Simple Ways to Melt Copper Scrap

By Robert Paxton ; Updated April 12, 2017
The copper in pipes and wiring can be melted and sold.

Copper prices are soaring,. That has people on the prowl for scrap copper to sell. Scrap copper is found in the walls of abandoned buildings and used appliances. To melt the scrap for sale, you need some industrial resources, some technological know-how and an understanding of safety measures. Safety is important: copper won't melt until it reaches 1,084 degrees Celsius (1,983 degrees Fahrenheit).

Preparation

Before trying any of these copper-melting methods, prepare the copper and prepare yourself. The copper should be clean and free of debris, as well as any attached metals or materials that might have different melting points or be dangerous to burn. No matter how you choose to melt copper scrap, always wear gloves and goggles. If you use the stove top or blowtorch method, a mask of some sort would be a good idea, as the copper may "pop" while melting and splatter you with molten metal.

Metal-Melting Furnace

In addition to a metal-melting furnace, you will need a crucible in which to place the copper scrap. After placing the crucible in the furnace, turn the temperature up to or beyond 1,084 degrees Celsius. In minutes, you will see the copper begin to melt. This method enables you to melt larger amounts of copper scrap than is possible with other methods, given the same period of time.

Stove-Top Method

Your stove can actually be used to melt copper scraps. Place the scraps in an iron pan and cover it. Turn the stove top temperature to high and remove the cover to check on your progress every few minutes. Reserve the iron pan for this specific purpose and do not mix it with your normal cooking utensils. Do not try this with a copper pan since it will obviously melt at this high temperature.

Blow Torch Method

You can also use a blow torch to melt the copper scrap. With this method, you will need to place the copper on a brick that can withstand the high heat. Refractory bricks are best for this. However, you will only be able to melt a small amount of copper scrap at at time and you will have to pay for the blow-torch fuel. This good method to use to get accustomed to working with copper at high temperatures.

Warning

Do not melt pennies. It is against the law to destroy legal tender.

About the Author

Robert Paxton has been writing professionally since 2002 when he published his first novel. He has also published short stories and poems and writes ad copy for various websites. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in creative writing. Paxton is a trained Montessori instructor who has taught at both the elementary and the secondary levels.