Copper Sheet

Top Questions to Ask Copper Material Suppliers When Looking for the Perfect Plumbing Material

So you’ve started looking for a new home and there’s this lovely unit that you’ve been eyeing since day one of your search. When you checked it out, everything seems fine except for the plumbing, which looks old and needs some serious overhaul. You’ve decided to buy the house anyway and just have the whole plumbing system replaced.

It may seem easy but plumbing renovation is one complicated job. Even if you will hire someone to do it, there are still a couple of things you need to do. For instance, you should know what materials are necessary for the project. The last thing you want is spending top dollar for a material that won’t hold up for long. Here are guide questions you can use to find the perfect material for your new plumbing system.

Has anyone used the material before?

If a certain metal is not that popular even to suppliers, chances are it’s not the ideal choice. Go for a material that has been used by trusted builders in your area or the one used in well-built homes in your neighborhood.

Does it rust or corrode?

This is perhaps the most important question you should ask yourself and the supplier. You wouldn’t want to use a metal that will only contaminate your water with rust debris down the road. Choose a metal like copper or any of its alloys because they are proven capable of resisting corrosion. There are select copper material suppliers offering copper plumbing pipes that you can ask about the corrosion of metals.

Is it tough and strong?

Not all corrosion-resistant metals are ideal for plumbing construction. You also have to factor in the forces the material has to deal with. Water may be still when they are in a container but within pipes they flow at tremendous rate, creating immense pressure. Your material must be tough enough to resist puncture and strong enough to hold up to pressure and not burst.

Does it kill bacteria?

Not very many metals are capable of the oligodynamic effect, a phenomenon characterized by the release of certain ions, which destroy a particular type of protein in bacteria cells, eventually killing them. Metals like copper and silver are among the few that can, and should be on your list.

Who is selling it?

It is crucial that you also know who your supplier is. There are thousands of copper material suppliers in North America and probably hundreds within your area alone, so choosing can be quite tricky. But if you know what to look for, it can be easier. The supplier, first and foremost, must be an established business with a clean and impressive reputation. This means they must have been in operation for many years or even decades. It would also be wise to choose a company that specializes in copper, since it’s the material you will eventually need. After all, the answers to your questions will all boil down to choosing copper.

Asking the right questions is critical in purchasing any product, especially materials for your plumbing. Being able to pick the right material means you can build a sturdy and durable plumbing system for your new home. This also means you won’t have to worry about repair and maintenance for many years.



A Quick Guide to Etching Copper Sheets for Crafts

There are a number of ways to decorate metal. You can paint it, stick adornments on it, or even carve through its surface. After all, metals are malleable and very easy to work. They make a great material for a variety of crafts. Copper, in particular, is one of the most extensively used metals for making art pieces, thanks to its extreme workability. And one of the best ways to decorate copper is through etching. Here’s a guide for those who want to try etching copper sheets for crafts.

Step 1: Preparation and Safety

Etching involves the use of acid or mordant, usually ferric chloride. Either chemical can burn your skin. It’s important to observe basic safety precaution to avoid possible injury. Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect your body from spillage. Before you wear them, make sure to prepare the copper sheet you will be etching first. Clean and dry it thoroughly to remove any residue that might inhibit the etching process.

Step 2: Design and Resist

Now that you have the blank copper sheet set, the next step is to choose a design and put it in a resist either through cutting or printing. A resist is a substance that covers the areas on the metal that you don’t want to be etched. It can be anything from photocopy ink to photo film. Make sure to line the resist up properly to produce a fine output. If you are using ink as your resist, make sure it is completely dry before applying the acid to prevent it from smudging. Cover the back of the plate with resist, too, so it won’t react with the solution.

Step 3: Tape and Etch

To further protect the areas on the blank surrounding the design, you have to cover them with tape. Cover even the back until there’s no air gap left. A burnisher can help push the tape flat down so all gaps are eliminated. Once you’re done, slowly lower the blank into the etching solution and leave it there for at least half an hour. Every 5 to 10 minutes, stir the solution with the blank to shake off residue and improve the etching process.

Step 4: Neutralization

Once you confirm that all sections of the design have been properly etched, prepare another solution. This time, it’s a solution meant to neutralize the acid on the plate so you can safely hold it and apply the finishing. The neutralizing solution is simply a mixture of baking soda and water. Baking soda is known to have the ability to defuse the coarseness of acids.

Step 5: Cleaning and Finishing

Once you’ve removed the tape and the resist from the blank, you’ll notice slight discoloration on the surface of the blank. Don’t panic. This is normal. All you have to do is to clean and polish the surface of the etched copper thoroughly to get rid of most of the stain and bring out the sheen hiding beneath it.

To get the best results, make sure your copper blank is made by a trusted foundry and is supplied by a reputable supplier like Rotax Metals. You don’t have to go far just to find out where to buy copper sheets because Rotax Metals is a prominent brand. Experts like them can teach you the right etching techniques as well.



How To Etch Copper In 8 Simple Steps

Copper Applications and Where to Buy Copper Sheets for Copper Crafts, Manufacture, and Other Uses

Copper production is a multimillion dollar industry. It ranks third in world metal consumption after steel and aluminum. In 2017, the total amount of copper produced from mines all over the world is estimated 19.7 million metric tons. That’s roughly twice the amount of zinc produced on the same year. With that huge production, you may probably be wondering why you don’t come across objects made of copper very often. This begs the question, “Where does all that copper go?” Before we get to that, let us first get to know copper better.

What is copper and why is it useful?

Copper is a metallic element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is one of the first metals to be discovered, even much earlier than gold and silver. Major copper producing countries include Chile, Peru, and China. Although the United States has its own copper mines, it still imports from these countries to sustain its immense need for the metal. Even though about 44 percent of its total annual copper consumption comes from recycled scrap, it still spends an average of $300 billion annually on copper imports.

This metal is prized for its many properties, most of which are useful in a wide range of applications across various fields and industries. That’s why it’s extensively utilized. Copper’s most popular alloys are bronze and brass. Each of these alloys has its own unique properties and is manufactured into many useful things from structural elements to everyday ornaments.

Applications of Copper

After mining and refining, copper is made into different types of material, including sheets, plates, tubes, bars, and rods. They all go to metal suppliers and distributors, who then deliver to manufacturers, builders, and artisans who use copper for different specific applications. Nowadays, it’s so much easier for these professionals to find a copper sheet supplier to help you with your project as most of them are accessible online. Here are some of the most common applications of copper:

  • Architecture – Copper is manufactured into a plethora of architectural elements, including roofs, flashings, gutters, downspouts, domes, spires, vaults, wall cladding, and building expansion joints. Builders are confident in using copper materials for exterior features because they know this metal is resistant to the impact of weather due to its non-ferrous characteristics.
  • Automotive – Each vehicle consists of about 40 lbs of electrical and 10 lbs of non-electrical components, particularly comprising the motor and rotor. Copper is becoming even more essential as the demand for electric and hybrid vehicles grows rapidly. Its high electrical conductivity is extremely useful for this application.
  • Electrical – Speaking of electrical conductivity, copper has been used for making wire cores and transformers. Silver was the original choice but it heats up too quickly, which increases the risk of electrical fires. Copper, the next most highly conductive metal, on the other hand, happens to have a high thermal expansion coefficient as well. This means it doesn’t burn up when conveying large voltage of electricity.
  • Plumbing and Decorations – Being non-ferrous gives copper a lot of other useful properties apart from corrosion resistance. For instance, it has an antimicrobial property, which triggers the oligodynamic effect, a phenomenon that occurs when ions of copper attack certain proteins in microorganisms, killing them in the process. This is why copper is the perfect material for tubes and pipes in water systems where purification and filtration are involved.
  • Industrial – One of the reasons why you don’t see a lot of copper around is that most materials made of this metal is used for industrial applications, particularly in manufacturing and power plants. It is found in most heat exchangers and in machines used for copper plate printing and fermentation tank lining. Wineries prefer their distillation pots to be made of copper.
  • Electronic – The electronic devices you use at home and in the workplace possibly have a little bit of copper in them. If you open one up, you will most likely find components such as high frequency and ultra-high frequency tubes, printed circuits, base brazing, all made of copper. This metal has also long replaced aluminum and similar types of metal as the material for silicon chips for interconnection and lead frames in electronic circuitries.
  • Energy and Petrochemical. Many alloys of copper are widely used in the energy and petrochemical industries, too. Good examples are condenser tubes and plates as well as containers for holding corrosive mediums. They are also made into pipes, filters, pumps, valves, and all sorts of evaporators. Because copper has higher resistance to saltwater corrosion than other metals, it is also preferred for desalinators, offshore drilling platforms, and other undersea installations.
  • Transportation. Most modern trains crisscrossing metropolitan areas rely heavily on copper for electricity. They run using the power supplied through copper-based lines that span along the rails. Furthermore, they are also found in the motors, rectifiers and controls, brakes, electrics, and signal systems of these vehicles. Copper alloys have ship-building applications, too. Special types of copper are found to have higher resistance against fouling, which can be a problem as they can increase the weight and reduce the buoyancy of ships.
  • Crafts. Copper is blessed with a beautiful reddish brown color that can match with any interior design. Whether you want a rustic or a modern appeal for your home or office, a streak of copper along trips or even standalone copper furniture makes a great addition. Want to know where to buy copper sheets for crafts? You might want to avoid typical stores that only offer industry-specific products.

Are you looking for a metal with great properties to use in your own project? Whether it’s for manufacturing, construction, or even decoration, consider using copper. With its amazing properties that are well-suited for virtually all kinds of applications, you can never go wrong with this metal. Additionally, you have a huge array of choices because copper has over a hundred different variations.

Before heading out to make a purchase, however, see to it that you will find the best supplier near you. It doesn’t help to source materials from a supplier that isn’t well-versed with metals, particularly copper alloys. The best place to go to is an established supplier like Rotax Metals. Not only do they specialize in copper alloys but they are also an established business, operating since 1947. With their copious knowledge and experience with copper, they surely provide you with the highest quality copper sheet metal for sale as well as unparalleled customer service.



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