Friday, 25 September 2015

Identify Metals In A Motherboard

Recycling an old computer can be an expensive proposition. Many parts are unusable. One way to recover some of the cost of an old computer, as well as to earn money toward the purchase of a newer machine, is to sell the precious metals used in the manufacture of computer motherboards. Because magnetic wires in computers are undesirable, motherboards and other integrated circuits in a computer are often made out of contain gold, silver or copper. (You will earn far less money if the circuit board contains no gold or silver wiring.)


1. Strip a small amount of wiring off of the motherboard. A few more components may also contain precious metal; take these off. Removing these components from the motherboard can be done with an X-acto knife. A few sample pieces of each precious metal are all that are needed.

2. Remove the CPU unit. If the computer had a heat sink. Computer heat sinks are usually made out of aluminum and can be sold for scrap value. The heat sink must be removed before you remove the CPU

3. Pry the CPU off of the motherboard. Pry one of the metal pins off the edges. The CPU will be no good after this is done, but CPU pins are often made from gold. This destroys the CPU in the process and the chip cannot be used again.

4. Prepare the testing kit according to the instructions. Most gold and silver testing kits make use of some sort of acid that will change color in the presence of precious metal.

5. Dip the different kinds of metals in the testing kit's test tubes. The metals stripped from the motherboard only need to be exposed to the acid long enough to start the chemical reaction.

6. Check the color chart that comes with the testing kit's instructions to see what kind of precious metal you have. Generally speaking, the darker the shade the metal produces, the higher the quality of that metal. Some kits make use of a stone. If this is the case, slide the metal against the stone and apply a drop of acid to it. If the spot on the stone changes color only slightly, there is a small amount of gold. If the spot on the stone does not change color using this method, the gold is a higher quality than the acid is designed to test for.

7. Strip off the gold or silver and put it aside, if the gold or silver has been found. An X-acto knife will help with this process. The board will be completely beyond repair after you are finished with this. (This process can be time consuming.) Many gold buyers will not purchase computer motherboards directly.

8. Take the board to be recycled, once the precious metals have been stripped off. Sell the metals to a vendor.

Tags: gold silver, precious metal, change color, computer motherboards, from motherboard