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Motor Windings

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  1. #1
    JnJunk started this thread.
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    Motor Windings

    So a while ago one of my buddies was hauling to the yard by me and he had brought some motor windings in. The guy at the scale said that the mill is buying windings as #3 now, huge price cut by me. Since then I've just been hoarding my windings. I haven't called around to any other yards yet, but I have a funny feeling that this is just specific to this yard.

    This was probably 8 or 9 months ago, but has anyone else ran into this situation by them?



  2. #2
    alloy2 is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    No such grade
    The art of survival is a story that never ends. American Hustle.

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    eesakiwi's Avatar
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    It might be another name for "Domestic" & my scrap buyer changed Microwave transformer coils to 'Domestic Copper' a few years ago.

    I wasn't happy about it & he said that "It's because of the extra varnish & paper on them".
    He was a new guy & I don't really like him much but I think that with the changeover of employee they used this as a chance to regrade & degrade their classifications.

    But if it's clean motor windings, like fridge compressors, without any joins on the wire or insulation, except for the varnish.
    Nah, To me that's still "Copper #2"

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  5. #4
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    Still #2 here. Sold a bunch over the last few weeks with no problems.

    I know FreonJoe has called it field wire b4, also a youtuber from maryland called his the same thing in one of his videos.
    Last edited by greytruck; 08-20-2020 at 03:11 PM. Reason: spellinkg's

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    No matter what they buy it as, I can say with absolute certainty they have the opportunity to sell it as #2 (maybe not if they have to sell it internally to a parent company that grades that way). So it's incompetency or avarice going on, neither related to actual copper recovery

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    I haven't had any problems selling as #2 so far.

    Just to be on the safe side ... i have started keeping the motor windings and plumbing copper in different buckets. That way everything is all on the up and up. If they've got a problem with buying as #2 they can tell me and we can work it from there.

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    yeah i took 16 pounds of motor windings in to day to the only yard i could bike to that was open,,,and they called it #3 too, still had the nylon cord and plastic insulators,and short pieces of wire still on it, got 1.80 a # for it,,$28.80,needed the money so its ok,, yard closer to me is 2.30 for #2 and 2.50 for #1 copper, but they ran out of money friday...sometimes you have to take what u can get ,when u have a bill to pay..how ever i will now be taking all the junk off my windings , just to make sure i can get #2 price..
    Last edited by madokie; 09-12-2020 at 11:07 PM.

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    I read last week something about China changing import grades of Copper & trying to move away from 'waste' & to prefer Ingots instead.
    This could have been a reason for the shift in how the metal seen in the eyes of the buyer.
    'Waste' in this case would be the varnish on the wire.

    I remember when, it was a couple of years ago now, the 'Burnt Copper wire' price went above the 'Domestic Copper' prices for a while, stayed the same or very close ever since.
    Looking back now, I think 'Burnt Copper wire' could be directly melted into known quality ingots, while 'Domestic Copper' would produce varying quality of ingots.
    China had cracked down on the imported scrapmetal with 'Rubbish' on it at the time, specifically the insulation on the wire.
    About then the yards dropped the price on Copper wires with plugs on them too. I guess so it went directly from 'Granulate to seperate - melt into Ingots - Export to China'.
    Granulation could be done in many smaller plants here while granulation with plugs on probably could only be done in or mill & they would buy it & process & sell to one buyer or Ingot it themselves, rather than contract out the process.

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    alloy2 is offline Metal Recycling Entrepreneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesakiwi View Post
    I read last week something about China changing import grades of Copper & trying to move away from 'waste' & to prefer Ingots instead.
    This could have been a reason for the shift in how the metal seen in the eyes of the buyer.
    'Waste' in this case would be the varnish on the wire.

    I remember when, it was a couple of years ago now, the 'Burnt Copper wire' price went above the 'Domestic Copper' prices for a while, stayed the same or very close ever since.
    Looking back now, I think 'Burnt Copper wire' could be directly melted into known quality ingots, while 'Domestic Copper' would produce varying quality of ingots.
    China had cracked down on the imported scrapmetal with 'Rubbish' on it at the time, specifically the insulation on the wire.
    About then the yards dropped the price on Copper wires with plugs on them too. I guess so it went directly from 'Granulate to seperate - melt into Ingots - Export to China'.
    Granulation could be done in many smaller plants here while granulation with plugs on probably could only be done in or mill & they would buy it & process & sell to one buyer or Ingot it themselves, rather than contract out the process.
    Shortly after starting my copper chop project was in contact with one of the bigger yards in the city, they informed me that they were not accepting copper chops.

    Have not contacted any other yards as i have other plans for the chops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alloy2 View Post
    Shortly after starting my copper chop project was in contact with one of the bigger yards in the city, they informed me that they were not accepting copper chops.

    Have not contacted any other yards as i have other plans for the chops.
    I think it may have more to do with being careful. Things like copper pipes and motor windings are well known quantities and easily identifiable in the scrap market. They are low risk. Copper chops are an exotic thing. They need a buyer that knows how to buy them. It would be the same for someone that brought ingots to a yard. Ingots could vary widely depending on the skill of the refiner. They're problematic you see.

    As regards China's position on buying windings .... the best indicator might be the specs they have set fourth in regard to buying recycled materials for their manufacturing base.

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  18. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    I think it may have more to do with being careful. Things like copper pipes and motor windings are well known quantities and easily identifiable in the scrap market. They are low risk. Copper chops are an exotic thing. They need a buyer that knows how to buy them. It would be the same for someone that brought ingots to a yard. Ingots could vary widely depending on the skill of the refiner. They're problematic you see.

    As regards China's position on buying windings .... the best indicator might be the specs they have set fourth in regard to buying recycled materials for their manufacturing base.
    A lot of yards aren't equipped to test wire chop purity. Any yard with a working granulator would be a good option, or a mill that buys small quantities if there is one around.

    China's standard for #2 copper is 1% contamination with an allowable variance to as low as 6%. Motor/transformer windings with paper/string and varnish still fall within the 1% contamination limit.

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