Photograph courtesy of Mineralite
Copper is a orange/reddish coloured metal which is malleable and ductile. It has excellent thermal and electrical conductivities and good corrosion resistance. It is found in sulphide ores and as carbonate, arsenide and chloride. Extraction of the metal involves roasting the ore to produce the oxide, followed by reduction and purification by electrolysis. The element is inert to non-oxidising acids but reacts with oxidising agents. In air, it will weather to produce the characteristic green patina of the carbonate. Copper will combine with oxygen on heating to produce CuO at red heat, and Cu2O at elevated temperatures. Pure copper has an electrical conductivity second only to that of silver and hence its main application is in the electrical industry. Copper is also the basis of many important alloys (brass, bronze and aluminium bronze) and has been traditionally considered to be one of the coinage metals, along with silver and gold, but being more common, is the least valued.


It is one of the first metals ever to have been worked by man and is thought to have been mined for more than 5000 years. 1500BC copper is smelted in China.

50 ppm in the Earth’s crust.

Click on an item to paste into clipboard or use clipboard symbol at end to clipboard all values
Atomic number 29 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 63.546 gmol-1Clip
Density 8933 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure fcc Clip
Lattice constant 361 fmClip
Melting Point 1358.04 KClip
Boiling Point 2863 KClip
Tensile strength 1.2e8 to 4.0e8 Nm-2Clip
Youngs modulus 110E+09 to 120E+09 Nm-2Clip
Poissons ratio 0.33 to 0.36 Clip
Linear expansivity 0.0000165 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 385 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Latent heat of fusion 172000 Jkg-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 385 to 403 Wm-1K-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (longitudinal bulk waves) 4759 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Irrotational waves) 3813 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Shear waves) 2325 ms-1Clip
Acoustic wave velocity (Rayleigh waves) 2171 ms-1Clip
Bulk Modulus of Rigidity 137800000000 Nm-2Clip
Electromotive Series -0.47 VClip
Brinell Hardness 35 HBClip
Electrical Conductivity 59600000 Sm-1Clip
paste all data into clipboardpaste all data into clipboard

See also: Beryllium Copper, Brass, Bronze, Chinese Silver, Copper I Bromide, Copper I Chloride, Copper I Iodide, Copper I Oxide, Copper I Sulphide, Copper II Bromide, Copper II Carbonate, Copper II Hydroxide, Copper II Oxide, Copper II Sulphide, Copper Plating, Copper Sulphate, Nickel Brass, Nonferrous, Patina, Periodic Table, Tumbaga, Verdigris.

Previous PageView links to and from this pageNext Page

Subjects: Chemistry

Weblinks: Copper Development Association for the copper and brass industries in the USA. Latest metal properties ferrous / nonferrous and world- wide metal cross-references.