COPPER SHEETS BUYING GUIDE
Copper is a naturally occurring, non-ferrous metal that has been historically used for a wide range of applications. This is due to its ease of malleability, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and of course its aesthetic appeal due to the green patina it takes on when exposed to air.
Copper has been used to craft tools, piping and decorative elements for thousands of years. Today, it remains in high demand for use in many industries, but especially for electrical applications.
Demand for Copper Sheet Metal
While sheet metal is produced using a wide range of metals – including aluminum, brass, stainless steel and titanium – copper is the sheeting of choice for specific applications. These applications rely on the high conductivity of copper metal.
Copper sheeting is popular for use in the electrical appliance and construction industries for this reason. Copper can be found in wiring, motors, hospital equipment and industrial machinery in addition to its historic applications for plumbing and decor.
As you explore copper sheet metal suppliers, it’s important to understand the broad range of copper sheet options available.
Benefits of Copper Sheet Metal
In addition to its high conductivity, there are many benefits to using copper sheet metal over sheets made of tin, aluminum, titanium, nickel or another type of metal. These benefits include:
Like many metals, copper is easy to reuse and recycle without losing strength and quality. Copper sheets and other shapes may be melted down for reuse or simply beaten back into their original shape.
While large amounts of copper are toxic to humans, bacteria, yeasts, and viruses are killed when they come into contact with copper surfaces. In fact, the metal was registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an antimicrobial material. This makes it especially valuable in healthcare settings and on high-touch surfaces.
Copper is easy to shape and manipulate. It can be bent, stretched, hammered, and rolled into a variety of useful forms, often with the application of force alone as opposed to repeated heating. This is why it was likely among the first metals to be manipulated by human beings, as it does not require smelting.
Resistance to Corrosion
The only metals that decay more slowly than copper are precious metals, many of which are far too expensive to be used for industrial applications. Copper’s low reactivity - it does not react to water or acid - makes it highly desirable.
Copper Sheet Alloys
When selecting the type of copper sheeting you need for your application, it’s important to know that copper sheets come in a variety of different alloys. Alloys are mixtures of two or more different metals. Copper alloys often include bronze or brass, which give the sheets additional physical properties.
While there are more than 400 types of copper alloys, most copper sold in the United States is in the form of just a handful of alloys. At Three D Metals, we offer copper sheets in alloy 110, and additional copper products in alloys 102, 145, 172 and 100.
Copper Sheet Thickness
The thickness or gauge of copper sheets can vary widely. When ordering copper sheeting from a copper sheets supplier, ensure that you understand the way that gauge or thickness is measured. It can seem counterintuitive, but the larger the gauge number is the thinner the copper sheet will be.
For instance, a 24 gauge sheet will be 0.0215” in thickness, but an 11 gauge sheet will be 0.1250” in thickness.
Copper Sheet Finishing
Copper can be finished in a variety of ways, which will alter its appearance. Copper only achieves a mirror-like finish if it has been treated with a synthetic finish, as copper which is subjected to the air begins to form a green patina. This is due to oxygen corrosion, but the process can be accelerated through chemical processes applied to the finished product as well.
Explore Our Copper Products
We offer a wide range of copper products, including large copper sheets, copper coils, copper round rods, copper plates, copper pipes, and copper extruded shapes.
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