Copper – copper properties, alloys and applications

Copper which can be obtained by scrap cars scarborough is in the greatest demand on the secondary market. It is a nonferrous metal with plastic properties. It has a golden-pink color. The unique characteristics of the element contribute to the formation of an oxide film on the surface of products made of pure copper when the metal comes into contact with the air. Copper is extracted from minerals or copper ore by pyrometallurgy, electrolysis, or hydrometallurgy. The metal is almost never found in its pure form.

Physical and chemical properties of copper
In its pure form, the metal is very soft and even flowable. However, the addition of a number of elements to alloys creates optimal copper properties that provide a wide range of applications. The main physical and mechanical features of this metal include:

high electrical conductivity;
excellent thermal conductivity;
increased density, as well as melting and boiling temperatures;
corrosion resistance;
easy to process in production.
Copper does not corrode, but it oxidizes easily. When exposed to air, the color of the metal changes to yellow-red, and thin sheets give off green-blue hues when transpired. Almost all physical properties are determined by the composition of the alloy. When tin, iron, antimony or phosphorus are added to copper, the thermal and electrical conductivity decreases. Since the metal is not used in its pure form, the highest percentage of copper content is seen in electrical products (power cables, wiring, electronics and so on).

In chemical terms, copper is a low-active metal. Under normal conditions the element is not subject to oxidation. However, copper alloys react well with sulfur, selenium and halogens. The metal reacts only with acids that have oxidizing properties. Copper is amphoteric (it forms cations and anions at ore deposits).

Copper applications
The unique properties and performance characteristics of the metal have served as the reason for its use in almost all areas of human activity. The main areas of application are:

Electrical Engineering. The metal has a low resistivity index, so it is actively used for the manufacture of power cables, wires, transformers and conductors used in electrical engineering.
Heat transfer. Because of its effective thermal conductivity, copper is one of the main metals used to manufacture heat exchangers and heat dissipation equipment (radiators, air conditioners, coolers and so on).
Tube manufacturing. Often, to create an engineering network, you need pipes with high resistance to corrosion, pressure and chemical reactions. Copper and its alloys are an excellent solution for arrangement of water supply and heating systems.
Copper is also used in medicine, automotive, agriculture, domestic environments and many other applications.

Types of copper alloys
As a component, copper is actively used in many metallic and nonmetallic compositions. However, as a basic element, this metal is used to create the following alloys:

Brass. The alloying component is zinc or tin. Also present in the composition are manganese, nickel, iron, lead and other substances. Brass alloys usually contain about 60-70% copper. The remaining 30-40% come from the alloying metal and additional elements.
Bronze. Divided into tin or tin-free. The amount of copper in the alloy is usually about 80%, the remaining 20% come from the alloying element, with a range of additional substances within 3%.
Melchior. Alloy of copper (up to 60%) and nickel (about 40%). Individual copper-nickel alloys exist where the Ni content is up to 67% of the total alloy.
There are also double brasses and multi-component compositions in which large amounts of copper are present (e.g., tompak – up to 97% copper). However, such metals have limited applications.

Copper as non-ferrous scrap
The metal is bought up on the secondary market at high prices. The demand for copper is constantly growing. The main sources of copper scrap become:

household electrical wiring;
elements of household appliances;
parts of cars;
heating radiators;
old pipes, etc.

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