Scrap, Industrial & Refined Copper: What Are The Differences?

Scrap, Industrial & Refined Copper: What Are The Differences?

One of the most sought-after scrap metals is copper, which is notoriously difficult to mine and this unique alloy can be found in many products. It is estimated that around 80% of all the copper ever mined is still in use today, while there is a huge demand for this naturally found metal in the world of recycling.

There are several forms of copper, which can be confusing for most people. Here is a breakdown of the terms, ‘scrap’, ‘industrial’ and ‘refined’ in relation to copper.

Scrap Copper

Copper piping is a classic example of scrap copper; old plumbing pipes and sections of some domestic appliances are made from copper. For the best prices, contact one of the Sydney copper scrap dealers, or find a dealer near you through Google search. You will be able to find one that will come to collect your scrap and pay you top dollar prices. Scrap copper can either be sorted or unsorted and you would get a better price if your scrap copper has already been sorted, with other materials removed. That said, the scrap metal dealer will accept unsorted copper for a slightly reduced price; the sorting is done by recycle plant workers.

Where To Find Copper

Copper is widely used in plumbing, as the malleability of the metal allows for bends and turns in hollow piping, plus copper does not corrode. It is also found in A/C units and old domestic appliances. Copper wiring can be found in all electronic devices and it is also used in the wiring of buildings for electricity. The high conductivity makes copper ideal for sending current.

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Industrial Copper

The term ‘industrial’ refers to copper that is used in an industrial process and a breakdown of that usage is as follows:

  • Electrical = 65%
  • Construction = 25%
  • Transportation = 7%
  • Other = 3%

As copper has such a high level of conductivity, it is mainly used for electrical wiring and if you have a lot of old electric cable, you should strip the outer plastic sleeve, as you will get a better price from the scrap metal dealer.

Refined Copper

As the term implies, this form of copper is refined and one of the methods used is solvent extraction, which was first discovered in the 1960s. This is the typical way to refine scrap copper. The use of emulsion liquid membranes intensifies the extraction process by reducing the amount of solvent need to complete the process. Electrolysis is also used to extract copper from ore, which is very efficient and widely used across many industries.

Copper recycling is a thriving sector, mainly due to the abundance of this conductive metal, which can be found in most appliances. If you have some old copper that you would like to sell, search online for a recognised copper recycling specialist and they will pay you the going per kg rate. If you are able to sort the scrap into various metals, this will ensure you get the best price. The scrap metal dealer has all the necessary resources to collect and recycle all metals.