Copper is a ductile, soft, and malleable material that features a high level of electrical and thermal conductivity. As such, it has become a popular choice for a wide range of applications across diverse industries. At Sequoia Brass & Copper, we are a supplier of various nonferrous metals, specializing in oxygen-free copper and other copper products. Our products come in various stock sizes and can also be cut or slit to meet your unique specifications.
Properties of Copper
Copper offers several characteristics that make it ideal for various applications. Its beneficial properties include:
- Conductor of heat and electricity
Uses of Copper
The many desirable properties of copper make it a popular choice for numerous applications, ranging from electronics and electric motors to architectural elements, renewable energy, and more.
Wire and Cable
Copper is the preferred material for electrical conductors in nearly every electrical wiring and cable application. Copper wires can be found in everything from power generation, transmission, and distribution systems to electronics circuitry, telecommunications, and numerous types of electrical equipment.
Electrical wiring is a primary market for copper, with nearly half of all mined copper being used for electrical wire and cable conductors. Copper wiring is the preferred choice for most electrical devices because of its high electrical and thermal conductivity, ductility, high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, creep resistance, low thermal expansion, malleability, solderability, and ease of installation. Common types of copper wire include automotive wires and cables, appliance wires, magnet wires, structural power wiring, and more.
Electronics and Related Devices
Copper wire has replaced aluminum as the superior conductor for printed circuit boards and integrated circuits. Its heat dissipation qualities make it ideal for heat exchangers and heat sinks. Copper is also preferred for microwave radiation waveguides, microwave oven magnetrons, cathode ray tubes, vacuum tubes, and electromagnets.
The excellent conductivity of copper boosts the overall efficiency of electric motors. This is crucial because motors and motor-driven systems account for a large percentage of industrial and global electricity consumption. Motor rotors composed of copper facilitate energy savings, enabling general-purpose induction motors to meet and exceed premium efficiency standards set by NEMA.
Renewable Energy Production
Renewable energy sources comprise a considerable share of the energy market, including geothermal, biomass, hydro, tidal, wind, and solar energy. Rising fossil fuel costs and the environmental impacts they cause have rapidly increased renewable energy adoption. Copper is vital to renewable energy, with the market using up to five times more copper in renewable energy systems compared to traditional power generation systems. Copper is second only to silver in thermal and electrical conductivity, making it optimal for high-efficiency energy transmission with minimal environmental impact.
Since ancient times, copper has been a preferred material in architecture, offering weatherproofing, corrosion resistance, and durability. Over the centuries, copper has been used to make doors, vaults, spires, domes, downspouts, rain gutters, flashings, and roofs. Copper is still used for many architectural applications, including countertops, bathroom fixtures, attractive and antimicrobial handrails, radio frequency shielding, building expansion joints, and wall cladding.
Copper has biostatic characteristics, inhibiting the growth of life forms like bacteria. As such, it is commonly used to line parts of marine vessels to protect them from mussels and barnacles. Copper alloys are also used extensively in aquaculture to produce netting. Copper’s corrosion resistance and anti-biofouling properties make it ideal for the harsh conditions of marine environments.
Antimicrobial (Water Storage)
The touch surface of copper alloys naturally destroys various microorganisms, including fungi, SARS-COV-2, adenovirus, influenza A virus, Clostridium difficile, Staphylococcus, MRSA, and E. Coli. Because of this, copper is a popular metal for water storage vessels, as it helps keep the water free of harmful bacteria.
Copper may be a speculative investment due to its expected demand increase for worldwide infrastructure, renewable energy systems, and electric vehicles.
Copper Metals From Sequoia Brass & Copper
Copper’s electrical conductivity, antimicrobial characteristics, durability, and various other beneficial properties make it a common choice for various applications and industries. Sequoia Brass & Copper carries a large inventory of oxygen-free copper and other copper products at our warehouse in Hayward, California. Our copper products are available in various sizes and forms, including plates, sheets, tubes, rods, and bars.