Purple Steel 101: Every thing You Have to Know

Whether or not you acknowledge them or not, crimson metals are in every single place. You most likely encounter them every day. Actually, among the mostly used metallic supplies are composed of crimson steel.

Statues, cash, electrical wiring, and industrial equipment all have one factor in frequent: they’re fabricated from crimson steel.

However what precisely is crimson steel, and what units the differing types aside? On this article, we’re going to cowl every part you’ll want to find out about crimson steel. So, let’s begin with essentially the most primary query:

What’s Purple Steel?

Purple steel will get its title from the reddish tint of the fabric. Though the kinds of crimson steel differ in composition, all of them comprise copper.

The frequent alloys fabricated from crimson steel are copper, brass, and bronze. These metals, regardless of all being thought-about crimson metals, have very completely different properties that we’re going to talk about shortly.

Purple steel is taken into account non-ferrous, which suggests it’s inherently extra immune to corrosion than different ferrous metals, like iron. This makes it superb for objects that should be immune to rust.

Now, let’s delve into the method of how crimson steel is made.


How are Purple Metals Made?

The processes and purposes of crimson steel have modified considerably over time.

Most of right this moment’s copper has been chemically mixed with sulfur and extracted from sulfide ores. So, the copper is drawn out from the ores by means of processes of mining, concentrating, smelting, and refining.

After the completion of the method, the refined copper is then molded for its closing utility. From there, the copper can be utilized to make bronze or brass alloys.
As alloys, the method of producing varies relying on their properties and the specified utility, nevertheless it usually includes heating and cooling the fabric to soften and mix the alloys.

Now that we all know the overall means of how crimson metals are comprised of copper, it’s time to debate among the frequent sorts.

Frequent Varieties of Purple Steel

economic benefits of recycling scrap metal

These metals differ primarily based on inherent properties, purposes, and atmosphere. As we talked about above, the unifying part of crimson steel is copper. So, let’s talk about copper and its properties first.


Copper was one of many first metals ever mined by early people, and it’s nonetheless one of many few metallic supplies that may be instantly utilized in its pure state.

The mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of copper make it the perfect materials for a lot of makes use of. Extra particularly, the thermal and electrical conductivity of copper may be very helpful within the automotive, plumbing, and manufacturing industries.

Since copper is immune to corrosion and micro organism, it’s exemplary for ceaselessly touched surfaces like counter tops, doorknobs, bathtubs, and sinks. Additionally, its capability to face up to moist environments makes it the right materials for plumbing and roofing purposes.

Copper Scrap Prices Going Up

It’s extremely sturdy and malleable, so the makes use of and advantages of copper are quite a few. The completely different grades of copper scrap are as follows:

#1 Copper

#1 Copper is effective for scrap recycling as a result of it’s unalloyed, uncoated, and freed from paint, tar, insulation, and solder. This makes the steel clear and straightforward to recycle and reuse.

Clear copper tubing is essentially the most treasured sort of scrap within the recycling business. Scrap #1 copper tubing is usually used for plumbing and water line pipes, and it have to be at the very least 1/16 of an inch in thickness. Since it’s the purest type, #1 copper has a copper content material of 99%.

#2 Copper

In distinction to #1 copper, this steel is taken into account unclean. Scrap #2 copper tubing might present indicators of age and seem bodily soiled.

It might have insulation, solder, paint, or different metals which have been oxidized blended in with it. The minimal copper content material of this sort is between 94-96%.

#3 Copper

#3 copper is the bottom grade, and due to this fact has the bottom scrap copper worth. Much like #2 copper, it’s thought-about extra unclean than #2 Copper.

It might be contaminated with paint tar, solder, and different oxidized supplies. #3 copper consists of skinny gauged copper sheets and has a minimal of 92% copper content material.


Brass is created by combining zinc and copper with small quantities of different metals. It shares lots of the identical attributes as copper and bronze however at a decrease comparable price.

Much like copper, this alloy is immune to corrosion, has excessive sturdiness, and is sweet for electrical conductivity. Its non-sparking qualities and malleability make it superb for various purposes in development, manufacturing, plumbing, structure, and extra.

The colour of this steel varies relying on the quantity of zinc within the alloy. If extra zinc is added, the brass can vary in colour from yellow to orange. Additionally, including extra zinc will make the steel stronger and extra sturdy.


Bronze is a copper alloy shaped from a mixture of tin and different components like phosphorus, silicon, and aluminum. The copper part makes this crimson steel naturally immune to corrosion, extremely ductile, and thermally conducive.

Silicon bronze is about as robust as metal and has excessive corrosion resistance like bearing bronze. They’re each immune to put on and have low friction. It’s usually utilized in industrial purposes like bearings and bushings.

Purple Steel High quality and Recycling

Since crimson metals can be utilized throughout quite a few industries, they’re helpful for copper recycling. Copper is ready to be recycled with out shedding any high quality, and the sustainability of crimson metals is essential in world use.

High quality is of the utmost significance for crimson steel scrap. Promoting and recycling crimson steel includes extra processing these days than previously.

Scrap copper tubing which can easily be recycled

Purple Steel and Scrap Recycling

Now that we now have lined every part you’ll want to find out about crimson steel, you could be questioning the place you’ll be able to recycle your scrap metals.

GLE Scrap Steel is a full-service recycling firm that gives scrap recycling in Michigan and Florida. 

Our skilled scrap steel recyclers purchase and course of all grades of steel. We offer scrap steel recycling providers to demolition firms, non-public companies, and most people.

Enhance the worth of your scrap steel by contacting GLE on our web site or calling us at 855-SCRAP-88

Try our Vice President featured in an article on Recycling Immediately discussing crimson steel.