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Copper - elementary facts

12 May 2015
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Copper is transition metal with a symbol Cu in the periodic table of elements. Cu are the first two letters of the Latin word for copper - Cuprum. The word Cuprum is a derivative that comes from ancient times, when copper was mainly supplied from Cyprus: aes Cyprium (Cypriot ore) => Cyprium => Cuprum. Croatian word for copper , bakar, has been taken over from the Turkish word bakir.

Copper is the metal of great importance in our lives. Thanks to its characteristics such as toughness, ductility, excellent conductivity of electricity and heat, corrosion resistance and workability, copper is extremely important raw material in the industry and everyday life. Besides, as a trace element it strongly affects our health and health of plants and animals.

Copper participates in all major functions of the human body. It is essential for the development and maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system, liver, bones, nervous system, resistance to infections. It is known to have anti-microbial properties so it can destruct specific bacteria and germs. In agriculture it is also used as a fungicide. Since copper affects the skin beauty it can be found in some cosmetic products. Too low or too high level of copper can lead to serious health problems and eventually death.

Copper was used from the early days of human history, and it can be considered the basis of modern civilization. The oldest objects made of copper were found in northern Iraq, and it dates to about 8700 BC. Thanks to its characteristics, copper is today an irreplaceble part of the electrical industry, electronics, construction, metal and food industry, medicine, etc.

Today we know about 570 different copper alloys. The best known are brass and bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper combined with tin, aluminum or silicon. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

World reserves of copper are estimated at approximately 3.7 million of metric tons. It is estimated that about 14% of the total amount of copper on the earth is spent through history up to now
, so there is no fear that we will lose this precious metal. Moreover, copper is regularly recycled and can be used again.

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