How to remove copper from electric motor?


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In the context of environmental preservation and efficient resource reusing, the increasing number of discarded motors from appliances like air conditioners, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and electric motors in all kinds of machinery and motors from scrap cars, etc, offers a promising opportunity for the copper recycling market.

However, a significant challenge remains: how to extract copper from scrap electric motors? 3T will provide you with a comprehensive and coherent explanation in an objective way, your solve your confusion.

Step 1 Choosing Your Dismantling Method

The first thing to do when removing copper from a scrap motor is to choose your dismantling method. 

Before explaining the exact working process, here is the answer on how to remove copper from scrap motors. Electric motor wreckers is undoubtedly your best choice. Why am I saying so? please continue reading to learn more.

Generally, motor dismantling can be accomplished in two ways: manual operation and electric motor wrecking machines dismantling, involving three steps: First, cutting off the motor shell; second, cutting the stator in half or from one end of the stator copper winding; Finally, pulling out the exposed copper windings. Now, you might wonder about the differences between the two approaches. The following will provide you with more details.

Manual dismantling:

Manual recycling is a traditional method in which workers need to use tools like wrenches, screwdrivers and wire cutters to dismantle electric motors manually. 

Pros & Cons:

Manual dismantling of discarded electric motors has a lower initial cost, allowing for flexible handling of special cases.

However, manual dismantling requires skilled workers to operate sharp tools, posing safety risks. The process is relatively slow, especially when dealing with a large number of motors resulting in wasting time and labor costs. Moreover, manual dismantling can lead to substantial copper losses and may have an impact on the environment.

Elctric Motor Wrecker

An electric motor wrecking machine is an automated equipment equipped with one or several hydraulic systems, high-quality blades, various-sized claws, and a high-power motor. It can effectively sever the motor stator and extract the copper windings.

Pros and Cons:

Automated motor recycling machines offer higher processing efficiency, time savings and reduced labor costs. They are indispensable tools for large-scale recycling and efficient processing. These machines use precise technologies and control systems, enabling accurate cutting and separation of electric motors different components, thereby reducing copper loss and increasing recovery yields.

And automated dismantling process reduces the risk of accidents, ensuring worker safety.
However, the initial investment in the electric motor breaker machine is a little higher than manual.
Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of both methods, it’s time to contemplate which one is the best fit for you.

Step 2 Analyzing Profits from Electric Motor Recycling Dismantling

Electric motors serve as vital components in various devices and machinery, with extensive application in different fields such as automobiles, household appliances and industrial machinery. With the continuous growth of the global economy and advancements in technology, the demand for electric motors is steadily rising, consequently, the supply of discarded electric motors is also increasing. This trend fuels the growing demand for removing copper from old electric motors.
Electric motors contain lots of copper, especially in stators, with different types of motors varying in their copper content. On average, small electric motors contain approximately 9-10 percent copper, making them a valuable source of metal. AC motors typically have 7-9 percent copper content, while DC motors boast an even higher 15-18 percent copper content. The abundance of copper in electric motors presents a golden opportunity for recycling businesses to extract and profit from this metal.
With copper prices remaining stable and showing an upward trend, the recycling of copper continues to offer sustainable and rewarding profits in the long run. And larger recycling scales and increased volumes of recovered electric motors lead to more even cost distribution, resulting in relatively lower unit costs.
In summary, investing in an electric motor wrecker is a lucrative opportunity for recycling more motor stators, this is absolutely your first choice.

Step 3 Choosing the Tool/Equipment You May Need

Referring to the preliminary analysis, here is a more detailed introduction to assist you in making a wise decision. If you are still inclined towards manual dismantling, we recommend purchasing a hammer or other handheld tools.

However, if you opt for the electric motor dismantling machine, you must have clearn about your raw material, according to different motors, you need to choose different machines, 10 different types of machines designed for various motors, catering to your specific requirements. Keep reading to explore further details:

1. Best for Ordinary Electric Motors Recycling

Commonly encountered in everyday life are ordinary motors, such as those found in machinery, water tanks, etc. When dealing with this category, a three-step process is followed: first, the motor casing is cut; second, the stator is halved; finally, the entire copper winding is extracted. When it comes to dismantling, this task is usually accomplished through either a single machine that combines stator cutting and wire pulling, or individual machines tailored for each specific step.

2. Best for Transformer Motors Recycling

A transformer is an electrical device that transfers energy between circuits. Transformer motors have a unique structure compared to regular motors, requiring specialized machinery for processing. Usually, the machine is integrated with stator cutting and wire pulling. Here’s the process: First, blade cut the stator in half. Next, a hydraulic claw automatically removes the copper windings from the stator.

3. Best for Car Alternator Motors Recycling

The automobile generator is crucial for modern cars as it supplies necessary electrical power for the vehicle, enhancing driving safety and comfort. Machines designed specifically for recycling car alternators are tailored to their distinct structure and traits.These car alternator recycling machines function by rotating the motor stator to completely separate one end of the copper winding. Then use the pulling part to push the cut out and extract all the copper windings.

4. Best for Electric Bike Rear Hub Motor Recycling

Electric bike rear wheel hub motor is connects the wheels to the electric tram’s body. Its main job is to give support and stability while sending power to the wheels, making the tram move forward. To remove copper from the rear wheel motor, need two machines: Electric bike rear hub motor cutting machine and Electric bike rear wheel hub motor pulling machine.

5. Best for Compressor Motors Recycling

A compressor is a component used to compress refrigerant or liquid, enabling electrical appliances to achieve cooling functionality. Waste compressors mainly come from used refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, water pumps, etc. Similar to normal motors, compressors contain a large number of valuable copper. However, recycling copper wires from these motors presents challenges.

The strong metal casing requires a specialized compressor cutting machine for processing. The unique motor design includes a specific stator diameter and structure, making professional dismantling necessary, cutting one end of the stator copper winding and using jaws to extract the copper winding.

6. Best for Automobile Starter Motors Recycling

In simpler, automobile starter has the crucial role of initiating the engine’s operation. Unlike regular motors, the car starter structure is more complicated. Remove copper from it need four machines, to efficiently recycle a car starter, pls check above link for more details.

7. Best for Ceiling Fan Motors Recycling

A ceiling fan motor is the core component of a ceiling fan that powers its rotation and controls the speed at which the fan blades spin. Ceiling fan motor recycling machine is a semi-automatic scrap copper recycling machine. Its working process is simple: Rotate the ceiling fan motor stator to ensure that it is completely divided in half. Once it’s cut, you can manually extract all the copper winding wires from the motor.

8. Best for Magnetic Switch Recycling

A magnetic switch is a specific type of switch that utilizes the magnetic attraction between magnets and metal conductors to manage electrical circuits. These magnetic switch motors have many copper. The operation of this machine is as follows: Fix the motor on the machine platform and then push the magnetic switch with the copper wire coil out of the case. Once the outer shell of the magnetic switch has been removed, carefully strip off the copper wire windings manually.

9. Best for Lager Quantity Motors Recycling

The motors mentioned above are smaller in size and can be handled by individual electric motor wrecker. However, there are big company for big quantity scrap motors, single machine is too slow, so you can choose electric motor recycling production line, This plant is capable of processing various types of waste motors. It consists of shredders, magnetic separation equipment, conveyor belts, dust removal systems, and electrical boxes, creating a comprehensive and integrated processing system, click link to check more.

10. Best for Hydraulic Pressing Machine

Most of motor shell made of case iron, so hyrualic press machine will be your best choice for breaking it. This machine is a multifunctional device that can efficiently remove motor casings and disassemble motor stators. Additionally, it can be utilized for briquetting and other functions. It is suitable for both copper and aluminum motors and can disassemble components such as engines, motors, and tires.

Step 4 Choosing a trustworthy brand 

If you have decided to purchase an electric motor breaking machine for removing copper from motors, then it’s essential to choose a reliable brand. In this regard, 3T stands out as the best choice for you
3T is a prominent Chinese supplier of motor stator dismantling machines, over more than 25 years of experience in the field.

We have innovatively designed more than 70 machines specifically for recycling various types of motors, make us as the most comprehensive global leader in the industry. What sets 3T apart from is our dedicated and professional full-service team. Our team comprises an experienced R&D department, a proficient production team, a meticulous testing team, an efficient transportation team, and a comprehensive customer service team. With nearly 100 highly skilled employees, most of whom have over a decade of work experience in our company.

Our company is excellent in areas such as R&D, engineering, and production. Furthermore, 3T holds numerous patent certificates. We have participated in various international exhibitions, and our products and technologies have received high praise from both recycling industry peers and customers worldwide.
Thus, when it comes to choosing a reliable and reputable partner, 3T stands out not only for our extensive experience and innovation but also for our dedication to providing professional products and services. 3T electric motor wrecker for sale, with continuous online service to meet all your requirements.

Step 5 Customizing a special machine

After choosing the brand, ensure that you know exactly which equipment you need. Begin by determining the type of motors you intend to recycle — whether they are ordinary or special, such as those with unusual lengths or compressors, transformers, etc. Measure the stator diameter, workload, and voltage you’ll be working with. Then, decide on the type of machine you require: a single motor stator cutting or wire pulling machine, an electric motor wrecker all-in-one machine, or a motor shredding production line.
Finally, consider what accessories you want to add, such as magnetic separation, a double-shaft shredder, or a hydraulic claw. Clarify your exact requirements before proceeding to obtain a customizable machine that perfectly suits your needs.

Step 6 Removing copper from Waste Motors

Customize your own machine, then you can remove copper from scrap motors efficiently. Pay attention that recycling different-sized motors by using various specialized machines is best.
For ordinary-size motors, a single recycling machine is enough, and the dismantling procedure typically involves three steps: Firstly, a hydraulic system with a flat blade is utilized to cut the motor shell, exposing the stator. Then, a hydraulic sharp blade is used to cut the stator from either one end of the copper winding or from the middle. Once the stator is cut, it is securely fixed on a pulling platform, and a hydraulic claw will extract all the copper windings.

For larger motors, such as those used in industrial applications, a production line recycling approach is adopted to ensure maximum efficiency.

First, crush the motors into a mixture. Then, utilize air separation system to separate the copper and nonmetal material based on their weight. Implement a magnetic selection system to separate steel from the mixture, use a vibration table for a third round of separation. Thus you will get pure copper granules. Throughout the entire process, a conveyor belt is used to save labor, a dust collection system is used to prevent pollution.


In conclusion, this article provides a comprehensive guide on how to extract copper from scrap motors. Although there are two ways for dismantling, after all the analysis before, it is evident that motor wreckers are the most perfect recycling solution for you, unless you are just dismantling one or two motors for fun. These machines offer dual advantages of saving time and being incredibly productive. We recommend you the pioneer manufacturer, 3T Equipments, to facilitate your recycling business. Should you have any inquiries or require additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to 3T.


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