Q:

What is copper used for?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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What is copper used for?
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Full Answer

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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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can one age copper quickly?

    A:

    A solution of vinegar and salt or rapid fixer quickly ages copper, and it is safe to use at home. White vinegar, salt, steel wool, dish soap, paper towels and a sealant are needed to complete the aging process of copper. Before placing the solution onto the copper, thoroughly clean the copper piece with dish soap, scrubbing it with steel wool.

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  • Q:

    Where can I find the price of copper?

    A:

    As of January 2015, one place consumers can find the price of copper is NASDAQ, and another is Investment Mine. NASDAQ states that its quote is based on end-of-day commodity futures, and it is focused on high-grade copper. Consumers can also change the time frame reported to view past quotes.

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  • Q:

    What is the process for welding copper?

    A:

    To weld two pieces of copper, melt solder between the pieces of metal you wish to join. The process involves cleaning the metals, applying flux paste, hitting the metals and then melting the solder to fill the joints. You need a wire brush, flux paste, a soldering iron, a solder and the two pieces of metals to be welded. The process generally takes a few minutes, but it can take longer depending on the size of the metals.

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  • Q:

    Where are the best places to take scrap copper?

    A:

    The best places to take scrap copper include scrap metal dealers such as Earthworks Recycling and Advantage Metals Recycling. Scrap metal dealers pay cash on the spot for scrap copper, with prices based on the current value of scrap metal in the market.

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