Copper is a fascinating material. Found not just on our planet but all over the solar system, copper is an element and is one of the transition metals on the periodic table of elements, meaning that they have electrons that can form chemical bonds, meaning that they can be used to create a chemical reaction.
As well as being found in the crust of the Earth, it is also found in humans and animals and is an essential element that we need to keep our bodies healthy. Most of us know copper as a material that is useful in creating copper pipe like this https://watkinspowis.co.uk/products/copper-pipe-fittings-and-press-systems/ and for creating electrical cabling. Copper has a long history and is one of the first metals, if not the first to be utilised by humans.
The earliest use of copper by humans goes back thousands of years, in fact around 9000 BC is the earliest record of copper being worked by humans. It doesn’t need to be extracted from ore unlike iron, which makes it easier to work, and it is not just the metal itself but also the pigments that are in it that have also been valued and used by humans.
The reason why copper has remained such a versatile and popular choice of metal with many uses even today is the many properties that it has. Here are some of the reasons why copper is used for so many different things:
Malleable – As a softer metal, it is very easy to work with copper and this makes it a great metal for joining.
Resistant to Corrosion – Copper is widely valued for its ability to resist corrosion, and this means that it can be used outdoors and in environments where other metals may not fare as well. Many copper items have been found by archaeologists that are still in good condition after thousands of years.
Antibacterial – One of the reasons that copper is prized in the kitchen is the fact that it has antibacterial properties, slowing the growth of bacteria like e-coli. It can also be used to preserve wood as it makes an excellent fungicide.
Conducting – Copper conducts heat and electricity superbly, making it a great choice of metal for electrical wiring.