Q:

What is copper used for?

A:

Copper is used for rigid and flexible plumbing pipes and plumbing fixtures. Its ductility allows it to be pulled into many gauges of electrical wire. Its malleability allows it to be hammered into sinks, tubs and countertops, artwork, roofing and the detailing of buildings.

Copper is used to make components in motor vehicles and microprocessors. Pennies used to be made out of copper, as were the buttons of policeman's uniforms. Copper is also alloyed with other metals. When it's alloyed with zinc, it makes brass, and when it's alloyed with tin, it creates bronze. These alloys enhance the qualities of both parent metals. Brass, for example, is easier to work with than either copper or zinc and has superior acoustics. This is why some musical instruments are made from brass as opposed to copper or zinc.

Copper is also used for kitchenware, including pots, pans, molds and mixing bowls. Copper also has medicinal uses. It was used to heal wounds in ancient Greece, and some people wear copper bracelets to ease the discomfort of arthritis. It is antimicrobial and is used for surfacing in hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices. Copper is also a mineral that is essential to overall health.


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