Simple Science

Uses Of Copper

Copper BowlPhoto by jar [o]

Copper is malleable, tough and highly conductive. It is one of the most important metals in the world. Copper important role in modern technology and is essential to all living things. This modern metal has served humans for 7 thousand years. The basis of today’s society, electronics and electric power, are founded on the great ability of copper to conduct electricity. Other important areas of consumption are the workshop, building and processing industry.

This metal is recyclable and almost 90% of the available scrap is recycled. Copper is shipped to fabricators mainly as ingot, cake (slab), billet, wire rod, or cathode. Through extrusion, rolling, forging, drawing, melting, atomization, or electrolysis, fabricators can form rod, sheet, wire, strip, tube, powder, plate, castings, and other shapes. These copper-alloys are then shipped to manufacturing plants which make products for people’s needs. Here are some of the most common uses of copper.

Electricity

Nearly half of the copper produced is for electricity. Two main functions of copper are power generation and transmission of electricity. Copper is employed in transformers, motors, bushbars and generators. If properly set, copper produces electricity safely and efficiently. The metal is also used in electrical equipment and wiring. It’s present in computers, TV and phones. Copper is applied for electrical transmission and is present in microprocessors and electric circuitry. It’s superior to aluminum. Copper’s metallic element is used to build vacuum tubes and magnetron.

Industry

Advertisement

The high ductility of copper makes it a practical tool for the use in industry. Next to iron and aluminum, copper is the third most widely used metal in industries. It’s commonly used in shipbuilding. Copper can withstand corrosion, just as cupronickel. Watt’s steam engine firebox is made from copper, and its high heat dissipation is the reason. If liquefied, it becomes a wood preservative. Copper assists in returning a structure to its original form.

Practical daily application

Copper is applied in doorknobs, fixtures as well as other elements in a household. Copper electroplated nickel silver is used for some frying pans, knives and spoons. The same material is used for sinks, heating cylinders, sinks, and counters. As pigmented salt, copper can be used for decorative art, statues and sculptures.

Transport

Copper is used in construction of lorries, cars, trains as well as other vehicles. High purity copper wire harness systems are used by battery currents. The current is transmitted to central locking and lights, on-board computers, and satellite navigation systems. Electric supper trams, which are built from copper, reduce the pollution which transportation often produces. In addition, copper is also applied in overhead contact wiring.

Biology

Biological uses of the metal include being a nutrient for plants and animals. Traces of copper can be found in liver, muscles, bone and tissues. The main purpose of the metal in a body is as an enzyme co-factor. The knowledge is not new, since our ancestors were aware of copper’s antibacterial properties. Copper was used by Greeks to cure open wounds and ulcers. However, modern medicine applies the metal bracelets to reduce joint pains and arthritis. Lack of this metal in humans may produce varicose veins, shaggy skin and graying of the hair.

READ  What Is The Brain?

Advertisement

Around the Web