Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (Latin: cuprum), and it has atomic number 29. It is not a hard metal. It is malleable and can be bent easily by applying mechanical force to it, and its ductile metal can be beaten down into sheets. This metal boasts of very high thermal and electrical conductivity. If we expose the surface of freshly made copper, it will appear to be of pinkish-orange color. Copper is used for conducting heat and electricity, as a building material, and as one the component of various metal alloys. The best examples where copper is used as an alloy are- sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used in making of marine hardware and coins, and most importantly constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples which are used as sensors in the instrumentation industry for the measurement of temperatures and resistances in the circuits.These are the places where copper is used. These are some uses of copper.

Physical Properties of Copper 

  1. Copper has a characteristic reddish-brown color. The typical color of copper is reddish-brown.

  2. Its density is approximately 8.93 g cm-3.

  3. Its melting point is 1083 degrees on the Celsius scale.

  4. It is highly malleable and ductile at room temperature. It tends to become brittle near the melting point.

  5. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, but its conductivity is less than that of silver.

As far as the periodic table is concerned, it is the scientific arrangement of the chemical elements. According to that table, copper sits in the same group as gold and silver, which makes it the same as these precious metals. Their similarity is not only in the appearance but also in the physical and chemical properties. 

Copper is a metal highly used by people who lived in prehistoric times. It is an excellent conductor of any form of energy. Jordan, Egypt, and Israel have copper smelting stations that are as old as to 4500 B.C. The people who lived in that period merged copper with iron or tin to produce an alloy called bronze. Similarly, they also built another alloy of copper, which is brass.  Both brass and bronze are way more durable than copper. So, as a result, they are used to make different weapons, such as spear tips, hammers, axes, and many more. These were the physical properties of copper and are easily identifiable.

Chemical Properties of Copper 

  1. Many of the common metals and alloys happen to be moist because of the oxidation on the surface. But, in hot and dry (such in the deserts) and cold and dry environmental conditions, metals tend to resist corrosion. Inspired by all those things, due to the chemical properties of copper, the process for corrosion of copper is prolonged. The resistance of copper and its alloys generally depends on the ability of the matter to form the stable compounds that protect the copper materials from the corrosion.

  1. The protective layers of oxides and soluble alkalis make a layer on the surface of copper and copper alloys. The layers of these types of formations are influenced by the suitable alloy metals by which the solid matter is made up.

  1. The valency states of +2 or +1 are mostly found in the compounds where the copper is radical. The copper ions of +2 state in the aqueous medium show the blue color, whereas the +1-oxidation state in aqueous solutions, occur to be colorless.  

  1. By the flame test of copper, when copper wire is burnt with the help of a Bunsen burner, it gives out green flames. This is one of the confirmatory dry tests for the copper radical. By doing this test inside the lab, we can get sure that the metal which is being burnt is the copper and not any other metal. 

Uses of Copper 

  1. Its waterproof property makes it an avidly required material to be a material of roofing the buildings. Its lightweight and durability make it easier to use in most of the cases of construction.

  2. It's used as an alloy material to be used in the shipbuilding industry.

  3. It is used in the water purifiers as an active ion infuser to let good quality water to flow out to get used by us.

  4. The copper metal is extensively used to make vessels to store water because of their anti-germ properties.

  5. There are many other uses of copper as well.

Fun Fact 

To construct the statue of liberty, 179,000 pounds of copper was used.The wires, pipes and appliances and appliances contain 400 pounds of copper in an average home .

A car from an average company consists of 50 pounds of copper. All the gold materials we buy also consist of  copper of some level, even the certificate of 24 carat is there. Copper is a natural antibacterial because  it inhibits the growth of the microbes .  

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is natural copper?

Copper is a red-colored metal that naturally occurs in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air. Its average ratio of concentration in the earth's crust is about 50 parts copper per million parts soil (ppm). Copper also occurs naturally in plants and animals as the nutrients inside their body or as minerals are required in their body. If they eat the food rich in copper minerals, the right concentration of copper can be found in their blood. Copper is an essential element for all known living organisms, whether they are herbivores or carnivores. We need to understand that natural copper in an organism's body can give that particular organism some immunity powers due to its anti – gremial properties. This is one of the chief uses of copper.

2. What is copper used for in the body?

Copper is an essential nutrient for the body as well. In combination with iron, it makes the body form red blood cells. Along with the RBC, it also helps to develop the hemoglobin too. It helps us to maintain healthy bones by promoting calcification, nerves, and immune function, and it also contributes to the absorption of iron. Sufficient copper in the diet of meals may help us with cardiovascular disease. The copper is an essential element to restore calcium in the body. The calcium restoration, hence leads to healthier bones and prevents osteoporosis of bones. The disease can be restricted by consuming a lot of mineral-rich food, which also includes copper ions. The chemical properties of copper support this use of copper in the body.