Copper has been known to mankind since the Neolithic period, when it was used to produce work tools, weapons and utensils. But is copper an electrical conductor or insulator? Keep reading to find out!
Before we answer whether copper is an electrical conductor or insulator, let’s talk a little more about its history.
Copper is likely to be the first metal to be manipulated by man. It can be used in its pure form or combined with other metals, for example, the alloy between copper and tin gave rise to the Bronze Age.
An interesting fact about copper is that it is part of the minerals that are important for the proper functioning of the human body.
It is found in low concentration in the blood, but has functions related to enzyme activity and blood cell formation.
The foods in which we can find copper are: seafood, eggs, beef and pork, almonds, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, beans and nuts.
Now, talking about the characteristics of copper, they are as follows:
- Reddish-orange metal
- Solid at room temperature
- Density of 8.94 g/cm3
- Melting point: 1084.62 °C
- Boiling point: 2562 °C
- easily malleable
- Possibility of being reused
- Excellent conductor of heat and electricity
- Stable isotopes in nature: Cu-63 and Cu-65
One of the main applications of copper is for the production of metal alloys, materials formed by mixing two or more components, at least one of which is metal.
There are over 1,000 types of metal alloys produced from copper. Some examples are:
- Brass: Copper + Zinc
- Bronze: Copper + Tin
- Cupronickel: Copper + Nickel
- 18 carat gold: Gold + Silver + Copper
- Amalgam: Silver + Tin + Copper + Mercury
But then, is copper an electrical conductor or insulator?
To get to the answer to this question, we need to understand where copper is used. What types of materials is it applied to.
A curiosity: did you know that the Statue of Liberty is coated with 73 metric tons of copper? This is the equivalent of approximately 30 million coins.
In addition to being present in large quantities in the Statue of Liberty, it is also used in the manufacture of ship hulls, as it prevents the attachment of crustaceans, which hinder the movement of the vessel.
The automobile industry is also one of the biggest consumers of copper in the world.
In it, it is common to find copper in engine components, wires for electrical conduction, radiators, brake systems and also in connector sets.
It is estimated that only one vehicle has more than 1km of copper wire.
Another place copper is used: solar energy collectors. Solar energy collectors have copper surface and copper thermal piping. The darkened copper is responsible for the greater capture of solar energy through blades that absorb heat.
Currently, much of the metal is used in the production of electrical wires, telephones, lighting and telecommunication cables. Copper is also used in the manufacture of cookware as it is an excellent heat-conducting material.
Finally I think you already know the answer, whether copper is an electrical conductor or insulator. Just as it is a heat conductor, it is an electrical conductor.
Now talking about electrical insulators, Geartech BR is a reference in these materials and can help you, if that’s what you’re looking for. Contact us and ask for a no-obligation quote. We will be glad to be of service to you!