Copper and its Alloys

Properties

The Metal of Civilisation

Copper is of vital importance to society. It provides electricity and water for homes and businesses, enables technological innovations and supports sustainable development. More than that, it is essential for life itself.

In this section, you can explore the properties that make copper indispensable in the modern world, including its excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, malleability and durability, and the fact that it is 100% recyclable, meaning it can be reused again and again without any loss of properties.

Select one of the property sections below for detailed information or view Copper is... for a simple, illustrated overview.

Properties of copper

Chemical Properties

All common metals and alloys react with a moist atmosphere but copper and its alloys show good corrosion resistance due to the protective nature of the films that form on the surface.

Mechanical Properties

Whilst pure copper is soft, its many alloys may be regarded as medium-strength engineering materials, comparable with low alloy steels and some aluminium alloys.

Physical Properties

Copper has an attractive reddish colour. Gold is the only other metal with such a pleasing appearance. Copper has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any common metal.
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