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ArticleName Upgrading electrodynamic separators for waste cable recycling
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2020.01.01
ArticleAuthor Konyaev A. Yu., Abdullaev Zh. O., Zyazev M. E., Fominykh S. I.

Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russia:

A. Yu. Konyaev, Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Industrial Electrical Systems, Doctor of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
Zh. O. Abdullaev, Postgraduate Student at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Industrial Electrical Systems
M. E. Zyazev, Master’s Degree Student at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Industrial Electrical Systems
S. I. Fominykh, Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Candidate of Technical Sciences


Great numbers of electrical cables get disposed of as metal scrap every year. Recycling of waste cables can be feasible not only from the point of view of environmental protection. It is a fact that both metals and plastics can be recycled and reused. The most valuable components of waste cables include pure conducting metals, such as copper and aluminium. In order to reuse copper and aluminium, one would need to separate them from other components and at the same time ensure the required quality of selective metal concentrates. The most common techniques employed by the global scrap cable recycling industry are based on mechanical recycling. They include such operations as cutting and pre-crushing of cables, magnetic separation, shredding and separation of conducting metals from insulation. Vibration air separation is recognized as the most effective technique to help separate pieces of metal from insulation. This technique combines air density separation and the fluidized bed effect obtained by means of vibration. The commodities produced with the help of this technique include concentrates of target metals and insulation materials. This technique provides an effective separation environment for metal and insulation particles. At the same time, separation of metallic particles poses certain issues. The presence of impurities affects the quality of resultant concentrates making them unusable for the production of pure secondary conducting metals. This paper demonstrates the possibility to enhance the quality of metal concentrates obtained from shredded waste electrical cables by means of electrodynamic separation. A prototype electrodynamic separator is described. The tests performed on this unit indicated the possibility to significantly reduce the amount of impurities in the target metal concentrate. Thus, the concentration of copper in the aluminium concentrate was less than 0.3%, and the copper concentrate was confirmed to contain no lead after electrodynamic separation. The paper shows a possibility to produce a pure conducting metal (copper and aluminium) from waste cables by means of electrodynamic separation. The obtained results can be used for the development of technology and equipment for waste cable separation.

keywords Сable scrap, recycling technology, quality of metal concentrates, electrodynamic separation, obtained results

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