Copper sheets are large, thin planes of the popular non-ferrous metal known as copper or one of its many alloys. A common stock shape, metal sheets offer thicknesses greater than that of foil, but thinner than copper plates. Copper planes of thicknesses between 0.006" and 0.250" with a width of 24" or more are typically considered to be sheets, though regulations and categories may vary among manufacturers.
Quick links to Copper Sheets Information
Applications of Copper Sheets
Though the copper sheets themselves are rarely finished products, they and products made from them are extremely versatile and widely employed across the industrial sector. Malleable and ductile copper sheets are easily formed into components, such as flashing for roof tops, decorative paneling, plumbing fixtures, lighting, architectural features, heat exchanger parts, and base plates. Copper, and its alloys to varying degrees, is the best known economical conductor of electricity and heat. It is also non-magnetic, durable, and non-sparking, making the use of copper sheeting within the petrochemical, chemical, automotive, architectural, building, construction, electronics, food processing, marine, aerospace, wiring, power generation, waste treatment, lighting, and telecommunications industries common.
Manufacturing Process of Copper Sheets
Several different processes, such as extrusion, casting, cold rolling, and drawing may be used, but roll forming is the most common method of sheet metal production. This involves heating copper billets, ingots, or other raw forms to increase formability. The shapes are then fed through a pair of rollers that compress the metal into a thin sheet. In some cases, several rollers, or several passes through the same rollers, may be needed to reach the desired thickness which should be uniform throughout the sheet. In addition to thickness or gauge, length and width should also be taken into consideration.
The purity of the copper used in sheet fabrication should also be considered, as many popular alloys, such as bronze or brass, will have different mechanical properties. Hardness and surface properties of copper sheets can be altered during the rolling process, as well as through intentional cross rolling. Regulatory bodies, such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Copper Development Association (CDA), are good sources for information on copper sheets, and most copper suppliers will also be able to help determine the proper specifications for a given application.
Benefits of Using Copper Sheets
The material choice of copper is economic, both in terms of the material itself and in the cost of processing. Because the metal is soft and malleable, it is energy efficient to process, unlike some other sheet metals that require a great deal of pressure or heat. The particular range of thickness (or gauges) in which copper sheets are available also make them a popular choice because they are easily formed to specific shapes, but sturdy enough to hold a solid form after processing.