in diameter and bare of insulation. #2 copper should include different solid metal, pipe or unalloyed wire that continue to have paint, solder and other types of coating on its surface. Dealerships and oxidation of some tubing, wire and pipes accept the fitting and ends of #2, as long as there is minimal damage. This kind of copper grade is third in value.

#1 copper
#1 is the most profitable type of copper grade to do business with and make goo profits. The copper needs to be unalloyed, clean in appearance and uncoated. It should also compromise of clippings, bus bars, commutator segments and at least 1/16th of wire in inch diameter to be classified as #1.

Clean copper tubing which does not have insulation, solder, paint and other materials may qualify as #1. Trace amounts of oxidation and copper pipes and tubing which show trace corrosion and have their fittings removed are accepted as copper #1.

Bare bright copper
This grade of copper is used to identify uncoated, bare and unalloyed wire or cable which is not thinner than 16 gauge in thickness. Their thickness is that of #1 copper quality making them high-paying and most valuable grade around. The metal is also referred to as “bright and shiny copper,” which means that they need to be stripped of isolation and free from impurities, paint or signs of smears during inspection to classify them in this grade.

#2 insulated wire
This classification consists of an unalloyed wire with double and heavy plastic insulation, and they are thinner than 16 gauge. Standard telecommunication wiring, extension cords and electronics outlets fall under this category. With the insulation removed from the wire, it takes # copper wire appearance. Some degree of corrosion and coatings on the scrap are allowed in this class.

#1 insulated wire
This classification consists of copper cables or wires which are uncoated, clean, unalloyed and untinned. They should also be 16 gauge in thickness or larger and insulated with a piece of plastic with all ends cut off. There is no need for stripping, although the wire resembles the ‘bright and shiny’ copper grade.

This information will be essential in determining the kind of copper which you can deal with in your business and get an approximate profit for each grade by comparing with the current market price.

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