Copper is man’s oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years. Copper is essential to all living things, is 100% recyclable and plays an important role in modern life. Copper is easily recognised by its distinctive “red” colour and can be seen in our daily lives in coins and plumbing pipe, but for many of its uses it is hidden behind walls, inside equipment or even in disguise (copper turns green in air to form an attractive and protective coating).
Today we use copper for many applications including:
· Power generation and transmission – producing and bringing electricity to our homes and businesses
· Plumbing and heating – providing warmth and fresh drinking water in our buildings
· Electrical equipment – providing circuitry, processors and contacts for PCs, TVs, mobile phones etc
· Architecture and interior design – enhancing the appearance of our buildings, inside and out.
· Transport – cars, trains, trams, planes and ships all use copper in their systems.
The following units give an overview of the history, uses, mining, extraction and recycling of copper.
For further information on copper and copper alloys visit www.cda.org.uk