One of the most common forms of metal we buy and process at our scrap yards, located just a short drive from Purfleet in Dagenham and Romford, is copper. It’s infinitely recyclable, and as such is constantly being re-used for all sorts of purpose; on construction sites, in motors and computers, and by plumbers are just a few examples. This means clients visiting our scrap metal merchants often bring large quantities of copper, for which we pay generous prices. But not all copper is created equal, and if you have copper scrap for sale it’s worth understanding how it’s graded…
That’s the subject of this page. If you’re already familiar with copper grading, or have accidentally stumbled across this page while searching for scrap metal merchants covering the Purfleet area, or scrap yards located a short journey from your location, feel no obligation to continue reading. Instead, give our team a call on 01708 749 031 and we’ll book you in to have your scrap for sale graded and weighed.
#2 Copper – This grade is typically characterised by its dirty appearance, and often comes to our scrap metal merchants as unalloyed wire, copper pipe or solid metal still bearing solder, paint and other forms of coating. Its minimum copper content typically sits between 94% and 96%. If wire is to be graded at #2 it needs to be devoid of insulation and have a diameter less than a 16th of an inch. Selling #2 copper can be lucrative, especially at reputable scrap yards like ours near Purfleet, but it is still the 3rd most valuable grade.
#1 Copper – The second most valuable grade of copper (despite its somewhat confusing name), this should be clean, unalloyed and uncoated. It typically takes the form of clippings, commutator segments and bus bars, as well as wiring that’s over a 16th of an inch in diameter. Scrap metal merchants will also often provide this grade of clean copper tubing that’s free of solder, paint, insulation and fittings. Minor traces of oxidation are usually permitted, but major corrosion is not.
Bare Bright Copper – Bright and shiny in appearance, this is the most valuable form of copper and the one scrap yards pay the most for. If you have this form of scrap for sale and are living in the Purfleet area, we’d love to hear from you! But be warned there are a few stipulations: it must be bare, uncoated and unalloyed wire or cable that’s more than 16gauge in thickness. Any impurities, tarnishing, oxidation and even the most minor signs of corrosion will push the grad back down to #1 or #2.
#2 Insulated Wire – We also accept insulated wire, with #2 grade including heavy, double or plastic insulation. Purfleet residents visiting our scrap metal merchants may have scrap for sale in this format with telecommunications wiring, extensions cords and power cables.
#1 Insulated Wire – Scrap yards grade #1 insulated wire when its contents are bright and shiny, and the wire/cable is clean, unalloyed and free of any coating. It should be plastic insulated and of greater than 16guague diameter.