A Look at Copper and Its Uses

Copper is a metal and chemical element. It is in everything from The Statue of Liberty to oysters. Here is a brief look at copper and some of its uses.

Where Its Found in Nature

Copper is a malleable, pinkish orange colored metal that exists in a natural state on the earth. Because it can be used in its raw state it is known as one of the native metals. It has the symbol Cu on the periodic table of elements and an atomic number of 29. The name copper gets its origin from the Romans who mined it on Cyprus. Its original name was “aes cyprium” which means “metal of Cyprus”.

Copper is an essential nutrient to living organisms. Lobsters, oysters, algae, and shiitake mushrooms are all good consumers of copper. Humans as well require copper for proper nutrition. While it is only a trace amount, it supports the liver, muscle, bone, kidney, heart, and brain. Foods like dark chocolate, cashews, shellfish, beans, and Swiss chard are good dietary sources of copper. An adult has roughly 1.4-2.1mg of copper in their body per kilogram of overall weight.

Where Its Found in Science

Copper has fantastic thermal and electrical conductivity which makes it a favorite material for a copper electrical contact supplier. It does not react with water, but will tarnish with some sulfur compounds. It reacts to oxygen and will form a thin layer of green copper carbonate that can be seen on The Statue of Liberty and other old copper structures.

Copper is extremely reusable. It retains 95 percent of its quality when recycled. This makes it a fantastic resource, and nearly 80 percent of the copper that has been produced is still in use today. This has given it the illustrious title “man’s eternal metal.” Copper is naturally antibacterial, which makes its alloy, brass, a preferred material choice for hospitals and other public buildings.

Where Its Found in Industry

Copper can be found everywhere in industry. It has been used by humans as early as 8,000 BC. It has been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient Egyptian plumbing systems. It became even more influential in history when it was smelted with tin and ushered in the Bronze Age. Copper has been used as pigments, alloys, molds, and more. It is everywhere in modern society as well, from skillets to televisions, to radios, to plumbing.

It’s attractive color, integrity, and thermal and electrical conductivity make it a first choice for a copper electrical contact supplier and other professionals throughout nearly every field. From chefs, to engineers, to artists, all would say that even though copper is a native metal, it is truly precious.

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