Copper is the oldest metal used by man. It’s use dates back to prehistoric times. Copper has been mined for more than 10,000 years with a Copper pendant found in current day Iraq being dated to 8700BC. By 5000BC Copper was being smelted from simple Copper Oxides. Copper is found as native metal and in the minerals cuprite, malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite and bornite.
It is also often a by-product of silver production. Sulphides, oxides and carbonates are the most important ores. Copper and copper alloys are some of the most versatile engineering materials available. The combination of physical properties such as strength, conductivity, corrosion resistance, machinability and ductility make copper suitable for a wide range of applications. These properties can be further enhanced with variations in composition and manufacturing methods.
The largest end use for copper is in the building industry. Within the building industry the use of copper based materials is broad. Construction industry related applications for copper include:
Water pipes and fittings
Oil and gas lines
The building industry is the largest single consumer of copper alloy. The following list is a breakdown of copper consumption by industry on an annual basis:
Building industry – 47%
Electronic products – 23%
Transportation – 10%
Consumer products – 11%
Industrial machinery – 9%
Commercial Compositions of Copper
There are around 370 commercial compositions for copper alloy. The most common grade tends to be C106/CW024A – the standard water tube grade of copper.
World consumption of copper and copper alloy now exceeds 18 million tonnes per annum.
Applications of Copper
Copper and copper alloy can be used in an extraordinary range of applications. Some of these applications include:
Power transmission lines
Electrical wiring, cables and busbars
High conductivity wires
Water-cooled copper crucibles
Post time: Dec-17-2021