Why Is Copper so Important?


Quick Answer

Copper is important because of its conductivity, malleability, ductility and its resistance to corrosion. Copper, an element with the periodic symbol CU, is not just important in industry. It is also a mineral that's vital to human health. Humans have used copper for at least 5,000 years.

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Why Is Copper so Important?
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Full Answer

Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, which is why it's used widely in homes and businesses. Only silver is a better conductor of electricity, and silver is too expensive for common use.

Copper is also malleable, which means it can be easily formed into different shapes. Copper can be beaten into cooking utensils and works of art. It can be worked either hot or cold and can be rolled into extremely thin sheets. When copper is cold rolled into sheets, its physical properties change and it becomes stronger.

Copper's ductility allows it to be pulled into wires without breaking. A copper wire can be thinner than a human hair.

Copper doesn't rust as iron does, but instead it develops a green patina called verdigris. Many people prize this patina, which is attractive and protects the metal from corrosion.

As a mineral, copper supports the formation of red blood cells and contributes to the health of the bones and the circulatory, immune and nervous systems.

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