When it comes to durability and utility, only a handful of metals meet most criteria. Iron and aluminum top the list of the most widely used metals, but there are others like copper and zinc that are worth mentioning.
Copper is arguably the most useful of them. While it’s not as extensively produced and utilized as other metals—mainly due to its scarceness—it is packed with many properties that make it useful for a wide range of applications. Copper is well-known in various industries for having these qualities:
– It’s the second most electrically conductive metal yet, only next to silver. Because it’s cheaper and has a higher heat tolerance than silver, most manufacturers prefer it to the latter for practical applications.
Low Thermal Expansion
– Metals tend to expand when heated. Although extremely malleable, copper works well with heat. It has a thermal expansion coefficient of 16.8, which is relatively lower than that of aluminum. This property is also one of the reasons why electrical wires are made of copper and not silver—because copper can withstand the heat produced by high voltages of electricity.
– Copper does not corrode like iron. It develops tarnish and patina, but its inner material can stay intact for millennia. It’s one of the most durable materials around. Some of the most well-preserved metallic artifacts are copper. They are easily recognizable by their greenish color.
– Copper is one of the easiest metals to work. You can roll, shear, or extrude it without applying heat. You can turn it into sheets and plates of different thicknesses or wires and rods of different cross-sectional areas.
Copper Rods and Their Uses
While many of the copper-based objects you know are either in a plate or sheet form, most copper-based products are actually in rod or wire form. But what exactly are copper rods used for? Where do all those copper rods and wires from top copper suppliers like Rotax Metals go?
– Electrical earthing is done by connecting a part of an equipment or structure that uses electricity to the ground to transfer discharge safely. Why is copper used for earthing? Well, because of copper’s high conductivity, it can move electrical discharge to the ground more efficiently than any other metal. Furthermore, it won’t rust even when buried into the ground for a long time. It is the reason why the earthing system is often also called the copper rod earthing system.
– Large electrical cables require large copper cores. These copper cores are too big they already fit under the rod category. You might even have trouble bending or curling them because of their size and density.
– A standard automobile contains about 23 kilograms of copper. Around 75 percent of this is electrical, and the rest are not. Among those components are tubes, rods, and wires of various sizes, each with a specific function that contributes to the car’s performance. The larger the vehicle, the more copper components it contains. For instance, a construction vehicle typically has about 30 kilograms of copper component in it, while a forklift truck has more or less 62 kilograms.
– You probably haven’t noticed but a lot of construction materials are copper-based. Bolts, rivets, nails, and switches are the best examples. You won’t see a lot of large copper components in a building because they have limited structural functions.
When to Get Brass Rods for Your Projects
When you are planning to build a metal structure or machine, odds are you will have to include copper or its alloys in your list of materials to buy. If what you will be building is a prototype, you can’t expect to obtain ready-made materials from a supply store. Instead, you have to purchase raw copper rods, tubes, and plates, then work them to create pieces that fit your prototype’s specifications.
Copper supplies are available in different dimensions and grades. Before buying the raw metals, make sure you know the specific types you need for your project. The last thing you want is to purchase a metal rod that’s too small for its intended use. Have a professional metalworker work your raw copper rods to achieve precise cuts.
Before even thinking of finding a metalworking shop, think of where to buy your raw copper supplies first. You’d like your materials to be of the highest quality to ensure that your inventions works, performs well, and endure constant operation since you’ll be showing them to a lot of people.
The best place to buy copper supplies is at a store that has been around for many decades, such as Rotax Metals. Their establishment tells a lot about their expertise and the quality of their products. You can tell how vast and comprehensive their catalog is by the volume of their copper sales because it means they provide for different customers with different needs.