Copper Metal and Its Characteristics

Copper Metal and Its Characteristics

There are various uses of copper. Copper is used in building construction, power generation transmission, electronic product manufacturing and the production of industrial machinery. Copper wiring and plumbing are integral to the appliances, heating and cooling systems, and telecommunications links used every day in homes and businesses. Copper is an essential component in the motors, wiring, radiators, connectors, brakes, and bearings used in cars and trucks.
Copper occurs in many forms, in many different minerals. Chalcopyrite is the most abundant and economically significant form of copper minerals.
Copper has excellent alloying properties. These excellent alloying properties of copper have made it invaluable when combined with other metals, such as zinc that form brass, tin that forms bronze, or nickel. These alloys have desirable characteristics and are developed for highly specialized applications. For example, the copper-nickel alloy is applied to the hulls of ships. Brass is more malleable and has better acoustic properties than pure copper or zinc that’s why it is used in a variety of musical instruments such as trumpets, trombones, bells, and cymbals.
Copper deposits are vividly classified on the basis of how the deposits formed. Porphyry copper deposits one of the important type of copper deposit, yield about two-thirds of the world’s copper.
Characteristic of Copper
The colour of Copper is reddish-orange. It is malleable, ductile, and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Other metals which have a higher electrical conductivity than copper is silver. Copper surfaces exposed to the air gradually tarnish to a dull, brownish colour. Copper is occasionally found as the uncombined metal. It is found in many minerals such as the oxide; cuprite (Cu2O), the carbonates, malachite (Cu2CO3(OH)2) the sulfides, chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and bornite (Cu5FeS4).
Most copper ore is mined or extracted as copper sulfides. Copper is then obtained by smelting and leaching. Finally, the resulting crude copper is purified by electrolysis involving plating onto pure copper cathodes.

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