A metal is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electricity and heat relatively well. They are typically malleable or ductile. Metal, any of a class of substances characterized by high electrical and thermal conductivity as well as by malleability, ductility and high reflectivity of light.

Approximately three-quarters of all known chemical elements are metals. The most abundant varieties in the Earth’s crust are aluminum, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium and magnesium. The vast majority of metals are found in ores (mineral-bearing substances), but a few such as copper, gold, platinum and silver frequently occur in the free state because they do not readily react with other elements.

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Copper was the first metal to be manipulated and remains, until today, crucial in our every day lives and is ranked third most consumed metal in today’s market. Copper is popular in several fields such as Medicine, Electronic, Physic and Agriculture. 

Copper is usually found in nature in association with sulfur.  Pure copper metal is generally produced from a multistage process, beginning with the mining and concentrating of low-grade ores containing copper sulfide minerals, and followed by smelting and electrolytic refining to produce a pure copper cathode.  An increasing share of copper is produced from acid leaching of oxidized ores.  Copper is one of the oldest metals ever used and has been one of the important materials in the development of civilization. 

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

Applications of Copper

Copper and copper alloy can be used in an extraordinary range of applications. Some of these applications include:

  • Power transmission lines
  • Architectural applications
  • Cooking utensils
  • Spark plugs
  • Electrical wiring, cables and busbars
  • High conductivity wires
  • Electrodes
  • Heat exchangers
  • Refrigeration tubing
  • Plumbing
  • Water-cooled copper crucibles

There are a number of types, or grades, of what is essentially pure copper. These grades differ slightly in purity and in the types of “impurity” elements contained, but all contain at least 99.3% Cu.

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