due to recovery
Copper is not to be dispensed with
This non-ferrous metal is one of the most important raw materials of our time. In terms of electric conductivity, it is second only to silver (which is a lot more expensive). Copper is also an optimal heat conductor. Thanks to its properties, it is to be found nearly everywhere.
All power conductors, power cables and overhead lines are normally made of copper. The function of conductor tracks on circuit boards and to some extent also integrated computer circuits and control elements is based on copper. No electric machine is imaginable without copper. The windings of transformers as well as throttles and coils in motors are made of copper wire. And copper also plays an important role when components are to be connected: anode bodies, terminals, insulators or pressing sleeves made of copper ensure trouble-free electricity flow.
No future without copper
Copper has been used for 10,000 years, and the modern technology without this metal is unthinkable. Copper is driving the energy transition: a wind power station requires up to 8 tonnes of copper. About 100 kgs of copper are needed for an electric car, approximately twice as much as for a car with an internal combustion engine. The demand will further increase with the progress of electromobility.
Recycling rate of copper: approx. 45 %
In reality, copper is recycled almost in its entirety.
If one assumes the average useful life of copper to be 35 years, the rate will go up.
Real recycling rate of copper: approx. 80 %
Treatment without loss of quality
Copper does not lose its value, and a closed cycle pays off especially in this case. Recycled copper has the same properties as the primary material. Today, copper already has high recycling rates. Montanwerke Brixlegg AG annually processes approx. 160,000 tonnes of secondary materials containing copper and produces about 120,000 tonnes of purest copper from these materials (Source: www.montanwerke-brixlegg.com). The treatment process involves several stages to extract the copper content from the old scrap and to separate the copper from other materials. As the next step, it is melted and all chemical contaminations are removed electrolytically in a water bath. The desired result is oxygen-free copper with a purity of > 99.99%.