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What is the tensile strength of copper?

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Quick Answer

The tensile strength of copper as defined by the Young's modulus is 129.8 gigapascals, (129.8 GPa). This number is at the upper end of the range, meaning that copper is a very ductile material and can tolerate being pulled into very thin wire without breaking.

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Full Answer

This high ductility is due to the electron arrangement of the copper atom, which has a filled d-shell with one s-orbital electron above it. This makes its metallic bonds relatively weak. Copper shares this property with certain other metals such as silver and gold.

Copper's ability to be pulled into thin wire makes it ideal for electrical wire and jewelry. Copper is soft, however, and is often alloyed with other metals such as zinc to provide strength.

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