Scrap copper can be reprocessed in many different new forms. As such, it is one of the most commonly recycled forms of scrap metal around the world. Copper has very good resistance to corrosion, so when it is separated from other material in the form of scrap, it is usually almost ready to be used again without any significant loss of quality. Copper only comes after aluminium and iron in terms of how much of it is recycled from scrap each year worldwide. Once scrap copper has been sent to a reprocessing centre, what is it likely to be turned into? 

1. New Cables

Because it is a great conductor of electricity, copper is very often found in power transmission wiring. This means that it can be used in anything from domestic electrical wiring to the power cables found in major appliances. It is also the principal metal that is used inside structured cabling wires, such as Ethernet cables, for example. Because copper also has a reasonable level of tensile strength, it is also used for telephone cables which are suspended from telegraph poles all over the country. 

2. New Components

As well as being used to convey electrical power and signals, scrap copper is also often used in electrical products. For example, because it has a great heat dissipation quality, you will often find recycled copper been turned into new heat sinks within computing equipment or as heat exchangers. Indeed, several components of microwave ovens use copper and the majority of manufacturers source what they need for their products from scrap. A high proportion of the world's electromagnets are also manufactured from recycled copper. 

3. New Antimicrobial Products

Copper has long been known to have several antimicrobial properties. This means that it is extremely useful in food preparation areas and other places where you do not want bacteria to be present, such as medical laboratories. When copper is turned into new products that require an antimicrobial quality, it tends to be used as an alloy. However common copper piping for drinking water is usually made from 100% copper, much of it recycled. 

4. New Building Products

Since copper is a lightweight and attractive-looking material, it is often favoured by architects. It can be used to make guttering, downpipes flashing and window frames, for example. Indeed, because it is a good alternative to lead, it is often also used for roofing applications and for making seals around chimney breasts. In some cases, architects will even specify recycled copper as their preferred material for cladding a wall or two within their building design. 

For more information, contact your local scrap metal professionals.