Cable scrap processing

Today, copper ores mostly contain a copper content of 0.6 - 1 %, i.e. 100 tons of rock have to be melted for one ton of pure copper. It is therefore only natural that the CO2 footprint and the energy balance of copper can be massively improved with the reuse of recycled copper. Due to the enormous amounts of copper that are bound in cables, cable scrap is an essential raw material.

Convince yourself of the greater added value for your cable scrap processing by using IFE solutions - from the control screening to the final removal of magnetizable material from the non-ferrous concentrate!

1. Feed material

Feed material

Cable scrap 0 - 4 mm: The cables are cut up beforehand by the customer using shears. They are then granulated and transported into the mill for post-cutting.

2. Control screening

IFE Aufbereitungstechnik GmbH recommends a control screening as this breaks up the lumps, separates clumps of plastic prior to further processing and ensures that there is no negative impact on the purity of the non-ferrous fraction in the subsequent eddy current separation process.

3. Magnetic separation

Magnetizable fraction

The feed material is separated by means of an IFE permanent magnet drum – with alternating polarity around the perimeter – in order to separate the ferro-magnetic particles and to protect downstream units.

4. Eddy current separation

The cable scrap is processed with IFE's eddy current separator INP ENOS with a special eddy current bar. The manually adjustable "three product splitter system" produces a weakly magnetizable fraction (stainless steel separation), a residual fraction (plastics), and a non-ferrous fraction.

Weakly magnetizable fraction
Residual fraction
Non-ferrous fraction

5. & 6. Density separation

Heavy fraction

The non-ferrous fraction from the eddy current separator is further processed with the IFE-SORT fine sorting system. The resulting heavy material has a copper content of ≥ 99 %.

The residual fraction from the eddy current separator is also further processed with the IFE-SORT fine sorting system. The special perforated deck installed in the system produces three fractions which enables the remaining non-ferrous metals to be recovered: Heavy material (bulk weight approx. 3,0 t/m³), undersized particles from the perforated deck (primarily copper strands, Cu content ≥ 98 %) and light material (plastics).

Heavy fraction
Light fraction

7. Brass separation

The IFE high-intensity roll separator is used for the final fine separation of particles with weakly magnetic properties. This strong-field magnetic separation removes the remaining magnetizable material (brass) from the non-ferrous concentrate (approx. 95 % Cu content).

Non-magnetizable fraction
Magnetizable fraction

All kinds of copper waste (from dust to granules) can be reused in the smelter. Any impurities (e.g. tinned strands, brass or lead) are given off into the slag or dust in the melting furnace. Particularly pure copper granules (min. 1 mm thick) are sold as Milberry (amer. ISRI) or Kabul (ger. VDM) directly to copper foundries and therefore do not require a smelting plant as an intermediate step.


IFE solutions are used to separate:

  • plastic insulation (as granules and dust), rubber and paper
  • lead (e.g. for underground cables)
  • alu (mixed cables)
  • brass (plugs)
  • stainless steel (plugs, shield cables)

Contact & Info

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Please contact our product experts.

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