Generally, the scrap is a term which is used for various recyclable materials which left from many products that have been consumped. Some of these products are widely used, such as cars or building blocks. It is also important to mention that the term “scrap” is mistakenly identified as a waste, which is far from true. One example that can prove that scrap isn’t waste is statistical fact that United States’ exported scrap worth more than 10 billion dollars (data from year 2007).
Now, when we briefly explained what the scrap is, and when we mentioned the most common mistake regarding the term “scarp”, it is time to talk about the scrap copper prices.
Copper itself is a ductile metal, which has some very important chemical characteristics. Although it is hard to talk about “more” or “less” important chemical characteristics of any element, we will make the exception of this rule and say that electrical conductivity is definitely one of the most important chemical characteristics of copper. Because of this characteristic, copper is widely used in electronic industry (e.g. trunk, generators, boilers, etc.).
When talking about the scrap value, it important to mention that copper and its alloys (bronze, brass) have been recycled for centuries. The reader familiar with the ancient Greek history is probably familiar with the Colossus of Rhodes (which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), that was often mentioned to have been made of copper. In the middle ages, the copper was used for weapons. Today, we are “surrounded” with copper within many of the electronic devices we use daily. So, the importance of the copper is enormous. The copper, as well as many other elements, is not present in nature in unlimited quantities.
This is where the scraping copper comes to its real importance. During the copper scraping, the maximum attention must be dedicated to keep the purity of copper. Since the copper is very often used for super fine enameled wires, it purity is extremely important to ensure that these wires have high conductivity. Since the enamel is very thin, they mustn’t have any surface flaws. For the power cables, the copper has thicker size, so the purity requirements are slightly less strict.
Scrap copper that is linked with some other materials, will take advantage of the contamination.
Let’s say some final words about the product value of the scrap copper. While considering what we said recently about the importance of copper purity, we can come up with some conclusions. If there are no other alloy compositions within the scrap, it is much easier to remelt the product which has high quality. Furthermore, if the scrap consists of some other alloys (meaning its purity isn’t good), there could be problems regarding adjusting the composition within the chosen specification limits.
We would like to conclude this article with a few words about environmental considerations regarding copper. Copper is the essential trace element and as such is necessary for normal life of most living organisms. It is very important then to take care about the recycling of copper whenever possible.