Recycling Electric Motors

When managing electric motors, understanding how to discard them is not normal information. Since numerous individuals do not understand the correct procedure, these electric motors end up in landfills where they occupy room and negatively impact the environment. Hence, electric motor recycling is fundamental.

What Is an Electric Motor?

Before explaining on the recycling process, it is urgent to see precisely what electric motors are. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Furthermore, they also generate mechanical energy through the interaction of its windings and magnetic field.

A few gadgets that require an electric motor include:

  • Industrial fans
  • Blowers
  • Pumps
  • Disk drives
  • Various machine tools

To comprehend how electric motors work, one must be comfortable with the mechanics.

The Mechanics of Electric Motors

Electric motors contain important copper and aluminum components. The solid steel shell on the outside of these motors protect the delicate parts inside.

Copper inside an electric motor is very valuable to the recycler; behind that is aluminum. Steel can be recycled, however it does not hold the same value as copper or aluminum. Thus, wood and plastic on motors is viewed as a contaminate which brings down its value.

Subsequently, out of the millions of pounds of motors Interco recycles every year, our recyclers arrange these motors into three main categories:

  1. Small motor sizes go from slightly larger than the size of an apple to the size of a basketball. Smaller electric motors (for example small electronic transformers in radio-controlled cars) are less desirable due to their low copper and aluminum content.
  2. Large motor sizes range from marginally larger than a basketball to just shy of 2,000 pounds.
  3. Over-sized motors weigh over 2,000 pounds. These motors shift in demand because of their size and nonferrous metallic content.

After understanding the mechanics of an electric motor, one must comprehend the various components.

The Components of Electric Motors

While an electric motor contains numerous components, the important components that are responsible for its converting ability include:

  • The shaft
  • Copper windings
  • Bearings
  • Armature
  • Stator
  • Commutator
  • Terminals
  • Case

These parts make it possible for the electric motor to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy.

Since the mechanics and components of electric motors have been examined, it is critical to understand how to recycle electric motors.

Scrapping Electric Motors for Recycling

The process of electric motor recycling consists of:

  1. Collecting as many scrap electric motors as possible to increase the possibility of getting enough copper.
  2. Breaking the metallic cast of the motor with a hammer or hammering mill.
  3. Separating the components and grouping them according to their materials.
  4. Taking the isolated components to their different recycling points and recycling them.

This technique is mainly done on a large scale. Because of this, some scrap electric motors need more copper windings.

On the off chance that this approach cannot be done individually, professional recyclers purchase damaged gadgets that utilize electric motors.

In addition, almost every household electric item with a mechanical movement utilizes an electric motor. Hence, electric motors are an extremely common item to recycle. Some may even have an AC (alternating current) or a DC (direct current) electric motor.

Common Household Items with Electric Motors Include:

  • Microwaves
  • Hand Tools
  • Air Conditioners
  • Power Supplies
  • Starters
  • Washing Machines
  • Computers

Common Industrial Items with Electric Motors Include:

  • Transformers
  • Pumps
  • Machinery
  • Manufacturing Equipment

Common Automotive Items with Electric Motors Include:

  • Starters
  • Alternators
  • Generators

At last, it is significant to see precisely why it is so important to the environment to recycle electric motors.

The Importance of Electric Motor Recycling

One motivation to recycle electric motors is to make a profit by selling them to professional recyclers like Interco. Electric motors are 100% recyclable due to their metallic components. These professional recyclers separate the recyclable parts and set them apart for processing.

Another explanation is because recycling scrap electric motors reduces solid waste, landfill and general pollution. Most industries utilize electric motors for typical gadgets. Reusing them for this reason as opposed to scrapping them reduces waste.

Additionally, recycling scrap electric motors assists with protecting natural resources, for example, copper (one of the fundamental components of electric motors). Moreover, copper is very valuable and utilized in numerous electrical gadgets.


In summary, electric motors have a numerous valuable and reusable parts including copper and aluminum. They can be found in the typical household, industrial and automotive settings. Recycling electric motors is profitable, diminishes pollution and protects natural resources.

On the off chance that you have scrap electric motors, Interco will purchase them so they can be recycled appropriately; and if you are interested in electric motor recycling yourself, click here to find additional information.

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