February 12, 2018 at 1:41 am #3703
LCD Flat Screen Monitors, What, if any, E-scrap Value Do They Have?
I do a lot of e-scrapping, I enjoy it. I also do a lot of reading and research regarding e-scrap. A lot of articles I read regarding LCD flat screen monitors tend to dismiss them and any value they might have as e-scrap. Most articles contend that the only thing any LCD flat screen monitor has of value is the screen drive/display control circuit board attached to the top edge of the LCD Panel.
Well, two things I can tell you for sure after reading those articles, 1- the articles authors have not dismantled very many flat screen monitors for e-scrap and, 2- their idea of value is no where close to what I consider to be valuable.
I have dismantled hundreds of flat screen monitors prepping them for e-scrap. At first many of the materials I encountered inside were as alien to me as marshmallows on the moon. I had no idea what they were. Because I’m not the type of person who likes to waste anything but I am the type of person that who is committed to learning about thinks I don’t know or understand, I decided to correct this problem.
MYTH – LCD flat screen monitors have little to no value as e-scape.
FACT – Nothing could be further from the truth! LCD flat screen monitors are loaded with goodies and quite worth your time and effort as a valuable source of e-scrap one should not pass up lightly. Once you fully understand the different materials used in their construction, the e-scrap values of those materials, where those components are used, what they look like and where you can dispose of those components for the most profit, you’ll never pass by another flat screen monitor without picking it up to e-scrap!
Before we start let me first make this clear, there is no industry standard as far as LCD Flat Screen Monitors goes. Many of the components will always be the same but there are some minor differences to watch out for (this applies mainly to the different metal components). For Instance some manufacturers will use aluminum for the screen back panel (item # 1.b in the following list), others might use Stainless Steel, and others might use Steel. Same goes for the brackets that house the backlights (item # 1.c in the following list). Many manufacturers use Stainless Steel, others might use Aluminum, I have even found some made of Zinc. Best practice when it comes to any metals is to always use a magnet to determine what is what. To differentiate between aluminum and stainless I use a file. Zinc is easy because of its distinct yellow color.
That being said, let’s get own with it. Following is a list of the different materials and components used in LCD flat screen monitors:
Typical Materials used in LCD Flat Screen Monitors
- LCD Flat Screens
- Steel (trim around outside edge of screen)
- Aluminum (Screen back panel)
- Stainless Steel (brackets that house the screen backlights)
- LCD Panel (two sheets of very thin glass with a liquid crystal fluid enclosed between their layers. Both front and back layer of glass will have a polarized film glued to their surface) **Extreme caution should be exercised when handling this panel. The glass is very thin and, if broken, can be very sharp. Also the liquid crystal fluid it holds is toxic and contact with the fluid should be avoided
- Screen Drive/Display Control Circuit Board (attached to the top edge of the LCD Panel)
- Gold Fingers (runs the length of the board on one side)
- Gold Circuitry (flat screen drive boards are normally heavily embedded with gold circuits)
- MLCC’s (palladium and possibly silver)
- Gold (pins in the data cable connector ports)ICC’s (gold wiring)
- Cold Cathode Compact Florescent Lamp – a.k.a. Backlight (one, possibly two depending on the size of the screen, but a maximum of eight) **Tubes are charged with Mercury vapor which is considered toxic. Use caution when handling this item
- Perspex Thermoplastic Acrylic Screen Panel (whether this panel is present or not depends entirely on the size and type of the flat screen. Anywhere from 1/8” to 5/8” thick)
- Indium Tin Oxide Film (Transparent in nature with a silver tint, most screens will have multiple layers of this film)
- **Digitizer Control Film (Gold wiring inside film – only present in screens that have digitizers.)
- Insulated Tin-Plated Copper Wires (remove all connectors from wire ends, they have gold pins inside)
- PVC Plastic Housing *(ABS and/or some polymer mix may be used instead of PVC)
- Power Control Circuit Board (inside PVC case that houses LCD flat screen)
- Extruded Aluminum (board heat sinks)
- Ceramic Caps (silver)
- Assorted Transformers (copper and ferrite)
- Aluminum Electrolytic Caps (aluminum)
- Gold (some power circuit boards will have a set of board mounted pins for cable connections that are gold plated, not present on all power control boards)
- Color Control Circuit Board (normally located next to the power control board)
- Gold (pins inside the DVI/VGA display connectors)
- ICC’s (gold wiring)
- MLCC’s (palladium)
- Aluminum Electrolytic Caps (aluminum)
- Stainless Steel (houses the DVI/VGA cable connector ports)
- Crystal Oscillator (silver)
- Silver (assorted locations)
On/Off/Function Control Board (embedded in the PVC case that houses the monitor assembly. Switches have a small silver contact inside)
All in all, LCD flat screen monitors offer more bang for the buck than many other electronic devices you will normally prep for e-scrap. Some of the materials that you’ll recover (like the indium tin oxide film sheets) don’t currently have as many places where you can sell them for scrap, but there are a few scattered around the country, that’s the down side. The good news is that indium is a rare metal with a stead increase in demand for use in LCD screens. As the demand increases for more indium, so will the number of places that purchase indium scrap. Currently the scrap prices for indium tin oxide range between $35.00 to $50.00 per pound. Definitely a worthy choice to save as e-scrap.
If you’re new to e-scrap I fully understand that many of the components in the list above have no meaning to you at all. That’s OK, you’re not expected to know everything when you first start out. None of us did. That is any easy problem to correct though. How, you ask? Simple, keep reading.
When I first got involved with e-scrap I knew nothing about the industry, and when I say nothing, I really mean nothing! The different electronic components were all Greek to me but I wanted to learn. I spent the next two and a half years reading, researching and learning all I could about the electronic components and the materials they are made of. Some of that information was not easy to find, almost like it was a secret hidden away for only a few to know.
I wrote everything down and, as a result of my research, the “E-Scrap Parts Manual” came into existence. Everything I learned, everything I discovered, ended up in my book “E-Scrap Parts Manual”. At first the information was intended for my use only but then I decided, what the heck, why not share it with everyone who wants to make money by e-scrapping. So, that’s what I’ve done. “E-Scrap Parts Manual” is available as a free .pdf download for any and all who want a copy, no strings attached! You want a copy, it’s yours, just that simple! Just click on the link below and download your free copy:
- LCD Flat Screens
February 12, 2018 at 1:55 am #3707
One other point I should make, not every Flat Screen Monitor is an LCD monitor, but if it is,it will be made of the components listed above.
I welcome any comments or feedback
February 18, 2018 at 3:56 pm #3721
Well look; we cross paths again! Lol
I found that those sheets can be sold to many of the radiation film (eg X-ray “films”) buyers and other photography scrap (camera film, negatives, slides) buyers.
You’re prices are spot on. As of last week both my buyers were paying $42-$43 per lb.
For those new to LCD screens, don’t get discouraged by the ‘light’ weight of a single piece of plastic. You’re dealing with a “heavy metal” here. A few dozen and you’ll realise quickly it doesn’t take many to make a pound. Or 10. Lol.
My first start at saving these was sliding them in a bin up high on a top shelf. I nearly had a heart attack when I realised how heavy it was a few months later.
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