The focus on efficient utility operations is greater than ever. Therefore, electric utilities must recover as much salvage value as possible from their cable scrap.
To ensure an accurate measure of metal content, processing cable on-site is a good option. For example, you can expect a yield of 81% to 91% total copper for #6-500 MCM THHN insulated cables. At 180 fpm, the processing rate doubles every other wire size (1037 lb/hr for #6, 2536 lb/hr for #2, and 18,360 for 500 MCM). These cutting rates make it economical to strip (not ship) most scrap cable (sizes equal or greater than #6 Cu or #2 Al).
Self-adjusting, self-feeding machines are available to run mixed sizes of construction (plastic, rubber, lead sheathed, etc.) with unskilled labor. Cable diameters up to 3.75 inches (9.5 cm) can be accommodated, along with the capacity to strip thick high-voltage cables.
Several electric utilities and their contractors now use cable-stripping machines. These machines have been used on such diverse projects as stripping 600 miles (966 km) of lead power cable in a TVA power line, as well as stripping 1000 miles (1609 km) of steel armored cable from missile silos.
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