Copper is a metal that has been known to mankind for a very long time. People learned how to use the material back in the Stone Age, more than 10,000 years ago, and how to process it, in particular into bronze – the compound of copper and tin.
The name "copper" stems from the Roman era when the metal was called "aes cyprium" , meaning "ore from Cyprus". This resulted in the word "cuprum", the chemical symbol "Cu" and the English word "copper".
Copper is a metal that can be recycled as often as required without any loss of quality. Recycling not only conserves finite raw material resources, but also helps to save energy. Recycling does not just save the energy that would be needed for mining and preparing the ores; only part of the energy required for producing the metal from concentrates is needed when melting down copper scrap.
Thanks to its good electrical conductivity, copper is ideal for applications in electrical engineering, electronics and telecommunications.
The increasing interconnectedness of our office world, the greater demands on telecommunications at home, but also the high safety and comfort standards in today’s automobile designs ensure that copper demand increases continuously. About 25 kg of copper is used on average in each car nowadays – in luxury cars it can be more than twice this amount. Our modern lifestyle would not be possible without copper.
Copper also has set applications in architecture and the construction industry: apart from electrical wiring made of copper, we have copper pipes in water and heating systems in our homes. Copper is often used for roofing and facades due to its good corrosion resistance and, last but not least, because of its attractive appearance.