What Are the Uses of Copper?


Quick Answer

Copper is commonly used in construction, electrical wiring, plumbing and the manufacture of vehicles. It is also used to make parts for fixtures in homes.

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What Are the Uses of Copper?
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Full Answer

Since copper is naturally antimicrobial, it is often used to make objects that are touched frequently, such as faucet handles and doorknobs. It is also highly conductive, so it is used for electrical wiring and in the construction of electronic microchips. It is soft and malleable yet strong, making it an appropriate choice for plumbing and HVAC pipes. It also corrodes very slowly in seawater and resists barnacles, so it is a good material for ship hulls.

It also mixes well as an alloy with other metals, which expands its range of uses. Copper is mixed with zinc to form brass, and copper is mixed with tin to form bronze. Brass retains most of copper's beneficial qualities but has better acoustic properties, so it is used to make musical instruments. Aluminum bronze is commonly used in vehicle and aircraft parts.

Since the beginning of monetary systems in human history, copper has been used to create coins. Recently, it has become less popular for that use, as the value of the copper content of a coin tends to exceed the coin's intrinsic monetary value.

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