Anyone with even a little knowledge about recycling knows how central a role copper plays in the process. The metal has a tremendous recyclable life and expansive applications spanning from use in electronics, construction, and industrial uses.
If you are a scrap dealer, collector or even a hobbyist, knowing the types of copper scrap by their quality will go a long way to improving your trade. Copper recycling processes will depend on the grade of scrap. The same matter will also impact prices.
The higher the grade, the more it fetches. The following are three common grades of copper scrap:
Grade 1 Copper
This type of copper wire is the second most profitable one to trade. Grade 1 copper should include things like clippings, wire segments (a 16th of an inch diameter) and commutator segments.
The copper must also appear clean, be uncoated and unalloyed. Most grade 1 copper tubing shows no signs of corrosion, but they are acceptable with small amounts of oxidation.
Grade 2 Copper
Grade 2 copper comprises materials such as pipe, unalloyed wire or solid metal. It is likely to have a kind of coating and often appears dirty.
For copper materials to qualify as grade 2, they need a minimum content of 94%. The wire must also have a diameter of less than a 16th of an inch and be bare of insulation.
Bare Bright Copper
Any scrap dealer is happy to get bare bright copper; it is the most valuable and is the most expensive among the types. It is typically uncoated, exposed, and unalloyed. Copper piping usually is excluded from this classification. The samples must be presented without insulation if they will be acceptable.
This information should serve as a directive for the type of scrap you have. That way, you can approximate what to expect from your waste. As a pro tip, compare prices among different recycling companies to get the best out of your efforts.