Copper – a special metal
Copper, the metal with the chemical symbol Cu, has the typical copper-red color when in its pure and unalloyed state.
The metal is characterized by its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. It is 1.5 times as high as aluminum and 8 times higher than the conductivity of steel. With its very good forming properties, copper is also extremely tough and highly corrosion-resistant.
Over the years, copper forms a natural patina with a color and chemical composition that is mainly influenced by the atmosphere where it is used. After the initial coloring in different shades of brown, a patina forms over the years with shades varying from yellow-green to blue-green, depending on the climatic conditions. This unique profile of properties accounts for the variety of applications and the widespread use of the material.
Classic copper applications, such as roofing and installation pipes, but increasingly high-tech products such as leadframes, underwater cable strip and the high-purity copper matrix of superconductors are only a few examples of the variety of applications. The automotive industry likewise could not manage without copper: each mid-range car contains an average of 25 kg of copper, while electric and hybrid cars contain a much higher quantity.