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recycling broken AC motors? Answered

I love demolishing things for parts. Often a broken AC motor is left over. Usually it contains a decent amount of copper. But the copper is mostly deeply embedded in iron (a core or a ring around it made out of stacked steel plate).

Since it has been put inside the iron there must be a method to take it out. Copper prices are very high. If it can be separated quickly without melting the whole thing down, I would consider doing this myself.




6 years ago

I take the rotor out and put the stator iron and copper in my fireplace
on burning logs overnight.

Then in the AM you can pull the copper out with a wire cutter and pliers.


I think I will try this first....

I usually just unwind the copper. But I have a fair amount of time on my hands. Manufacturers usually wind the copper and then insert the metal plates. Then they weld the metal plates. Unless you break that weld you cant get the plates apart. That is why I just unwind the copper.

Hmm. No. The coils are assembled INTO the laminations !!!!

Strange AC motor you describe ?
  • The stators I know have top-sticks in each slot to hold the loose coils of wire within the slot.
  • Slot top-sticks are stiff "Fish-Paper" because the magnetic gaps between stator teeth must be maintained. That is what makes the motor rotor turn .
  • Then the windings are cemented with a shellac like substance which holds the wires in an epoxy like grip.
  • This is to prevent them ( the wires ) from rubbing off the insulation due to vibration and shorting out a motor.
  • The fireplace heat burns off the shellac grip and anneals the iron stator magnet iron (making the motor better )
  • The copper insulation is destroyed by the fire but author wants to sell the copper no use it !