Introduction to Copper and Copper Alloys
Copper and copper alloys constitute one of the major groups of commercial metals due to their excellent electrical and thermal conductivities, corrosion and fatigue resistance, ease of fabrication, and good strength. This Article lists the types, properties, fabrication characteristics, corrosion ratings, temper designations, and applications of wrought copper and copper alloys. It also presents an outline of the most commonly used mechanical working and heat treating processes. The copper industry in the United States is broadly composed of two segments: producers (mining, smelting, and refining companies) and fabricators (wire mills, brass mills, foundries, and powder plants). The Article discusses copper production methods and describes major changes in the structure of the U.S. copper and copper alloys industry.