If your business or organization has purchased copper sheets for industrial use, you may not have considered the journey that copper goes through in order to become the sheet metal that you use for your applications.

  • Copper starts as a raw material. Copper is mined as an ore. While it is usually found in combination with other metals, such as gold, silver or nickel, it can also be bound to a sulfide. Once the ore is removed from the ground, it goes through processing in order to remove the other products, using elements such as oxygen, iron, silica and sulfuric acid.
  • Copper is usually found in pit mining operations. Copper is generally close to the surface, so most copper mines use open pit techniques to remove the copper from the ground.
  • Copper products need to be smelted. Pure copper that has gone through the processing procedure then needs to be smelted in order to form it into coils, sheets and other forms. The copper is exposed to high heat that is found in flash furnaces that are oxygen-enriched for extremely high temperatures.
  • Copper is refined and cast. Once the copper has been melted, it goes to another furnace for refining and then into casting where it assumes the final shape.

 

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