Thursday, February 25, 2021

Common Items Made of Copper


Just like colors and patterns, metals seem to go in and out of fashion with some degree of regularity—and right now, copper is definitely having a moment. Copper jewelry and fixtures are everywhere these days, but regardless of the current trends, copper is timeless. It’s used in a number of common items that we use everyday, whether we’re at work, at home, or on-the-go.

Understanding Copper

Copper items are rarely made from pure copper. Instead, copper ore is mined from the earth, then it is concentrated, smelted, and refined. When the copper is 99.95 to 99.99 percent pure, it can either be used as-is in manufacturing, or, as is most often the case, it can be combined with other metals to form copper alloys. By adding other metals to copper, we can introduce new properties and form an alloy that is stronger, a different color, more resistant to heat, etc. There are currently over 400 copper alloys in existence!

Copper and copper alloys are used for a wide range of applications, but the Copper Development Association divides these applications into four key areas: electrical, construction, transportation, and other. Only 3 percent of copper falls into the other category, so the copper you see around you in your home, workplace, or community is really only the tip of the iceberg.

Common Items Made of Copper

Perhaps one of the reasons copper has been so popular as of late is because it’s antimicrobial. Face masks have copper linings and copper keychains that allow people to open doors or push buttons without touching them directly have become a common accessory since the COVID-19 pandemic. Copper water bottles, jugs, and cups are used not only for their antibacterial properties, but also as a dietary source of this important trace mineral.

Copper is highly conductive, corrosion-resistant, ductile, and malleable, which is why it’s used in electrical wiring and for other electronic applications like circuit boards, microchips, electrodes, and vacuum tubes. The telecommunications industry depends on copper wires for LAN internet lines, and copper tubing is used in water and heating systems around the globe.

The household uses of copper aren’t just behind the scenes in wires and plumbing, though. Copper alloys are commonly used in door knobs, handles, and faucets. It’s used as an architectural metal and in sculptures. Copper cookware has been used for centuries and is still commonly used today; pennies are plated with copper, musical instruments are manufactured with it, and copper pins and gears are used in clocks and watches.

When you get in your car to drive somewhere, there’s copper in its electronic components and radiator. Hybrid and electric cars use even more copper than conventional cars. Copper is also used in trains, trolleys, airplanes, and boats.

In other words, no matter where you are or what transportation you take to get there, you are surrounded by copper! Without this metal, many of the modern technologies and conveniences we take for granted wouldn’t be possible.

Contact Atlas Bronze

Are you considering using copper for a project? Our knowledgeable sales staff at Atlas Bronze can help you decide if copper is the best choice for your application. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 or email to learn more or request a quote.

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