A future-proof engineering solution

Due to copper’s exceptional durability and resistance to corrosion, it is used in many inhospitable environments and applications where material integrity is critical.

Copper is one of the most versatile materials on the planet as it can be used repeatedly without losing its properties, meaning it can provide infinite uses over infinite lifecycles.

Copper has many attractive, hard-to-rival properties making it an incredibly favourable material, these include:

  • Electrical conductivity
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Anti-microbial properties
  • Tough yet malleable
  • Easy to join
  • Easily and infinitely recyclable
  • Strength and ductility in both high and low temperature uses
  • Alloys well with other metals for a multitude of further applications

For instance, copper makes up part of Sweden’s nuclear waste handling technology, where copper canisters encapsulate the radioactive waste for long term storage. The canisters are required to keep their integrity for at least 100,000 years but are thought to last five times that time.

Copper and its alloys are covered by national and international quality standards. In the UK and across Europe, designers, stockists and installers are safe in the knowledge that when they buy copper, they can be assured of high quality and defined mechanical standards. This reliability has made it possible to innovate and break new ground in applications such as biological agriculture, powder metallurgy, architecture, automotive (EVs) and thousands of other industries.

Engineering applications for copper alloys are also critical in the transition to clean power sources. According to the Copper Alliance the generation of clean energy from solar and wind technologies has a copper usage that is typically 4-6 times more than fossil fuels. Copper will become a vital component in powering the green energy revolution, whether used in the production of solar (PV), wind or the associated battery technologies.

With use in industrial products that need to keep their integrity for hundreds of thousands of years, as well as domestic uses such as plumbing where they can last a lifetime, it’s clear that copper is a durable engineering solution that continues to be the material of choice for future generations.