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copper sheet supplier

Understanding Corrosion and Why Copper and Brass Suppliers Are Not Worried about It

Corrosion

Most people believe that the world they live in is a calm and comfortable place. In reality, it is more hostile than they can possibly imagine. Everything on Earth is locked in a constant battle for survival. The environment is so fragile that even the slightest shift in the balance could push life to extinction.

It is only when living things learned to adapt and evolve that the world became less hostile. Yet the fact remains that when the world can no longer support life as we know it, everything will perish and decompose. All that will be left is a barren wasteland with nothing more than dust and rocks.

The famous adage “from dust you came, and to dust you shall return,” is originally addressed to all living things. It pertains to the natural process of decomposition when a carbon-based material loses resistance against the effects of its environment. It turns out that this principle applies to inorganic materials as well. The only difference is that their decomposition takes a lot longer and is influenced by a greater variety of factors. This process is more commonly known as corrosion.

 

Corrosion of Metals

Corrosion takes place when a certain material is placed in an environment where it is chemically unstable. Metals are among the best examples of materials that undergo this process. Despite being tougher and more resilient than most other materials, they have their share of weakness. There are certain chemicals that they don’t react well to. If you’ve seen the film Batman vs. Superman, particularly the part where Batman was able to weaken Superman by exposing him to kryptonite, it works pretty much the same way.

Understanding corrosion is important because it affects the properties for which metals are used in a vast range of applications. By knowing which element in an alloy reacts to which substance, metallurgists can more easily determine the best way to adjust the alloy’s composition to form a more corrosion-resistant material.

Perhaps that most widely held catalyst for corrosion is oxygen because most metals react to it. This has been proven by Antoine Lavoisier, the French chemist who also authored the law of conservation of mass and played a critical role in recognizing oxygen as an element. His experiments revealed that iron, together with all other ferrous metals, reacts to oxygen by forming iron oxide or rust. If not for Lavoisier’s discovery, iron (which makes up most of today’s man-made structures) would have not been utilized for applications where air exposure is involved.

 

Resisting Oxygen-Related Corrosion

Metals that do not contain iron usually resist corrosion with oxygen. The best example of this type of metal is copper and all of its alloys. Instead of forming rust when exposed to oxygen, copper forms a layer of greenish material known as patina. This layer does not affect the interior of the metal and rather encapsulates it to prevent further corrosion.

Alloys of copper, such as brass and bronze, exhibit this property as well. In most cases, they resist corrosion caused by even more potent substances, including saltwater and certain acids. They also hold up to extreme temperatures, which explains why most manufacturers prefer them for making machine parts. It’s no wonder reliable bronze and brass suppliers make so much fortune.

Brass and bronze are alloyed with other metals to form even stronger and more corrosion-resistant metals. Muntz metal, a type of alpha-beta brass, for instance, is used for making cover plating for ships due to its high tolerance to saltwater corrosion. This type of brass resists fouling, too. Another popular example is silicon bronze, which essentially is bronze combined with a little bit of silicon. This metal is almost if not stronger than steel, making it a good material for making pumps and boilers or for applications where the strength of steel is needed but not its weakness to rusting.

 

Other Substances that Can Trigger or Accelerate Corrosion

Oxygen is not the only element that can trigger or accelerate corrosion. In fact, any solid, liquid, or gas substances can cause corrosion depending on the metal exposed to them. Acids (such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and hydrochloric acid) and bases (such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide) are also notorious for corroding many different types of alloy.

Some metals could also corrode when exposed to dehydrating agents, such as phosphorus pentoxide or calcium oxide; halogens and halogen salts, such as bromine and sodium hypochlorite; organic halides; and acid anhydrides.

 

Using Corrosion to Your Advantage

There’s no denying the destruction corrosion can bring to one’s project. If left unchecked, it can lead to construction failure, consequently endangering people’s lives. However, it does not always have to be viewed negatively. There are certain applications for which it can be beneficial, such as furniture making and metal disposal.

It takes many years for bronze to achieve a kind of patina that gives it an antique look. For those who sell bronze furniture and believe that lost time is lost money, however, waiting that long is outright counterproductive. This is why they resort to a process called patination in which they speed up the formation of patina. It involves controlled exposure of bronze to a certain corrosive substance until the beautiful brown and green color, which usually takes years to produce, emerges in a few days.

Working with metals, especially for projects that require stability and strength among other critical properties, is a high risk. You have to be able to tell which metals corrode to which substances first. It would be better, though, to use metals that you know won’t succumb to corrosion that easily. Why not go to a trusted copper sheet supplier like Rotax Metals and ask what specific types of metal supplies you need. They specialize in all kinds of copper alloy, and so you will definitely find the materials you need and get the value for your money in the end.

 

Sources:

Chemistry of Oxygen (Z=8), chem.libretexts.org
Corrosion, newworldencyclopedia.org
Corrosion 101: What Is Corrosion?, eoncoat.com

Copper and Brass Sales—Understanding the True Value of Copper

value of copper

Among the metals that have great contributions to global development, copper is arguably the most valuable. Apart from being the first metal to have been discovered and utilized by man, it also has spawned a long list of alloys that now aid the advancement of various industries.

 

Why Copper Is a Popular Material

There are a number of reasons why copper is quite a remarkable material. First, it’s fairly malleable, which means it can be hammered, rolled, or pressed into thin sheets without breaking. That property alone allows copper to be utilized for a plethora of applications. It’s no wonder many are looking for a good copper sheet supplier to provide the needs of their projects.

Second, copper is ductile. Quite many metals have a similar property but copper exhibits a degree of ductility that can actually be put to good use. This metal also has high electrical and thermal conductivity, so it’s perfect for applications that involve high temperature and voltage. Since it is also ductile, copper makes a good material for electrical wires. In fact, majority of electrical wires used in any industry are made of copper.

Copper also has antimicrobial properties, which is extremely useful for water filtration and purification applications. With all of these valuable properties, it’s hard to think of life moving forward with copper. Most people may not notice it but this metal can be found almost everywhere from within the walls of their homes to under the hood of their vehicles.

To give you a better idea of how useful copper is, here are the major industries that utilize it.

 

Building and Construction

The construction industry is the biggest consumer of copper supplies in 2017. For the past few decades, it’s the electrical and electronics industry that used the majority of copper products, but it seems modern structural designs that are geared toward longevity and efficiency require better performing metals like copper.

Normally, copper is used for making heat exchanger tubes for condensers in steam power stations and chemical plants, irrigation and agricultural sprinkler systems, and piping at distillation plants. It is also the best material so far to be used for building seawater feed lines, cement pumps for drill water supply, and tubes for distribution of natural and liquefied petroleum.

 

Electrical and Electronics

Copper is still the most ideal metal for making electrical wires and essential parts of electronic devices and machines. If you break into a cellphone or tablet, chances are you’ll find a bunch of small pieces, including connectors, circuitry wiring and contacts, printed circuit boards, micro-chips, and electromagnets. Most, if not all, of these parts are made of copper. While other metal types can be used, copper exhibits high efficiency and conductivity, which are expected from these items.

 

Transportation Equipment

Did you know that there’s roughly 25 kg of copper in your vehicle, and if you remove the parts made of it will render your vehicle completely useless? These parts include the wiring for glass defrost systems, fittings, fasteners, and brass screws, and hydraulic lines. Copper also performs a great deal in the vehicle’s electromagnetic needs.

These are only a few of the applications of copper that you should know about before purchasing copper and brass sales for your project. Understanding how valuable the metal you are using is, you will have greater respect for its use and be extra careful when choosing the correct alloy. To make sure your copper supplies are of the highest quality, turn only to a reputable supplier like Rotax Metals.

 

Sources:

Facts About Copper, geology.com
Learn About the Common Uses of Copper, thebalance.com

Copper & Brass Sales: Why the Metal Manufacturing Process Maybe More Complicated than You Think

copper and brass sales

When the hit sci-fi film, The Terminator, aired in 1984, it gave a chilling clue on what could possibly happen when machines become self-aware. As expected, many took it seriously and raised concerns about the potential drawbacks of artificial intelligence.

Although the concept of the film seems likely, it’s riddled with gray areas. For instance, if the machines indeed become self-aware, it would still take them many years to set up the processes that could allow them to multiply. Even if they succeed to shut down human defense systems, they need an army of epic proportions to completely wipe out all humans, and that’s supposing humans don’t fight back.

To achieve that, they have to build at least one large manufacturing facility on each major country where they can build the first wave of machines to take over the world. But where will they get the materials? Surely, there are leftover supplies they can use during the initial phase of their invasion, but those will soon run out because the supply chain would have been disrupted by then.

They also have to remember that it takes more than just a material or two to build the machines. The classic humanoid T-100 alone consists of hundreds of different types of metal, each of which is provided by a different supplier and quarried from a different mining site. So they have to find and invade those places, too.

Unfortunately, before they could pull off their plots, humans will have already begun preliminary retaliation, destroying many of them in the battle. With very small manpower left, it’s very hard for them to regroup and continue manufacturing their own kind, so the whole concept is interesting but far-fetched. Thanks to the complexity of metal manufacturing, apocalypse can be prevented without humans having to do anything.

To help you better understand how complicated the metal manufacturing process is, here’s an overview.

 

Mining

The smooth and shiny metal tubes and sheets you see around you did not come as they are but rather started as a rugged ore. This ore comes from underground or within mountains. To extract them, the ground is dug to access the layers where the ores can be found. If the ore is just a feet from the surface, it is easily blasted off and hauled toward the processing facility.

Specifically, mining performed by blasting off the surface of the earth is called surface mining, while the one performed by extracting ore from the ground through shafts and tunnels is called underground mining. To expedite such a tedious process, heavy equipment are commonly used in the process. Perhaps the most popular of these machines is the Bagger 288, which is a bucket-wheel excavator used in strip mining. It is also the largest land vehicle in the world.

 

Processing

Successfully extracted ores are immediately delivered to mill facilities to be processed. These facilities are usually built close or within the mining site to save on hauling cost. This is where the metals are separated from the rocks. Depending on the type of metal being mined, the processing may involve more than the standard procedure. However, it normally begins with grinding the ore into powder. From this powder, the metal is separated through a combination of several mechanical and chemical techniques.

 

Metalworking

As soon as the metal is fully removed from the ore, it is ready for metalworking in which it will be manufactured into individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures. Sometimes, the metal is alloyed with other metals before being worked into the needed products to improve its mechanical properties.

The metalworking process varies according to the desired product. When making tubes and bars, for instance, hammering and bending are the basic processes required. For better speed and precision, though, most metal manufacturers prefer extrusion. This involves pressing a workpiece into a die.

It’s not just the machines and processes that may vary when working metals. Manipulating the metal’s temperature may also influence the result of metalworking. When the metal is worked while it is above its recrystallization temperature, the process is called hot-working. On the other hand, if it is worked at a room temperature, the process is cold-working.

 

Fabrication

The whole process of making specific forms and shapes of metal, such as parts of machines and devices is called metal fabrication. This requires the use of specialized equipment, often custom-built for each specific design. Most of the world’s largest manufacturers design and use their own machinery to aid mass production.

This is only an overview of the metal manufacturing and supply process. There are other steps in between that are just as intricate and critical to the production of the metal supplies you see in top distributors like Rotax Metals. So the next time you buy metal supplies for your projects, you already know what it took before those supplies become available for sale.

Whether you are in the market for copper & brass sales or other types of metal, you’ll have a better chance at getting what you need and ready to pay for at the most trusted copper sheet supplier. Just make sure to conduct a proper search before shopping around so that you can cross out suppliers that haven’t met your standards.

 

Sources:

How Metals are Mined, uaf.edu
TYPES OF MINING, straterra.co.nz

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