Any easy way to delaminate a big transformer

I have a couple of water cooled low voltage high current transformers like these:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d3-kmBU-WmY/U9P6monb8gI/AAAAAAAADgw/eRozQsNsWAA/w479-h638-no/20140726_131901.jpg
They are not the usual kind and have very heavy copper bars and pipes for windings and cooling.
I want to know how I can delaminate them in an environmentally conscious fashion. Thanks
i
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I'm not sure what you mean by "delaminate". What advantage - for scrap value - would de-laminating the laminations have?
If you want to just salvage the copper separate from the iron cores, do what we did when we were rebuilding them at Florida Transformer Corp... just saw off the coils flush with both sides of the core, and pull out the copper in the openings. Hammer out whatever is fixed into the openings by varnish.
It's a big job to rebuild one by hand (especially considering the floor space it requires, since you must hand-pull the new coils through, instead of bobbin-winding them), but it's only a few minutes work to extract the old copper from the core.
There's no method I know of that will effectively dissolve the vacuum- potted varnish out from in-between the lams.
LLoyd
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On 2014-07-26, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

OK, how do you saw it on a transformer so big.
i

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A recip saw with long demolition blades should reach everything.
It looked to me like there wasn't any portion of the coils further than about 8-10" from the outside edges of the core stack.
Besides, those long recip blades are flexible. You don't have to be perfectly parallel to the core to do the sawing.
Lloyd
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On 2014-07-27, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

There are two transformers on the picture. The one on the front of the picture would fit in a 55 gallon drum. The one behind is is about 33 inches wide.
I will see what I can do.
i
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FWIW, those are large for as low a voltage as they're designed for, but those are by no means "large transformers". You should be fine with a relatively coarse wrecking blade.
LLoyd
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Gunner Asch wrote:

A wide blade in an air chisel. Less copper dust that way. I've scrapped some big transformers with a wide wood chisel and a hammer. :)
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Ummm.... this ain't 'magnet wire', guys. The connector tabs are 2" wide by about 1/2" thick solid copper. In the water cooled units, some of the secondary 'wire' is thickwalled copper tubing as much as 1" diameter for the water cooling, and any that's not is probably square-section 'wire' at least 5/8" on a side.
I'm guessing it would take a real man of an air chisel to work through some of that stuff. Having done it before, that's why I suggested a saw.
Lloyd
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On Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:12:28 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

Yeah, just saw it on a tarp and collect the dust later. Or use a wide air chisel, resharpening as needed.
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Gunner Asch wrote:

You could shave with my wood chisels, when I was doing that. They were so polished you could see your reflection so that they slid through, with little friction. :)
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Gunner Asch wrote:

I have done it that way, when there was no other way. The copper is soft, and the chisel had a razor edge. 1.5" wide, and an 8 pound hammer made short work. Some of them were would with 4" wide copper bands, similar to what is used at a transmitter site to ground everything. :)
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On 7/26/2014 2:04 PM, Ignoramus14156 wrote:

There is some one out there that would pay you a whole lot more for that than just copper weight. If you could just find them! Any Idea what the voltages are? Mikek
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It is the second part that is the problem.

+- 10v and +- 5v.
I will scrap it, I am sure that selling it would be difficult. Lately I have been making an effort to scrap more and sell less.
i
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On 7/26/2014 3:43 PM, Ignoramus14156 wrote:

Holy moly, at what 1000 amps!

I understand, and shipping it would cost big dollars. Mikek
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wrote:

Thaw frozen water pipes that're several miles long...
Seriously though, local plating shops may be keenly interested.
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On 7/26/2014 3:43 PM, Ignoramus14156 wrote:

Nice spot welder transformer. Maybe a cutting torch type - carbon rod .
Might be use for plating metal. Might be Tube transformers. Heater jackets and filaments.
Where did you get these monsters ? The copper is likely strip with bars attached. Martin
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According to the website on the transformer nameplate, this may be from an induction heating power supply.
i
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out

Martin, that's what I already described to him.
Back in the late '60s, it was still economical to rebuild those big ones, without delaminating the core. That meant sawing out the old windings, then re-winding them in place, using at most a hand-held bobbin, and sometimes just a parking lot with room enough to swing the free ends of larger square wire while bending it place with a leather mallet.
But the start was always the same. Saw off the coils flush with the core, and beat out the material that was stuck with Hi-Sol Varnish.
Lloyd
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email.me:

It pretty much seems that way to anyone who isn't jealous of him.
He usually forges ahead, but when he butts up against something unfamiliar, he asks.
What's different about that from the way any competent tradesman works?
"Just try anything and if it doesn't work we'll try something else" is a pretty expensive mantra (at the very least in man-hours, on a low-margin task), especially with all the varied experiences on tap on the web.
Sometimes I hire 'experts' to solve materials handling issues (powders and dusts, not metal). Usually, it's worth the money.
Lloyd
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On 2014-07-27, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

Pretending to be super intelligent, or super knowledgeable about anything, is not something that interests me personally. I have some things that I need done, like how to get copper out of a special transformer, and when I feel that I need to ask, I ask.
If this makes me look bad in the eyes of "machining luminaries" like jon banquer and "precision machinist", so be it.
There are people out there who build their entire life around pretending to be something, and I try not to be one of them.
i
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