The History, Uses and Production Copper
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Copper is an essential trace element that is vital to the health of all living things
The History of Copper

Copper is created in volcanic areas high in concentrations of hot sulfuric solutions. While copper is found worldwide, 90% of reserves are located in four areas: the Great Basin of the western United States, Zambia, central Canada, and the Andes regions of Peru and Chile. Antarctica too has copper ore deposits in many locations

No one knows exactly who discovered copper. Copper is a metal which has been used by people since prehistoric times. Archaeological evidences suggest people who had lived between 5000 BC and 1,200 BC discovered copper. It was available in great quantities and was initially extractable almost at the surface of ground.

There are many historical evidences that reveal the people of the ancient world used copper to make jewelry, utensils, and weapons such as spear tips and shields.
Copper  is a ductile metal, with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is rather soft and malleable, and a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange color.

Modern Day Uses of Copper

There are many industrial uses of copper, due to its high ductility, malleability, thermal conductivity and resistance to corrosion. It ranks third after iron and aluminum in the amount of quantities consumed for industrial purposes. It is alloyed with nickel and used in form of cupronicklel and monel for shipbuilding.  Copper in liquid form is used as a wood preservative. It helps in restoration of original structures that are damaged due to dry rot. It is the main component of coins for many countries
About 65% of copper that is produced is used for electrical applications. The important uses of copper include, use in power generation and transmission of electricity. It is used in transformers, motors, busbars, generators, etc., to provide electricity through out the country, safely and efficiently. In case of electrical equipments, it is used in wiring and contacts for computers, televisions, mobile phones and in the circuitry of these and countless other electronic devices.
Integrated circuits, as well as Printed circuit boards increasingly utilize copper as a replacement to aluminum  because of its superior electrical conductivity. As a material in the manufacture of computer heat sinks,  as a result of its superior heat dissipation capacity to aluminum.  Vacuum tubes, cathode ray tubes, and the magnetrons in microwave ovens use copper, as do wave guides for microwave radiation. Wire mesh woven of commercially pure copper is used in hundreds of applications ranging from antenna ground planes to RFI shielding.
Due to its reported healing powers Copper has been used extensively in devices known as "Bio-Circuits" and the "Eeman General Relaxation Circuit" .
The everyday uses of copper include doorknobs and other fixtures in the house. Copper uses also include frying pans, knives, forks and spoons that contain some copper, if they are made from electroplated Nickel silver. It is also used in copper water heating cylinders, copper bath tubs, copper sinks and copper counters. Copper in form of metal and as a pigmented salt is used to make decorative art like statutes and sculptures. Copper is an essential nutrient to all higher plants and animal life. In animals and humans it is present in tissues, liver, muscles and bone. The main function of copper in the body is to act as a co-factor in various enzymes and copper based pigments.
Production of Copper
The copper industry in the United States has two main segments: producers-mining, smelting, refining companies; and fabricators-wire mills, brass mills, foundries, powder plants. The end products of the producers, the most important of which are refined cathode copper and wire rod, are sold almost entirely to the copper fabricators. The end products of the fabricators-copper and copper alloy mill and foundry products-consist of electrical wire, strip, sheet, plate, rod, bar, mechanical wire, tube, forgings, extrusions, castings, and powder. These products are sold to a wide variety of users: chiefly the construction industry, manufacturing industries, and the government. Certain mill products, chiefly wire, cable, and most tubular products, are used without further metalworking. On the other hand, most flat-rolled products, rod, bar, mechanical wire, forgings, castings and powder go through multiple forming, machining, finishing, and assembling operations before emerging as finished products.
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Last modified: May 16, 2017