In industrial settings induction furnaces are used to melt copper. This is because copper has a high melting point of 1,083 degrees Celsius or 1083 degrees Celsius. The two most common types of induction furnaces used are double push-up furnaces, which are ideal for small scale die-casting, and tilting furnaces, which are preferred for continuous manufacturing processes and large-scale die-casting.
However, you can melt copper wire as well as other scrap copper in your garage if you have the right equipment. In fact, there are some easy ways to melt copper right at home.
Melt Copper with Industrial Grade Blowtorch
An industrial grade blowtorch, such as oxyacetylene, is preferred over propane torch due to the high melting point of copper. Wear fireproof gloves and tinted goggles while using the blowtorch. Remove the insulation and cut the copper wires into small pieces using a wire cutter. Place them into a crucible, which is a bowl-like container with an ability to withstand high temperature. Hold the crucible with specially designed crucible tongs and direct the blue flame of the industrial grade blowtorch on the copper. To prevent oxidisation from occurring during the melting process, add borax, potash or graphite.
Melt Copper on a Stovetop
Place a cast iron skillet on an electric hob and allow it to heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the skillet is heated, place the copper pieces into it and cover with a lid. Allow the copper wire pieces to soften and then stir. Keep checking the melting copper until it liquefies completely. Make sure the hob does not keep switching on and off, as this will prevent the copper from melting. Use protective gloves and goggles while melting the copper. Use borax, potash or graphite to prevent oxidisation.
Melt Copper in a Furnace
If you own a furnace, use it to melt scrap copper scrap. Cut the copper scrap into smaller pieces and place in a crucible. Wear fireproof gloves and protective goggles, open the furnace and transfer the crucible using the crucible tongs. Make sure the furnace temperature reaches beyond the melting point of copper; otherwise the scrap copper will not melt. Sustain the temperature of the furnace.
Melting Copper Pennies
U.S. pennies minted prior to 1982 have large amounts of copper. Many people melt these pennies in their garages to recover the copper. It is illegal to melt copper pennies as they are still considered as legal tender. If you are caught trying to sell pennies to recover the copper, you and the buyer could face prison time and/or a fine.