Transformers have been around since the 1880s, and companies have continually used them for years. Transformers have a normal life expectancy between 30 to 50 years. Depending on when transformers were installed, they may be reaching the end of their lives. Companies will need to find a way to get rid of their scrap transformers. In fact, the best way is to recycle copper transformers.
A transformer is an electrical device consisting of two or more coils of wire used to transfer electrical energy by means of a changing magnetic field.
Companies should work with a certified recycling center to recycle copper transformers. A good place to start your search may be the ISRI website. The ISRI is the voice of the recycling industry promoting safe, economically sustainable, and environmentally responsible recycling. They do this through networking, advocacy, and education. They offer a searchable directory to help find a recycler near you.
Interco has been a member since 1996.
Why Is It Important to Recycle Copper Transformers?
It is important to recycle copper transformers because they contain toxic materials. When a transformer is running, it generates heat. If the coils are not protected, then they will melt. This can become extremely toxic because the coil is commonly made of copper. So, manufacturers use polychlorinated biphenyls. This is a manmade chemical that is an oily liquid. This chemical is resistant to extreme temperature and pressure, which makes it the perfect chemical to protect the coils.
If this chemical were to leak in a landfill, it would negatively affect the environment and the people living in the surrounding area. It could potentially leak into our water supply and cause extreme health problems. That is why the best way for companies to get rid of their transformers is to recycle them.
The Process to Recycle Copper Transformers
First, you need to know the basic components of a transformer:
- Laminated core
- Insulated materials
- Transformer oil (polychlorinated biphenyls)
- Tap charge
- Cooling tubes
- Buchholz relay
- Explosion vent
The process to recycle copper transformers should be performed safely using the following steps:
- First, they remove the transformer from the device.
- After it arrives at a facility, they test the equipment and oils for PCBs.
- Then they process the oil and clean it to reuse.
- They then disassemble the transformer and decide whether the parts will be disposed of or reused.
- Then, they chop the coils, so they will be easy to melt and recycle.
- They then recycle the tank as a whole.
Since scrap transformers contain toxic materials, it is important that the process is done in a controlled environment. Companies should work with a certified recycling center, like Interco, so they know that the recycler is using the best recycling practices out there.
Interco is a global recycling company providing metals, computers and electronics recycling services to industrial, dealer, and government organizations throughout the western hemisphere. The facility has a 145,000 sqft. processing plant committed to the processing of computers, electronics, and batteries with the remainder of the indoor facility used for the processing of nonferrous industrial metals.
The facility has five buildings — approximately 400,000 square feet total — on more than 35 acres. The company facility has more than 20 inbound and outbound docks for receiving and shipping nonferrous scrap material as well as a railroad rail spur to load rail cars.
The company is within proximity to four major interstates (I-44, I-55, I-64, and I-70) while centrally located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri in Madison, Illinois. The company offers a convenient delivery location as the facility is near four major interstates (I-44, I-55, I-64, and I-70) that intersect all of the Midwest and Central USA.
Established in 1996, Interco has grown to prominence as one of the most reputable recyclers of nonferrous scrap in the United States. The company is experiencing significant market position growth due to a number of factors that suggest steady acceleration for years to come.
Overall, companies will eventually need to get rid of their scrap transformers. In fact, the best option is to recycle copper transformers. In fact, recycling transformers with a recycling center, like Interco, will guarantee that the toxic materials inside will not leak in landfills. Interco purchases scrap anywhere in North America for recycling. The company continues to lead the way in terms of innovative industrial recycling solutions. The company offers delivery, pickup, full truckload, and LTL services. To learn more, click here.
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