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What Can the Recycled Copper Be Used For?

Copper and copper alloys have been recycled for hundreds of years. Since the ancient times, man have learned that if newly mined copper ore was not available, copper objects could be melted and cast into new objects. During wartime, weapons were made from recycled decorative and household goods. After the war, they were turned back into non-war related products.

Today, the process of transforming unalloyed copper scrap into new copper products begins with purchasing copper scrap from a national network of scrap processors and brokers. They are classified and recycled for different purpose.

No.1 scrap is directly melted and in some case brought to higher purity while molten.Chemical analysis checks the purity level of the copper when the charge is fully melted, and the molten copper is deoxidized and cast into an immediate shape(cakes, ingots) for further processing.

No.2 scrap is usually electronically refined to attain the desired purity level. But the scrap material is perhaps fire refined somewhat, melted and cast into anodes. These anodes are the raw materials used in cathode production. Copper alloys are also recycled. Alloy recycling is usually accomplished by melting together batches of scrap of known composition, perhaps along with virgin material, carefully compounded so that the recycled material has the alloy composition desired.

For these recycled copper, the most important application is high conductivity wire. Ingot producers and large captive foundries is another big consumer of used copper/brass automotive radiators. The radiator to red brass transformation has been an economically driven and environmentally sound recycling of valuable materials.

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