Scrapping Aluminum Wire & Why It Can Pay Off

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 used in replacement of copper wire in many instances to be 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.

If you come across insulated aluminum wire when scrapping, it is a good idea to strip it down to make some more money with it. Usually if you take the time to strip it you can make upwards to $0.30 more per pound with the clean aluminum wire you get from it. Just like we mention when stripping copper wire, use the right technique that works for you and is easy. Be sure to use all of the proper safety equipment and tools.



insulated aluminum wireWhen Should you Strip Scrap Aluminum Wire?

We suggest waiting for about 50 pounds or more of wire before you take the time to strip it. Anything less will take time that won’t pay off at the scale because of the weight you will be removing from it when you strip the insulation off. Also there are some things and characteristics to keep in mind when you have aluminum wire.

What Does Aluminum Wire Look Like?

Aluminum wire is usually going to be shiny and easily pliable compare to the 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.

Is This Steel or Aluminum Wire Scrap?

Did We Miss Something?

You have some helpful information or tips that we didn’t talk about? Comment below and be sure to check out the iScrap Metal Forums for great information from fellow scrappers.


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