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brass

How to Identify Brass (And Where to Find It)

While there are a variety of recyclable scrap metals out there, they are not all equal in value—and brass, as one of the higher-paying scrap metals, is in high demand at both the industry level and for individual scrappers. That being said, brass isn’t always easy to find or to identify. With the right knowledge, though, finding brass and separating it from other metals can be a lot easier.

How to Identify Brass

Brass is a shiny, yellow-gold metal that is quite durable and also often used for decorative purposes. It looks a lot like copper at first glance, but brass has a few unique characteristics that set it apart.

First of all, brass is not magnetic. A magnet is a key tool for any scrapper, as it allows for the easiest identification and separation of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, which have different values and are often processed differently at the yard.

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Scrap Metal Hidden in Your House - Dallas, TX

Scrap Metal Hidden in Your House

The easiest way to get started as a scrapper is to start scrapping materials in your own home. You can learn many of the skills necessary to becoming a successful scrapper, without the added difficulty of looking for and asking permission to take recyclable materials.

Most people are surprised when they find out how much potentially valuable recyclable scrap metal is in their own home—and love making a positive impact on the environment while also earning a little extra cash.

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How to Recycle Your Scrap Metal for the Best Price - Dallas, TX

Getting Ready to Recycle Your Scrap Metal

After you’ve finished a demolition or other project, you may wish to recycle your scrap metal. Scrap metal is not biodegradable, so it’s ideal for recycling. And while Encore Recyclers will buy your metal when mixed together, you may be able to achieve a better price for your scrap by separating out your scrap metals and doing a little prep work, such as removing plastic, rubber, or other contaminants. Read on to learn how to best separate and prep your scrap materials.

Clean your scrap metal

First, remove any contaminants, such as dirt, plastic, rubber, or other metals. The consumer mills that we sell to in bulk will only take clean, uncontaminated scrap metal that they can put directly into their furnaces. If we receive scrap that is free of contaminants, we are better able to pass the labor savings onto you.

For cars and other vehicles

Most scrap companies, including Encore Recyclers, will accept entire battery assemblies and entire catalytic converters. Electric motor parts can also be recycled. The field windings (parts with copper wire wound around) should be separated out from the iron and steel for the best price (armatures are very difficult to separate and might need to be chiseled out). The same goes for starters and alternators. Copper or brass radiators from older cars are valuable for scrap; you can identify copper by its bluish-green patina or by scraping the flanges of the radiator and looking for the reddish hue characteristic of copper. Aluminum radiators common in newer cars are not as valuable as coppers ones, but are still worth recycling. Heater cores are brass or aluminum radiators that can be recycled as scrap metal. With all of these parts, you can maximize the value of your scrap by removing pieces of plastic, insulation, and extraneous metals.

Separate ferrous from non-ferrous metals

Iron, steel and other ferrous metals are magnetic. For smaller pieces of metal, you may even be able to lift them out of piles of scrap metal with a large magnet.

Separate non-magnetic, stainless steel

Stainless steel is alloy containing chromium. It has a dull shine and is heavier than chrome- or nickel-plated steel. Sometimes, it may be slightly magnetic. If you do find stainless steel that’s magnetic, you should add it to your ferrous metals.

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