Beryllium Copper is a versatile copper alloy that is valued for its high strength and hardness, combined with good electrical and thermal conductivity. It is a non-ferrous, non-magnetic, and non-sparking metal alloy...
Please fill out the following form to submit a Request for Quote to any of the following companies listed on
This article will take an in-depth look at copper.
The article will bring more detail on topics such as:
Copper is a ductile and malleable reddish-gold metal with the capacity to conduct heat and electricity. Brass and bronze, two commonly used alloys, are created when copper is combined with other metals. Due to its propensity to oxidize quickly, copper is regarded as a base metal. On the periodic chart, its atomic number is rated 29 with the symbol Cu. The Bronze Age began when tin and copper were discovered to be alloyable to create bronze tools and weapons.
Along with silver and gold, copper has historically been used to create coins; it is the most used for coining and has the least value. It is an alloy used in all US coinage, and it’s also included in gun metals.
Copper comes in many forms, including foil, sheet, round bar, wire, and plate, with all forms having high electrical conductivity. Purer grades of copper have higher conductivity.
There are numerous applications for copper. It is used for architectural purposes, such as tiles on a wall or sheets on the face of a building. DIY crafters use copper to cover their bar tops, giving a bar new life and a stunning look.
The purest grade of copper is 101, with a 99.99% copper content. The most common grade is 110, which is used in the electrical and architectural markets. Grade 110 has other alloying elements that make it stronger but still malleable.
Most copper is utilized in motors and other electrical devices. This is because it may be drawn into wires and because it transmits heat and electricity very effectively. Additionally, it is utilized in industrial machines, roofing materials, and plumbing products. Copper sulfate is a common agricultural pesticide and water-filtration algicide. Chemical tests for sugar detection, such as Fehling's solution, involve copper compounds.
Basaltic lavas are a common source of native copper. Copper may also be extracted from copper compounds. These compounds include sulfides, chlorides, arsenides, and carbonates. Many minerals, like chalcopyrite, bornite, chalcocite, cuprite, malachite, and azurite, include copper.
Copper may be found in the liver of humans, various marine corals, seaweed ashes, and various arthropods. In the hemocyanin of blue-blooded crustaceans and mollusks, copper serves the same function that iron performs in the hemoglobin of red-blooded species (including humans) to deliver oxygen. Copper is also found as a trace metal found in humans and aids in the production of hemoglobin.
Copper is a highly ductile metal, though not particularly hard or strong. However, its strength and hardness can be significantly boosted by cold working (the process of working a metal below its crystallization temperature) because of the production of elongated crystals with the same face-centered cubic structure as in harder annealed copper. Common gasses (including oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide), which have a significant impact on the mechanical and electrical characteristics of a solidified metal, are insoluble in molten copper. In terms of thermal and electrical conductivity, this pure metal comes second only to silver. The stable isotopes copper-63 and copper-65 make up the majority of natural copper.
Copper is not soluble in acids with hydrogen since it follows hydrogen in the electromotive series. However, it does react with oxidizing acids like nitric and hot, concentrated sulfuric acid. Seawater and the atmosphere have little effect on copper. However, prolonged exposure to air causes the development of a thin, green protective covering called patina, which is a combination of hydroxycarbonate, hydroxysulfate, and trace quantities of other substances. In the absence of air, non-oxidizing or non-complexing dilute acids have little effect on copper, making it a relatively noble metal.
However, in the presence of oxygen, it will quickly dissolve in sulfuric and nitric acids. Because highly-stable cyano complexes are created when it dissolves, it is also soluble when placed in aqueous ammonia or potassium cyanide in an oxygen-containing environment.
The six families of copper grades are coppers, dilute copper alloys, brass, bronze, copper nickel alloys, and nickel silver alloys. The grades are numbered using a system developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is known as the Unified Numbering System (UNS), which is overseen by the Society of American Engineers (SAE) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
The first grades of copper are pure with less than 0.7% of impurities and are designated by UNS numbers C10100 to C13000. Dilute copper grades have alloying elements in small amounts that change some of the properties of pure copper. Copper grade C11000 has high electrical conductivity and is used for electrical applications. The various forms of copper nickel alloys have 1.5% up to 4.5% nickel content and are identified as grades UNS C70000 up to UNS C73499.
The various grades are chosen for the manufacturing of specific products based on their properties and characteristics. Grades C70000 up to C73499 are used to manufacture coins, evaporators, heat exchanger tubes, automotive hydraulics, and cooling systems. UNS grades C73500 up to C79999 are used for the manufacture of ball point pens, musical instruments, and transistor casings.
Copper is found all over the surface of the earth as a mineral or as ore that contains other metals like zinc and lead. It is mined using open pit or underground mining. Of the copper mined, 90% is from open pit mining, which involves digging into the earth's crust in measured steps to remove ores situated close to the surface.
Copper is in demand from large countries and infrastructures. China, at 52%, and Europe, at 16%, are the leading consumers of copper. The leaders in copper production are Chile, Peru, and China, with the United States ranked 5th. Copper is added to other alloys to make other metals malleable or give other metals color.
When the depth of the ore makes open-pit mining impractical, underground mining may be used. This method entails creating shafts in the earth's surface so that machinery or explosives may separate the ore.
Ore must be treated to attain a high level of purity once it is extracted. Sulfide ores go through the following five steps:
High concentrations of copper oxide are obtained by a three-step procedure on copper oxide ores:
Thus, smelting or leaching, followed by electrodeposition from sulfate solutions, are the principal methods used to generate copper for industrial use. The electrical industries consume the majority of the copper that is produced globally; the majority of the remaining copper is alloyed with other metals.
As an electroplated coating, copper is also crucial from a technical standpoint. Brasses, nickel silvers, and bronzes are a significant series of alloys wherein copper is the main component. Copper and nickel may be combined to create a variety of useful alloys, including Monel®. The aluminum bronzes series of alloys, which combine copper and aluminum, is also significant. Beryllium copper is a unique copper alloy because it may be heat-treated to make it harder.
Typically, a copper wire is a single conductor for electrical communications, as opposed to a copper cable, which has numerous copper wires bundled into a single jacket. The wide varieties of copper wire all do the same task: they transmit electricity with little resistance, resulting in voltage decreases and heat dissipation. Some types of copper wire include:
There are both standard and special form factors for copper alloy wire. Size, tensile strength (expressed in psi), and operating temperature are among the manufacturer specs to consider when deciding which product best suits your needs. Brass, bronze, titanium, zirconium, and other metals are available as alternatives. The strength, solderability, durability, and requirement for insulation are frequently affected by the alloy selection.
When choosing a certain type of copper or copper-alloy conductor for a particular electrical application, one must assess the benefits and drawbacks of each type. For example, when greater strengths or better abrasion and corrosion resistance are needed, copper alloy conductors are preferable over pure copper in these particular applications. However, compared to pure copper, the advantages that copper alloys provide in terms of increased strength and corrosion resistance are outweighed by their poorer electrical conductivities.
In many types of electrical wiring, copper serves as the electrical conductor. The telecommunications industry utilizes copper wire for power generation, transmission, and distribution of messages; the electronic circuits and numerous other forms of electrical equipment found in phones and many other electronic devices all rely on copper. Electrical contacts can also be made of copper and its alloys. Perhaps the copper industry's most significant market is for electrical wiring in buildings, where the electrical wiring and cable conductorsare made with about half of the copper extracted from the earth.
How effectively a substance transfers an electric charge is determined by its electrical conductivity. This quality is crucial for electrical wiring systems. The electrical resistivity of copper is 16.78 nΩ•m at 68 °F (20 °C), making it the non-precious metal with the greatest electrical conductivity rating.
Contrary to pure copper, which is a complex mixture of the metal, copper alloys are composed of the alloying elements nickel, aluminum, silicon, tin, and zinc in various amounts to give these alloys certain desirable qualities. ETP copper and OF copper are two common copper alloys.
This alloy is the most widely used copper alloy and has excellent ETP copper characteristics. It is well-liked for electrical applications and those requiring low resistance levels since it provides 100% IACS (The International Association of Classification Societies) minimum conductivity.
Commercially-wrought copper known as ETP has traditionally been relied on for the fabrication of sheets, plates, square bars, strips, wires, etc. Despite not being completely oxygen-free, ETP copper is regarded as an OFC (oxygen-free copper) since it has a minimum conductivity value of 100% IACS. In contrast, the required rating for an OFC is 99.9% pure. Due to its conductivity, ETP copper is the most popular and commonly used copper. In addition, due to its resistance to corrosion, workability, and aesthetic appeal, ETP copper 110 offers a remarkably wide variety of uses.
0.0005% oxygen is present in an alloy of 99.99% pure copper called OF copper. This alloy is less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement, has a conductivity value of 101% IACS, and is oxidation-resistant.
The highest grade of copper, C101 OF copper, closely resembles elemental copper in terms of material attributes. Because silver is an impurity, the desired purity of OF copper is so high that it is eliminated.
C101 OF copper, an ultra-high purity copper product, is very ductile, offers excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, and provides exceptional machinability. These qualities are enhanced compared to normal copper products by lowering the oxygen concentration to less than 0.0005%. As a result, it has a wide range of extremely specialized industrial uses.
The last refining step is the sole difference from pure copper in how C101 OF copper is processed. In order to further minimize the oxygen level, the final refining procedure must be carried out in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen. This can include melting copper in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen, such as a vacuum or a carefully-regulated inert atmosphere, and then pouring the molten copper into castings.
Because it requires more processing effort to achieve the requisite level of product purity, C101 OF copper is the most costly copper grade available.
A non-ferrous alloy called beryllium copper is used in load cells, spring wire, and other items that need to maintain their form under repeated stress and strain. Because of its excellent electrical conductivity, it is utilized in low-current connections for batteries and electrical wiring.
Despite being strong and magnetically inert, beryllium copper doesn't ignite. Consequently, it is used in explosively-dangerous locations, including oil rigs, coal mines, and grain elevators; beryllium copper screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, cold chisels, and hammers are available as well for these dangerous working environments. Although beryllium copper tools are more costly and less durable than steel tools, they may be preferable in hazardous conditions due to their unique qualities. Aluminum bronze is a substitute metal occasionally utilized for non-sparking equipment.
The benefits of copper's high strength and non-magnetic, non-sparking properties are combined in beryllium copper wire. You may either age- or mill-harden this copper alloy wire. This substance can be used to create complicated structures, complex forms, or springs. In addition to being flexible, this particular sort of copper wire is corrosion-resistant. This type of wire works well for machining, forming, and metalworking.
Beryllium copper has a variety of well-known names. It is also known as copper beryllium, beryllium bronze, Alloy 172, spring copper, and BeCu. These words are always used in relation to beryllium copper.
Beryllium copper is employed in a wide range of fields and applications. This is partly because it is non-sparking, non-magnetic, strong, and thermally and electrically conductive.
Aluminum (with electrical conductivity grade) serves as the core of the copper-clad aluminum (CCA); it is then coated with a thin exterior layer made of oxygen-free copper. During the cladding process, a permanent continual weld is made between the two metals. This composite wire is ideally suited for electrical applications where conductivity and weight considerations are crucial. The copper ensures great solderability and accounts for 10% to 15% of the wire's cross-sectional area. At frequencies over 5MHz, its AC conductivity (a form of electric conductivity) is equivalent to solid copper. CCA is produced in compliance with ASTM B-566 specifications. CCA offers excellent “film insulation,” with its ability to insulate, or shield, the electric current that may run within it.
Different conductor sizes, insulation types, and jacket thicknesses are available for CCA wire. CCA wire features oil, fire, and ozone resistance and the ability to work at extreme temperatures. The copper cladding covering the outside of copper-clad aluminum wire offers it conductivity while reducing weight. While having stronger strength and more electrical conductivity than pure aluminum wire, CCA is less costly than pure copper wire.
Any wire's outermost portion tends to have more alternating current flowing through it due to the skin effect. This is especially true in CCA wires because the conductor's exterior copper cladding has lower resistance than its mostly-unused aluminum inner. At high frequencies, when the skin effect is greatest, the wire's resistance approaches that of a pure copper wire owing to the superior conductor on the outer channel. The copper-clad aluminum wire has better conductivity than bare aluminum, which makes it suitable for radio frequency applications.
Copper-clad steel wire (which will be discussed further below), used as the center conductors of many coaxial cables, similarly uses the skin effect. Copper-clad aluminum wires are frequently used for high-frequency feedlines with demanding conductivity and strength specifications.
The characteristics of copper-clad aluminum wire are as follows:
Copper-clad steel (CCS) results when steel wires are metallically bonded with a copper covering to produce a wire with both the mechanical strength of steel and the corrosion resistance and conductivity of copper. Due to its ability to efficiently transfer electric energy, copper-clad steel is almost entirely produced as wire. Because of this, it is used in power installations, grounding wires, and telephone lines. Typically, CCS wires range in conductivity from 20% to 40%, depending on a project's requirements. In addition, once the two metals are wed, it is nearly impossible to remove the copper from the steel, making CCS theft-resistant.
Metallic cables are required for many electrical applications, including grounding and power installations. These wires require robust metal in order to withstand corrosion and maintain durability despite heavy usage. For energy to pass smoothly through the metal and reach its target, it must also be conductive. Copper has high conductivity but low strength, whereas steel is the reverse. By combining the two, copper-clad steel may do both tasks by utilizing the strengths of each metal.
The structure of copper-clad steel is rather straightforward. A bare steel wire is first created, often with low-carbon content to make the steel pliable. After creating the steel wire, copper is heated and used to coat it, joining the two metals together. The connection between the metals is so strong that, because it cannot be broken, it is referred to as a marriage. Because CCS wires contain steel, they have excellent tensile and mechanical strengths and suffer less wear from usage. The copper prevents corrosion in the steel and throughout the wire, extending its lifespan even under heavy usage. The majority of businesses that produce CCS cables utilize copper, which is between 20% and 40% conductive, making it a flexible wire.
Utilizing copper-clad steel has some intriguing benefits, one of which is that the wire deters theft. Copper wire is frequently stolen by criminals to make a profit, even though copper is not a traditionally precious metal. These thieves employ acids to remove the copper from items when copper is bound to another metal. However, the wire itself has relatively little monetary worth; thus, there is no motivation to steal copper-clad steel since it cannot be separated.
The strong tensile strength of steel and the conductivity of copper are combined in copper-clad steel (CCS) wire. This kind of wire is employed in a variety of products, including power supply lines, computer hardware, motors, magnetic assemblies, and sophisticated pressure and temperature measurement devices. The tensile strength of annealed/soft-tempered copper-clad steel is often lower than that of a hard-drawn substitute.
The great tensile strength of steel serves as the core of copper-clad steel wire (CCS), which also has copper's outer layer of conductivity. The inner conductor of coaxial cables or grounding wire is commonly made of low carbon steel as the core material. According to ASTM B-452 specifications, copper-clad steel is produced in two tempers—soft and hard drawn—with 40% conductivity.
Theoretically, the steel core alloy can be of any grade that is appropriate for an intended use of the wire. However, for some medical applications, copper-clad stainless steel (CCSS), with a core from the 300 series, may be specified instead.
In addition to “bare” copper-clad steel wire, it is also possible to electroplate it with gold, silver, solder, tin, and nickel in order to further benefit from the positive qualities of these materials. Another choice is an insulating layer made of enamel to provide an extra layer of heat protection or as an extra barrier from the elements.
As the name suggests, titanium-clad copper wire is copper wire coated with a thin layer of titanium. The bonding of copper and titanium results in a wire that is ductile for forming and shaping and has excellent weldability for joining, capping, and connecting. Applications for a titanium-clad copper wire include desalination, water treatment, power production, chemical processing, and other processes that demand a high current-carrying capacity together with a high level of corrosion resistance.
A copper rod can be coated with a titanium coating of a specific thickness (often 1.0–1.2mm) to produce titanium-clad copper. It is the metal anode's primary component. It may be classified as round, flat, square, rectangular titanium-clad copper, etc. based on its cross-sectional geometry. This titanium composite material combines titanium's outstanding corrosion resistance with copper's great electrical conductivity. It may be utilized as a conductor for transporting huge currents while maintaining uniform current density and eradicating electrolyte contamination brought on by the corrosion of copper conductors under somewhat corrosive working circumstances. As a result of these properties, it has evolved into the key ingredient in the manufacture of metal anode electrolyzers.
Nickel plating is frequently used on wire goods because it provides the best corrosion protection available. Even at high temperatures, wires coated with nickel remain robust. These cables are frequently utilized in settings with high temperatures because of the copper conductor’s exceptional performance owing to the 27% nickel plating.
This 27% nickel-plating layer protects the copper wire up to 1,382 °F (750 °C). Additionally, the coating provides excellent corrosion resistance at negative temperatures as low as -76 °F (-60 °C). Alkalis, reducing substances, and salt sprays are among the substances to which nickel is highly resistant.
Nickel-plated copper lead wire cables are simple to weld as well. In order to solder them, active flux products must be used. Nickel boosts conductivity when used as a coating material on cables since it has an excellent conductivity that is 25% that of copper. Copper wires are protected with nickel so they can withstand high temperatures and survive for a long time.
The wide applications of copper include:
Copper is usually used as the preferred metal for the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity since it is far less expensive than precious metals. Additionally, it plays an important role in the transfer of data in the telecommunications sector, particularly in regard to internet connectivity and cable wire. The positive properties of copper are an essential part of interconnected systems of commercial operations, devices, and lines that generate and distribute power.
The use of copper has a central role in the modern era’s use of electricity. As new technologies have developed, the demand for copper has radically increased. When copper is alloyed with other metals, it gains excellent properties and characteristics, which broadens the number of applications where it can be used.
On the power grid, copper is used from the generation of electrical power to its consumption. Power stations generate power that is sent to transformers that convert it such that it can be sent over transmission lines. Various substations throughout the network assist in moving the power supply along to its final destination. Each step of the process involves copper lines, cables, transformers, circuit breakers, and switches that are key parts of the network.
Copper has been a central factor in the growth of the electrical industry because of its conductivity, mechanical properties, ability to perform in ambient and high temperature environments, and its formability and ease of fabrication. Over the last thirty years, there have been rapid advancements in electronic and computer technologies, which have demands in regard to extreme service conditions.
Materials required to meet the demands of the electronic industry necessitate metals with a tensile strength of 200 ksi or 1400 MPa, which is achieved by heat treating beryllium copper that is used for heavy industrial applications. Additionally, aside from its use in the electronics industry, brazed copper brass alloys are used in automobile radiators due to copper's excellent thermal conductivity.
Copper and its alloys have become a valuable part of the manufacture of miniaturized intricate parts for handheld devices and multi-ton equipment for heavy industrial applications. Engineering applications include valves, pumps, heat exchangers, aircraft brakes, and sleeve bearings.
An essential element in the production of semiconductor technology has been aluminum due to its corrosion and rust resistance. Recently, engineers have found that using copper in place of aluminum enhances the performance of a semiconductor by 30% and reduces its size. According to various sources, 200 million transistors can be placed on one chip.
Copper is frequently used in the manufacture of different equipment like cables, connections, and switches for electronic devices. It is also used in heat exchangers for cooling devices like air conditioners and refrigerators and microprocessors for smartphones, computers, and other electronic devices.
Induction motors have been used in the production of automobiles due to their torque density, efficiency, and rugged durability. The manufacture of induction motors has relied on low cost aluminum rotors, which were easier to cast than copper. Through the efforts of the International Copper Association, Ltd. (ICA) and Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA), a stable casting process has been developed that makes it possible to produce copper rotor bars and end rings that reduce electrical loss and makes it possible to produce smaller and more efficient induction motors.
As with induction motors, copper is replacing aluminum for the windings of transformers. The wide use of copper in transformers is practical and efficient since copper windings make transformers smaller and portable. Copper is a harder, stronger, and more ductile metal than aluminum. It comes in a yield strength of 280 N/mm2, which makes it viable for heavy duty transformers. High voltage windings made of copper are fatigue resistant, improve energy performance, and have lower life cycle costs.
Copper induction motors and transformers are two examples of the many uses of copper in the development, production, and designing of equipment. The strength, durability, reliability, endurance, and availability of copper has made it the foundational element for old equipment and future designs.
One of the fastest growing industries in the world is the electric car industry, which was first introduced during the first industrial revolution. This whimsically explored innovation did not receive much consideration until the beginning of the 20th century with the introduction of the personal vehicle.
In the 21st century, the vision of 100 years ago has become a reality in the form of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all electric cars that rely on copper components. Copper is an essential part of the windings of electric car motors, braking systems, driving controls, and gear boxes. Automatic temperature controls, seat motors, and hands free mobile phone access are all dependent on copper components. According to various sources, there is more than 50 pounds of copper in a typical car with one mile in total length of wire.
Motor oil manufacturers have discovered that adding copper to lubricants helps an engine run smoother and last longer. The introduction of the process is one of the most significant advancements in crankcase chemistry. A wide variety of agricultural and construction equipment rely on copper as part of their structure.
The mammoth electric shovel, the largest land machine, includes 4000 tons of copper. The Boeing 747-200 is 2% copper or 4.5 tons and has 632,000 feet of copper wire. A typical diesel electric locomotive has 5.5 tons of copper with the latest and most powerful models having 8 tons of copper. Diesel electric railroad locomotives use conductor bars for their rotors with six three phase AC induction motors and copper wire for windings.
The few examples listed above are a small sampling of the wide use of copper in the transportation industry, which relies on copper for its conductive properties as well as its durability, strength, and other characteristics. In some cases, copper is used as bronze or brass for industrial applications and consumer products.
Because of its ability to resist corrosion and repel grime, copper nickel can be found in boats and ships. Given their greater reliance on electronics, the next generation of electric, hybrid, and even gas-guzzling cars, aircraft, and high-speed trains will presumably require even more copper than previous generations.
Copper is frequently utilized throughout residential and commercial structures. It is often used in sprinkler, plumbing, and roofing systems due to its corrosion resistance. Brass doorknobs, which are made of copper and zinc, are frequently used in public spaces because copper and its alloys have antibacterial qualities.
Any copper product with a higher level of copper purity will have superior corrosion resistance, greater electrical conductivity, and create less heat when conducting electricity. C101 oxygen-free copper, the purest copper product conceivable, offers the greatest level of all these benefits available in copper products.
Very few interruptions in the metallic structure of the copper result from the removal of virtually all impurities, and the performance-impairing oxidation of the metallic copper is significantly reduced when almost all oxygen is also removed.
Almost all applications for C101 oxygen-free copper are quite specialized due to the greater cost associated with these higher-purity products. These applications include:
Industrial applications where ductility is required frequently employ C110 copper. Plumbing, roofing, and electrical conductivity are a few examples of its uses, as are electromagnets, electric motors, and other electronics. Due to its hue, it is most frequently used in residential and architectural settings. A kitchen backsplash, cutting board, or pots and pans are a few examples of such usage.
C110 copper is used in a wide variety of construction-related applications. These often include wiring, skylight frames, gutters, flashing, plumbing components, and more. Although copper 110 may be safely welded, the inert gasses needed are often not advised for usage with copper due to the health hazards they may create.
The use of beryllium copper (BeCu) may be the most widespread in electronic connections, telecommunications equipment, computer parts, and tiny springs. The following are just a few of the many benefits of beryllium copper:
A single spark may harm lives and property in places like coal mines and oil rigs. The non-sparking and non-magnetic properties of beryllium copper can be a life-saving characteristic in this circumstance. The letters BeCu are found on tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, and hammers used in coal mines and oil rigs, indicating that they are manufactured of beryllium copper and are safe to use there.
Aside from being a common substance for non-sparking equipment, copper beryllium is also utilized to create high-end, high-quality musical instruments because it produces percussion instruments with constant tone and resonance. Triangles and tambourines are often fashioned of copper beryllium. At low temperatures, BeCu keeps its strength and thermal conductivity. As a result, cryogenic equipment uses it too.
As an alternative to powdered steel or iron, beryllium copper, which can disperse heat from the valve more quickly than these other materials, is utilized in valve seats. These valve seats are found in high-performance, four-stroke engines and are typically paired with titanium valves.
Numerous applications for copper-clad aluminum are found in music, including loudspeakers, subwoofers, guitar cables, amplifiers, noise-cancellation devices, and high-performance audio equipment. Other applications include:
Copper-clad steel is mainly used in power supply and conversion, including wireless, heavy-duty, and specialized power supplies. Other applications include:
The ductility of copper makes it possible to shape and form it into a wide variety of instruments and devices. Since it is such a plentiful metal, there are constant innovations that have copper as their main component. Aside from its value as an electrical conductor, copper is valuable in several forms from decorative and artistic items to essential wires and coils.
In the thousands of years that people have known about copper, engineers and inventors have worked to find new and improved ways to use it. Each new innovation and device has paved the way for more efficient and productive developments and advancements.
Copper coils are thermal and electrical conductive components that are made of copper wire or tubing that is bent and wound into a spiral shape. They are made from the purest form of copper at 99.9% pure, which makes them easy to twist, bend, and shape.
There are a wide assortment of uses for copper coils from heating and cooling systems to wound coils for induction motors. When copper wire is wound to form a coil, its electricity conducting properties can be transformed into a magnet. Although copper is not magnetic, the addition of electricity to a copper coil changes the movement of electrons in the copper atoms. The magnet properties produced by copper coils are used in motors, dynamos, and transformers.
Copper tubes are formed by extrusion, a process that forces a heated billet of copper through a profile in the shape of the tube. The various forms of tubing are made from 99.9% copper, which makes them easy to form, shape, and configure. Copper tubes are essential components of air conditioning systems and refrigerant systems.
The use of copper tubes is due to the tight seal that is formed by the copper that prevents its contents from escaping. The two types of copper tubes are hard drawn and soft copper. Hard drawn copper tubes are rigid, hard, and inflexible and come in three thicknesses, which are Type K, Type L, and Type M. Type K is the thickest of the three and is used for high pressure applications.
Soft copper tubes are flexible, pliable, and easily bent with an outer diameter (OD) of 0.125 inch up to 1.625 inch (3 mm up to 41 mm). The uses for soft copper tubes include plumbing projects since it is easier to bend and shape. Additionally, soft copper tubes are used for electrical applications.
Copper bars, known as bus bars and ETP bars, have strong thermal and electrical conductivity and are used in the construction and plumbing industries. The popularity of copper bars is due to their ability to endure harsh and hostile conditions. Since copper bars are easy to shape and bend, they can be fitted to a wide variety of applications.
Copper bars are the raw material used for the production of various copper products. Additionally, they are used in the manufacture of automobiles and resistance welding electrodes. As with other forms of copper, copper bars are made from different grades of copper depending how they will be used. C110 or C11000 copper bars are in demand in the electronics industry.
Alloy C36000 is a highly machinable brass. It is known for its superior strength as well as its resistance to corrosion. The popularity of C36000 brass bars is their ability to maintain their strength even in the most stressful and demanding conditions. They are a high density material used for heavy industrial applications.
Copper sheets and foil are made by roll forming that involves heating a billet of copper and sending it through a set of rollers that compresses the billet to make thin copper sheets. The thickness of the final sheets is determined by the number of times the billet is passed through the compression rollers. The multiple applications determine the thickness or gauge of the sheets.
The ductility of copper makes the formation of copper sheets an energy efficient process since less pressure is required to form the sheets. As with other forms of copper, sheeting and foil is produced using a wide range of coppers and copper alloys such as C110, C102, C145, C172, and C100. The gauges of copper sheets run the full gamut of thicknesses from 24 gauge with a thickness of 0.0215 inch (0.54 mm) to 11 gauge at 0.125 inch (3 mm).
As with copper sheets and foil, copper strips are produced using roll forming where a billet is compressed to form sheets that are later cut to the desired width and lengths of the strips. The roll forming of copper strips is one of several methods used to produce them with welding and extrusion being two other processes.
Copper strips are made from copper grades C10100, C10200, C10500, C10700, and C12200 in gauges of .008 in. to 0.040 in. ± 0.0003 in. (0.200 mm to 1.0 mm ± 0.0076 mm) and widths of 0.500 in. to 3.00 in. ± 0.003 in. (12.5 mm to 76.0 mm ± 0.076 mm). They come as bare copper strips, enameled copper strips, braided copper strips, and paper copper strips with bare copper strips being the most used.
Regardless of the malleability of copper strips, which allows them to be twisted, shaped, and pulled into difficult to reach areas, copper strips are able to maintain their tensile strength when placed under pressure. The typical use for copper strips is as wire due to copper's high electrical conductivity.
Copper fasteners are made from several copper alloys including brass, bronze, and beryllium copper. The various alloys of copper are used to make screws with hexagonal heads, countersunk heads, flat heads, round heads, pan heads, flanged heads, socket heads, winged heads, button head screws, t-slot bolts, eye bolts, and many other varieties.
The lightweight of copper fasteners makes them ideal for applications that involve the manufacture of automobiles, engines, ships, and airplanes. They are the first choice for applications that involve exposure to corrosive substances and moisture. The wide use of copper fasteners is due to their ability to maintain their shape and strength in the most rigorous and hostile conditions.
Copper flanges are rings that come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and configurations. The various types of flange include weld neck, slip on, threaded, blind, socket, and orifice. The stability, strength, and durability of copper makes copper flanges the perfect choice for creating pipe connections. They are long lasting and have all of the resistant properties of copper.
The wide range of copper flanges makes it possible to choose the exact flange to fit the needs of a piping application. Additionally, copper flanges are weldable and capable of creating a tight secure connection. Copper flanges for brine water, salt water, and diluted non-oxidized acids are copper nickel grades C70600 and C71500 due to their resistance to marine organisms.
As with copper sheets, bars, and strips, copper plates are widely used for their thermal and electrical conductivity, strength, formability, and resistance to corrosion. Copper plates are widely used in the marine industry due to copper plate’s antifouling properties, the resistance to the growth of aquatic organisms.
Prior to the development of electronic printing, etched copper plates were an essential part of the photogravure printing process, which is a process that is still used to create works of art. Other uses for copper plates include as roofing material, chimneys, and edging. Copper grade C110, one of the most used grades of copper, is widely used to produce copper plate.
Copper rods provide a path for electrical current to travel through electrical cables. It is made by pulling pure copper through a series of dies that have the desired profile of the rods. High quality, 99.9% pure copper is used to make copper rods, which are coated with plastic or rubber for protection and the prevention of their making contact with other equipment.
Electrical tough pitch (ETP) copper is the most widely used for the production of copper rod due to its high electrical conductivity. It is used for power systems, electronic equipment, and medical applications. ETP copper grades C11000 and C11040 have the proper strength and stability for the production and manufacture of copper rods. Copper earth rods are used to provide ground contact for high voltage substations, towers, and power distribution systems.
Copper processing is a complicated procedure that requires numerous phases. Copper producers use different refining methods depending on the type of ore, as well as other economic and environmental variables. Currently, sulfide sources account for around 80% of the world's copper output.
Regardless of the kind of ore, mined copper ore must first be concentrated in order to remove copper from gangue (the undesirable elements embedded in an ore). The ore is crushed and ground into powder as the initial stage in this procedure in a ball or rod mill. From there, additional steps are taken to extract the copper from the ore.
More steps are then required to transform the copper into a material suitable for various commercial applications. Various copper alloys have been developed, each suitable for specific purposes. Copper-based products may be found nearly everywhere in our daily lives, from the copper pipes and wires in our homes and offices to the microchips and semiconductors hiding in our smartphones and other electronic devices.
Beryllium Copper is a versatile copper alloy that is valued for its high strength and hardness, combined with good electrical and thermal conductivity. It is a non-ferrous, non-magnetic, and non-sparking metal alloy...
A variety of copper-zinc alloys are referred to together as brass. Different ratios of brass and zinc can be used to create alloys, which produce materials with various mechanical, corrosion, and thermal properties...
The copper sheet is a highly malleable and workable metal with outstanding electrical and thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance. Copper (Cu) is a reddish, very ductile metal that belongs to Group 11 of the periodic table...
Aluminized steels are steels that have been hot-dip coated with pure aluminum or aluminum-silicon alloys. This hot-dip coating process is termed hot-dip aluminizing (HAD)...
The term "aluminum coil" describes aluminum that has been flattened into sheets where their width is significantly higher than their thickness and then "coiled" into a roll. Stacks of individual aluminum sheets are difficult to...
Aluminum piping and tubing is silvery-white, soft, and ductile. The metal belongs to the boron group. Aluminum is the third most abundant element present on earth. Aluminum has low density. When exposed...
Metals are a group of substances that are malleable, ductile, and have high heat and electrical conductivity. They can be grouped into five categories with nickel falling in the category known as transition metals...
Stainless steel is a type of steel alloy containing a minimum of 10.5% chromium. Chromium imparts corrosion resistance to the metal. Corrosion resistance is achieved by creating a thin film of metal...
Stainless steel grades each consist of carbon, iron, 10.5%-30% chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and other alloying elements. It is a popular metal used in various products, tools, equipment, and structures that serve in many industrial, commercial, and domestic applications...
Steel service centers are companies that specialize in procuring steel directly from mills and manufacturers and supplying them to the customers. They are fundamental to the steel supply chain...
Stainless steel can be fabricated using any of the traditional forming and shaping methods. Austenitic stainless steel can be rolled, spun, deep drawn, cold forged, hot forged, or stippled using force and stress...
Stainless steel tubing is a multifaceted product that is commonly utilized in structural applications. Stainless steel tubing diameters and variations vary greatly based on the application requirements and are...
Titanium metal, with the symbol Ti, is the ninth most abundant element in the earth‘s crust. It does not occur in large deposits, yet small amounts of titanium are found in almost every rock...
Tungsten is a rare naturally occurring chemical element on earth. It is known to be one of the toughest metals on the earth. It is usually a tin white or a steel gray metal. Tungsten is common for its high tensile...
Aluminum is the most abundant metal on the Earth’s crust, but it rarely exists as an elemental form. Aluminum and its alloys are valued because of their low density and high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and corrosion resistance...