How is copper used today?


Quick Answer

Copper is used in industrial applications, architectural applications, biological applications and electrical applications. It is a ductile metal that has very high electrical and thermal conductivity. As a chemical element, copper is represented by the symbol Cu and the atomic number 29.

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Full Answer

Copper is used in the construction industry because it is waterproof. This property makes it suitable for roofing, plumbing and cladding. It is also used to make freestanding structures, lightning rods and welding arcs because of its durability.

Copper is the third metal that is widely used in industries, after iron and aluminum. Its high ductility makes it the most efficient material for industrial use. It is mostly used for building ships. Copper is also alloyed with nickel to withstand corrosion. When liquefied, it is used as a wood preservative.

More than 50 percent of copper produced globally is used for electrical applications. It is mostly used in power generation and transmission of electricity. This metal is used in transformers, generators and motors. Copper is also applied in the production electrical wires and equipment. Its heat dissipation property makes it superior to aluminum, and it is preferred in building vacuum tubes, electromagnets and cathode ray tubes.

In biological applications, copper is used as a nutrient for plants and animals. Traces of copper can be found in the liver, animal tissues, muscles and bones. It functions as an enzyme co-factor in animal bodies. In the field of medicine, copper bracelets are used to reduce joint pains and arthritis.

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