Copper and its alloys have had great technical and social importance for almost 6000 years. Today, copper is the metal of the energy transition, powering renewable energy systems and green technologies, helping to improve energy efficiency and, as a sustainable and natural material, it can be infinitely recycled without loss of quality.
But where exactly is copper used? Actually everywhere, because copper and its alloys are considered functional materials. These are characterised by electrical, (special) mechanical, magnetic, acoustic, optical or biological-chemical properties that can be specifically influenced to change the macroscopic properties of a component. Functional materials are defined to distinguish them from construction materials, whereby the transitions can be fluid. In the case of functional materials, the focus is on the intended use and application (e.g. corrosion protection or thermal insulation), not on the constructive design of components.
Copper, together with its more than 400 alloys, is the material of choice for innovative developments in many areas of everyday life – whether in industrial applications, energy technology, architecture, information and communication technology or other innovative technologies. Copper has excellent thermal and electrical conductivity and is very durable. It is a relatively soft and ductile, but also resistant metal that can be easily processed and shaped. Alloyed with other metals, it can develop further properties, including hardness, strength, relaxation behaviour and much more. The best-known copper alloys include brass and bronze.
Minerals and metals form the backbone of the modern world. No matter where you may call home, you can find copper materials all around you. From mines and smelters to fabricators, the copper industry is committed to providing the raw material and the finished products to assist society through any challenge.
The great importance of copper for technology only results from the combination of its various good properties, which have been used and further developed for years.Learn more
There are more than 400 copper alloys, each with very special properties, and the number is growing all the time.Learn more
Copper and copper alloys can be processed in different ways. Accordingly, many processing methods are used for copper materials.Learn more
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