If you have insulated aluminum wire or bare aluminum wire, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you receive the best price at your scrap yard. Insulated aluminum wire is often used to replace copper wire in many instances as a cheaper and easier solution. While it is not quite as good a conductor as copper, aluminum wire can be lighter in weight and should also be considered a valuable metal when scrapping.
Suggested Reading: Best Handheld Wire Strippers
Usually, if you take the time to strip it, you can make upwards of $0.30 more per pound with the clean aluminum wire you get from it. Just like we mentioned when stripping copper wire, use the correct technique that works for you and is easy to repeat. Be sure to use all of the proper safety equipment and tools.
We suggest waiting for about 50 pounds or more of wire before you take the time to strip it. Anything less will take time and won’t pay off at the scale because of the weight you will be removed from it when you strip the insulation off. Also, some things and characteristics to remember when you have aluminum wire.
What Does Aluminum Wire Look Like?
Aluminum wire is usually going to be shiny and easily pliable compared to dull and stronger steel wire. Some aluminum wires may have a steel rod running through the middle of the strands of aluminum. This is usually for tension wires so that they can have extra strength. So, if you have aluminum wire, check it with a magnet. If it sticks, there is a chance of a steel wire running through the middle, or the whole thing can be steel. Take the wires apart (like we show below) and check them with the magnet to be sure. If you do, in fact, have steel wire running through the middle, you can take the time to separate it from the aluminum.
Did We Miss Something?
Do you have some helpful information or tips we didn’t discuss? Comment below and check out the iScrap Scrap Metal Facebook Group for great information from fellow scrappers.