The Many Uses and Story of Copper
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The Many Uses and Story of Copper

Copper is one of the man\\\'s oldest and most versatile metals. It has been used since the beginning of history for utensils, tools, and weapons. Copper\\\'s many good characteristics make it an all-important metal in electricity. The major copper-producing areas are in northern Ontario, Quebec, the Gaspe, Manitoba, southern British Columbia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick.
                       copper - story and many uses

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Copper is one of the man's oldest and most versatile metals. It has been used since the beginning of history for utensils, tools, and weapons. Copper's many good characteristics make it an all-important metal in electricity. Since it conducts electricity easily, more of it is used for this purpose than for all other uses combined. There is a great abundance of copper in Canada, obtained by both underground and open-pit mining. The major copper-producing areas are in northern Ontario, Quebec, the Gaspe, Manitoba, southern British Columbia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick.

The copper mined is of various grades of purity. Some of the low-grade ore contains only about 1 percent copper. For this type, the first step is to remove some of the impurities; this process concentrates the proportion of copper in the ore to at least 30 percent. Concentrates and high-grade ore are sent to smelters, where they go through many processes that remove almost all impurities. This is done by melting the ore and removing the slag. Then compressed air is blown through the molten mass, with the result that most of the undesirable materials are oxidized. The copper comes from the smelters 98 percent pure. It contains very small amounts of gold, silver, and substances that interfere with its effectiveness as a conductor of electricity. This is call blister copper, because of the gas bubbles it contains. It must go through another process called refining. This is done in an electrolytic cell where the copper is dissolved and redeposited on plate as pure copper. This copper is then poured into bars or ingots from which all forms of copper products are made. At this point, zinc is added to make brass, or tin is added to make bronze. The copper or its alloys are then rolled into sheets and strips or made into tubing, rod, or wire.

Copper and its alloys are most useful. They are very ductile and malleable and can be drawn into wire or hammered into shapes with ease. Cold working the metal increases its hardiness. Copper is the most desirable art metal for beginners. Copper also has great resistance to corrosion. The oldest tools and utensils known are made of copper. They have defied time and the ages, for they do not rust. Bronze, especially, is used extensively for parts and fitting on ships.

            copper used for electricity

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Because of its low cost and because it is second only to silver in conducting electricity, copper has become the foundation of the electrical industry. From generators, through transformers, through wire to our homes, electricity is carried by copper to provide for our comforts and convenience.

Copper is also an excellent conductor of heat and is used in cooking utensils, in heating elements, in furnace systems, and in many other ways. Copper has many uses in transportation. Every automobile contains 45 pounds or more of copper and its alloys. Over 3 million pounds are built into a single large steamship such as the Queen Mary.

 

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Comments (2)

Some really great facts about copper, thanks.

great facts thanks

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