When dealing with electric motors, knowing how to dispose of them is not necessarily common sense. Because many people do not know the proper technique, these electric motors end up in landfills where they take up space and negatively impact the environment. Therefore, electric motor recycling is essential.
What is an Electric Motor?Before elaborating on the recycling process, it is crucial to understand exactly what electric motors are. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. What’s more, they also generate mechanical energy through the interaction of its windings and magnetic field. Some devices that require an electric mower include:
- Industrial fans
- Disk drives
- Various machine tools
The Mechanics of Electric MotorsElectric motors contain valuable copper and aluminum components. The strong steel shell on the outside of these motors protect the fragile parts within. Copper within an electric motor is very valuable to the recycler; behind that is aluminum. Steel can be recycled, but it does not hold the same value as copper or aluminum. Consequently, wood and plastic on mowers is considered a contaminate which lowers the value. As a result, out of the millions of pounds of motors Interco recycles each year, our recyclers categorize these motors into three main categories:
- Small motor sizes range from slightly larger than the size of an apple to the size of a basketball. Smaller electric motors (i.e. small electronic transformers in radio-controlled cars) are less desirable because of their low copper and aluminum content.
- Large motor sizes range from slightly larger than a basketball to just under 2,000 pounds.
- Over-sized motors weigh over 2,000 pounds. These motors vary in demand due to their size and nonferrous metallic content.
The Components of Electric MotorsWhile an electric motor contains several components, the crucial elements that are responsible for its converting ability are:
- The shaft
- Copper windings
What Does the Process Entail?The process of electric motor recycling consists of:
- Collecting as many scrap electric motors as possible to increase the possibility of getting enough copper.
- Breaking the metallic cast of the motor with a hammer or hammering mill.
- Separating the components and grouping them according to their materials.
- Taking the separated components to their different recycling points and recycling them.
Common Household Items with Electric Motors Include:
- Hand Tools
- Air Conditioners
- Power Supplies
- Washing Machines
Common Industrial Items with Electric Motors Include:
- Manufacturing Equipment
Common Automotive Items with Electric Motors Include: