In the United States, copper derived from both primary (mined) and secondary (recycled) sources is consumed at industrial production plants. About 75% of the copper consumed in the United States is for electrical and electronic uses, finding widespread application in most end use sectors of the economy.
Based on the Copper Development Association, 2.1 million metric tons of copper and copper alloy mill products were shipped for domestic 2009 end-use markets. Copper and copper alloy powders are used for brake linings and bands, bushings, instruments, and filters in the automotive and aerospace industries, for electrical and electronic applications, for anti-fouling paints and coatings, and for various chemical and medical purposes. Copper chemicals, especially copper sulfate and the cupric and cuprous oxides, are widely used as algaecides fungicides, wood preservatives, copper plating, pigments, electronic applications and numerous special applications.
U.S. industry import reliance for copper in the last 14 years has increased from less than 1% of domestic consumption in 1991 to over 48%, and 32% in 2003 and 2008, respectively. In 2006, a record level of refined copper, around 1.1 million tons, was imported into the United States. As copper consumption at U.S. plants dropped further in 2008, however, the rate of refined imports also declined. Recycled copper used to make semi fabricated products may be derived from scrap that is first refined before use (refined scrap), or from copper and copper alloy scrap that can be directly melted at the time of use (direct melt scrap).
U.S. scrap statistics showed that, in recent years, copper from all scrap sources had grown each year in the United States, as a percent of total copper consumed. In addition, copper wire granulator and wire stripping machine help a lot in turning scrap into treasure.