In scrap metal, its hard to be specific. For instance, copper can come alloyed or unalloyed, insulated or uninsulated, and in any number of different gauges. It can be loose, hydraulically compacted or briquetted. It can be clean or covered in grease and oil. Almost all metals come in an equally wide variety of conditions.
Say you wanted to buy a shipping container of miscellaneous, unalloyed copper scrap having a nominal 92% copper content (minimum 88%) as determined by electrolytic assay, consisting of sheet copper, gutters, downspouts, kettles, boilers, and similar scrap, free of the following: burnt hair wire, copper clad, plating racks, grindings, copper wire from burning, containing insulation, radiators and fire extinguishers, refrigerator units, electrotype shells, screening, excessively leaded, tinned, soldered scrap, brasses and bronzes, excessive oil, iron and non-metallics, and reasonably free of ash. You can imagine that it is a pain in the ass to say all that. It would be a lot easier if you could just say you wanted to buy a shipping container of Dream, and have it mean all that.
Conveniently, in the Guidelines for Non-Ferrous Scrap published by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Dream is precisely the code word used to designate such a load of copper. ISRI regularly publishes the Guidelines to specify standards upon which buyers and sellers can agree when purchasing loads of scrap metal. Not only are the Guidelines useful for conducting business, the code words ISRI has chosen read like something out of a fairy tale.
Lark: yellow brass primer. Shall consist of clean yellow brass primers, burnt or unburnt. Shall be free of iron, excessive dirt, corrosion and any other foreign material.
Honey: yellow brass scrap. Shall consist of mixed yellow brass solids, including brass castings, rolled brass, rod, brass, tubing and miscellaneous yellow brasses, including plated brass. Must be free of manganese-bronze, aluminum-bronze, unsweated radiators or radiator parts, iron, and excessively dirty and corroded materials. Must also be free of any type of munitions including, but not limited to, bullet casings.
Talc: post-consumer aluminum can scrap. Shall consist of old aluminum food and/or beverage cans. The material is to be free of other scrap metals, foil, tin cans, plastic bottles, paper, glass, and other non-metallic items. Variations to this specification should be agreed upon prior to shipment between the buyer and seller.
Tabloid: New, clean aluminum lithographic sheets. To consist of 1000 and/or 3000 series alloys, uncoated, unpainted, to be free of paper, plastic, ink, and any other contaminants. Minimum size of 3″ (8cm) in any direction.
Throb: Sweated Aluminum. Shall consist of aluminum scrap which has been sweated or melted into a form or shape such as an ingot, sow or slab for convenience in shipping; to be free from corrosion, dross or any non-aluminum inclusions. Should be sold subject to sample or analysis.
Lamb: Brass small arms and rifle shells, clean muffled (popped). Shall consist of clean muffled (popped) 70/30 brass shells free of bullets, iron and any other foreign material. For material to be exported from the United States, all shells must be sufficiently mutilated to prevent reuse and reloading.
Troma: aluminum auto or truck wheels. Shall consist of clean, single-piece, unplated aluminum wheels of a single specified alloy, free of all inserts, steel, wheel weights, valve stems, tires, grease and oil and other non-metallic items. Variations to this specification should be agreed upon prior to shipment between the buyer and the seller.
Twang: insulated aluminum wire scrap. Shall consist of aluminum wire scrap with various types of insulation. To be sold on a sample or recovery basis, subject to arrangement between buyer and seller.
Zorba: Shredded nonferrous scrap (predominantly aluminum). Shall be made up of a combination of the nonferrous metals: aluminum, copper, lead, magnesium, stainless steel, nickel, tin, and zinc, in elemental or alloyed (solid) form. The percentage of each metal within the nonferrous concentrate shall be subject to agreement between buyer and seller. Material generated by eddy current, air separation, flotation, screening, other segregation technique(s), or a combination thereof. Shall have passed one or more magnets to reduce or eliminate free iron and/or large iron attachments. Shall be free of radioactive material, dross, or ash. Material to be bought/sold under this guideline shall be identified as “Zorba” with a number to follow indicating the estimated percentage nonferrous metal content of the material (e.g., “Zorba 90” means the material contains approximately 90% nonferrous metal content). May also be screened to permit description by specific size ranges. (Refer also to Zorba under Aluminum.)
Shelmo: Shredded electric motors (also called “shredder pickings” or “meatballs”). Shall consist of mixed copper-bearing material from ferrous shredding, comprised of motors without cases. May contain aluminum-wound material and insulated copper harness wire, subject to agreement between buyer and seller. Trace percentages of other contaminants and fines may be present. No free iron or sealed units.