When you are looking to collect up your copper wire for the scrap yard, it is important to know how to determine the different types of copper wires before bringing it in.
Bare Bright Wire
The colour of the wire will be a faint orange/yellow and bright colour. The wire itself will have a shine to it without any oil or shellac on the outside.
#2 Copper Wire
The colour of the wires from electric motors can range from a darker burnt orange colour to reddish colour. When you see the wires next to bare bright copper wire you can see the difference.
Tin Coat Wire
Tin coat copper wire is going to be a lower price from Bare Bright Wire. It is coated in tin (silver in colour). This used in various types of cable to lower the percentage of copper for cost efficiency.
Insulated Copper Wire
This is a common type of copper wire you will normally find from electronics and appliances. Usually, it’s not worth to strip this wire for the copper inside due to the lack of recovery.
These wires are going to be the ribbon wire and also board wires from inside your computer towers. Typically scrap yards will buy these wires differently compared to the regular insulated wires because they have less copper.
Otherwise known as 10-14 gauge wire or spaghetti wire has solid copper inside. THHN is a name given that means Thermoplastic, High Heat, Nylon coated…and while that may not matter to you when scrapping, it is still a cool thing to be able to know!
Romex® wire a brand of housewire or non-metallic wire is electrical wiring commonly found in homes. Generally, you can make more money by stripping the wires to get to the copper. Housewire has two jackets covering the copper inside
Once you know the basics of types of copper, it will be easier to sort them. As you learn more, be sure to ask us here at Manville about how we sort and separate copper scrap, so you know how it’s purchased and recycled.