Removing copper from the electric motor rotor for recycling

Taking apart the electric motor rotor for recycling has the goal of dividing metals one from another. Dividing has an economic and ecological advantages. Economic because the price per peace is much higher on junkyards. Ecological because trash is thrown away less and these metals can be smelted again through the foundry.

The electric motor rotor is made out of copper and iron. The copper from the rotor is patent and coated with some material so that it remains hard and stable during the rotation, so the dividing into components is a little bit harder.

First step – dividing copper

It’s needed to cut the copper until the central pipe of the rotor. We are cutting to the side, where the collector is located, so that we can burn it and take out the wire. Remove the copper plates from the sides of the collector. We can cut with a saw, a thinner plate, or using a hand saw.

rotors in the fire
rotors in the fire

Second step – Burning

To divide the copper from the rotor it’s needed to burn it in a fire. The fire needs to be normal, not too strong so that the copper doesn’t melt.

Third step – Taking copper off the rotor

When the rotor has cooled off, start taking it out from the opposite side. It can happen that first few pieces are heavier to take out, but the rest should go fine, these are longer pieces.

Shorter wires are welded with copper plates on the rotor collector. It can happen that they divide by it’self without any problems, but it can also happen that they are harder to get out. In that case just pin them with a screwdriver.

Recycling material

Because we were using the burning method, they can sometimes give you problems on the junkyards for the ash. You will need to shake the copper so that the ash falls off.

In the electric motor rotor there is mostly iron, copper is just 10-20%.

removed copper wire
removed copper wire

Check out our other posts about recycling here

1 thought on “Removing copper from the electric motor rotor for recycling

  1. we are having business of recycling of electric motors and transformer,cables and we need good machine for cutting and sorting copper out of it,
    also want to know the judgement of copper percentage in different different motors.interested party may contact 9769955381 jayant b –saarthi metals recycling

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