The uses of copper is a staggering phenomenon and its importance in our everyday lives is often understated. Its relative abundance and affordability, combined with its ductility, malleability, resistance to corrosion, and heat and electrical conductivity makes the metal versatile for all sorts of applications. Raw copper is usually manufactured into copper tubes and copper plates before its shipped out to be used by industries.
The electrical conductivity of copper is the reason why the metal has seen widespread use in the manufacture of electrical wiring and circuit boards. While copper isn’t the best electric conductor, it is relatively affordable compared to silver and gold.
Virtually all electronics today contain copper, including smartphones, televisions, computers and electric motors. Copper tubes are used in heatpipes that are designed to transfer heat away from a source, while computers often make use of copper plates as effective heatsinks.
Copper is also a major component in the production of superconductors.
Copper is used to produce coinage in many countries. Euro coins, for example, are made from copper to take advantage of its durability to corrosion and the ease in which the metal can be shaped and molded.
Have you ever wondered how a vending machine knows if a coin is legal? It verifies coins based on its electrical resistance/conductivity – and an alloyed coin made from copper and other metals such as zinc produce very specific resistances.
Appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers all contain copper wiring. Homes also contain extensive copper electrical wiring.
Copper tubes are used in the sheathing of composite heating elements, and is found in household heating elements including stoves and electric kettles, while copper plating is used to line hot water storage tanks.
Copper is the primarily material used in the induction coils of wind turbines, found in the stator and rotor of the giant dynamo. Even more copper is used for electrical grounding, as the turbine masts attract lightning strikes.
Other renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and the electric motors of hybrid vehicles also make use of large amounts of copper wiring.
Advanced Medical Technology
Even advanced medical technology requires copper so as to be made possible. Imaging tools, X-rays, CT Scans and MRIs are some of the medical technologies that utilize copper.
12 Apr 2022