The use of copper by humans can be dated back to ancient Egypt. Copper was later utilized by the Roman Empire, which was mined from areas like Cyrus. The CDA (Copper Development Associates) reports that close to a trillion pounds of copper have been mined throughout the entirety of human history. The CDA also claims that roughly five trillion pounds are remaining in the Earth. The May 26th, 2007 issue of New Scientist argues that there is an estimated 60 years worth of mineable copper left on the planet. Fortunately for users, copper can be endlessly recycled. In fact, it has one of the highest recycling ratings (when compared to other engineering metals). Copper is still used to because it is an incredibly versatile element.
- Has the second highest electrical conductivity on the market (silver being #1).
- Is highly malleable and ductile
- Has a high melting point, which means a great deal of consistent heat is needed to melt copper.
- Does not loosen after being connected to electronics within the home. Other materials can loosen when being unattached or attached.
- Can be plated with metals like silver, nickel, and gold. Plating wire allows copper to take on added strengths and characteristics. Beryllium copper wire is very popular in the electronics field.
Different grades of copper allow for custom properties. For instance, oxygen-free copper is exclusively used for functions that require conductivity and ductility. One of the most valued features of beryllium copper is its ability to prevent bacteria. The EPA found that copper alloys kill up to 99.9% of bacteria after contact.
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