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Understanding Copper and Its Uses

Understanding Copper and Its Uses

Copper is widely believed to be among the first metals humans discovered and used. Even in early historical times, humans used a lot of copper for farm implements, pipes, weapons, cookware, and even jewelry. It is one of the materials that is easily combined with others to create alloys, and it has a lot of properties that make it indispensable in various industries. It is also a highly viable commodity, making it one of the barometers of the global economy and trade. 

With several equipment and components made of copper, there’s a huge market for copper recycling as they’re a high-value resource. Even scraps can add up to a considerable profit as facilities can quickly melt them down and turn them into copper ingots or wires. 

Let’s find out more about copper and its use in this article.

Copper properties

As one of the more precious non-ferrous materials, copper is often prized for its many qualities. It is highly workable because of its malleability and ductility. You can either draw it into wires or hammer it into thin sheets. In addition, industries can process copper on its own, hot or cold, with other materials such as lead or zinc. 

It is also highly durable because it resists corrosion. Instead of oxidizing like iron, copper becomes more beautiful because of its patina, providing more character. The more extended copper is exposed, the tougher the patina gets, protecting the material. 

Copper is also known for its high electrical and heat conductivity, which is preferred for most industrial applications. It is also highly recyclable as one can recycle it several times over.

Practical uses for copper

Copper alloy comes in various colors, which makes it a great material. Since the material is highly workable, it can easily be shaped into different forms. Following are some of the most practical uses for copper.

  • Kitchen countertops. Copper is highly malleable, and it has excellent anti-microbial properties, which make it a good material for kitchen countertops. In addition, since countertops are high-touch areas, using copper is a good way to prevent the spread of diseases. 
  • Electrical wires. The material has a high electrical conductivity rating which makes it one of the best materials for electrical wires. In addition, when used for high-electricity wires, it resists burning and breakage, making it a perfect material for such function. 
  • Gutters. A copper gutter system might not be a highly affordable choice for your roof system, but it does resist mildew, mold, and other bacteria. It also makes it more appealing and lasts longer than its galvanized counterpart. 
  • Pipes. As copper has high microbial properties, it is one of the best filtration system materials on the market. If you want to move water and ensure it doesn’t have microbes, your best bet is to use copper pipes.
  • Kitchen sink. Your kitchen sink needs to be highly resistant to corrosion, and copper is one material that has that specific characteristic. It also resists microbes but may also develop patina faster. 

Takeaway

Copper has various uses in everyday life. It is a versatile material that has been around for ages and is useful in various industries.

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