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Copper – properties, characteristics

Copper- historical data.

Copper is a ductile golden-pink metal with a characteristic metallic luster. The Latin name Cuprum comes from the name of the island of Cyprus. The uses of copper began in ancient times.

According to historians, the acquaintance of society with copper for about nine thousand years. The most ancient copper products were found during archaeological excavations on the territory of modern Turkey. Archaeologists have discovered small copper beads and plates for decorating clothes. The finds are dated abroad VIII-VII thousand BC. In ancient times copper was used to making ornaments, expensive dishes, and various tools with a thin blade. Uses of copper is very wide.

The great achievement of the ancient metallurgists can be called obtaining an alloy with a copper base – bronze.

Physical properties of copper

In the air, copper acquires a bright yellowish-red hue due to the formation of an oxide film. Thin plates with green-blue translucency. In its pure form, copper is quite soft, volatile and easy to roll and stretch. Impurities can increase its hardness.

The high electrical conductivity of copper can be called the main property that determines its primary use. Also, copper has a very high thermal conductivity. Impurities such as iron, phosphorus, tin, antimony and arsenic affect the basic properties and reduce the electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. According to these indicators, copper is inferior only to silver.

Copper has a high density -8890 kg/m3 , melting point – 1083 С and boiling point -2562 С. An important property is also good resistance to corrosion. For example, at high humidity, iron oxidizes much faster.

Copper responds well to processing: it is rolled into a copper sheet and a copper bar is pulled into a copper wire with a thickness that is reduced to thousandths of a millimeter. This metal is diamagnetic, i.e., it is magnetized against the direction of the external magnetic field.

Chemical properties of copper

Copper is an inactive metal. Under normal conditions, it does not oxidize in dry air. It reacts easily with halogens, selenium, and sulfur. Acids without oxidizing properties do not affect copper. There are no chemical reactions with hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. Oxidation occurs in humid air to form copper carbonate.

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Uses of copper

Due to valuable qualities, copper and copper alloys are used in the electrical and electrical engineering industry, in electronics and instrument engineering. There are alloys of copper with metals such as zinc, tin, aluminum, nickel, titanium, silver, gold. Rarely used alloys with non-metals: phosphorus, sulfur, oxygen. There are two groups of copper alloys: brass (alloys with zinc) and bronze (alloys with other elements).

Copper has a high environmental friendliness, which allows its use in the construction of residential buildings. For example, a copper roof due to anti-corrosion properties can last more than a hundred years without special care and painting.

Copper in alloys with gold is used in jewelry. Such an alloy increases the strength of the product, increases the resistance to deformation and abrasion.


Our copper product line