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where to buy copper sheets

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.

 

Source:

How To Etch Copper In 8 Simple Steps

Copper and Brass Sales—Are You Sure You Know Which Metal Is Best for Your Projects?

Copper and BrassThe annual copper production in the United States continues to grow due to the increasing demand mostly by the construction, transportation, electrical, and electronics industries. Although the increment fluctuates year after year, the copper mining industry sees only an uptrend in domestic production, which is expected not to dip anytime soon regardless of the state of global supply.

If you are planning a project that involves the use of a considerable amount of copper supplies, now is the best time to commence while production is still at its peak. Before you go about the project, however, it helps to fill yourself in with vital information about copper and its types that you will be using in making decisions. Keep in mind that each alloy of copper has its unique properties that work for select applications. Find the metals with the properties that you need for the project. To help you decide, let’s compare copper with its major alloys—bronze and brass.

Copper

Copper is one of the first metals discovered by man. Its use dates back 10,000 years, revolutionizing many fields of technology, including hunting, architecture, and construction all in its purest form. This is all thanks to copper’s unique set of properties, the most useful of which include corrosion resistance and high electrical and thermal conductivity. In fact, the only reason it can last for thousands of years is that it is extremely resistant to corrosion. It usually takes that long to see real signs of damage on its surface.

When exposed to oxygen, copper’s surface forms a layer of new material called patina. This later becomes copper’s shield against further deterioration. It doesn’t easily melt when exposed to extreme heat, making it a perfect material for machine parts. With its electrical conductivity, copper can convey high voltage electricity without burning up, which explains why most of today’s wires and cables are made of copper. To better understand the properties of copper and know where to buy copper sheet, ask a metal expert from any of the well-known suppliers in your area.

 

Brass

An alloy of copper and zinc, brass is widely known for its gold-like appearance. With the right combination, it can look exactly like gold, making it the perfect alternative if you want fancy-looking decorative and structural features in your building. Apart from the elegant appearance, brass also has its share of functional properties that can be used for various practical functions.

Due to its malleability and ductility, which by the way it inherited from its main component copper, it can be hammered or pressed into thin sheets or drawn into small wires. This metal also has a good acoustic property, which is why many types of musical instrument are made from it. The copper in brass is known for its antimicrobial properties as well, and therefore brass tubes are preferred for pipes used in water systems.

 

Bronze

A metal so popular it was named after an entire era, bronze has been the most widely produced copper alloy in the ancient times. This metal is formed by combining copper and tin. Sometimes, other elements such as aluminum, manganese, and nickel are added to produce an even stronger and more resilient variant.

Bronze has high wear and tear resistance, a critical property for machine bearings that are exposed to friction and torsion forces. It is capable of producing a unique kind of patina as well. With its ability to expand as it cools down to its re-crystallization state, bronze is practically the perfect metal for sculpture.

Now that you have basic knowledge of the differences between copper and brass sales, you can better choose the most efficient material for your project. Whether you need copper sheets or brass tubes, it will be much easier to pick the right alloy. The only thing you have to remember is to look for it in the right supplier. You’ll have a better chance if you will turn to a reliable metal supplier in New York, such as Rotax Metals.

 

Source:

Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017, minerals.usgs.gov

The Copper in Your Car—Where to Buy Copper Sheets, Wires, and Other Supplies

copper

It takes more than a single type of metal to build a car. Major components, such as the body and chassis, are usually made of steel and aluminum, but mechanical and electronic parts require more specialized alloys. Parts of the radiator and most of the wires, for instance, are made of copper.

The average car contains about 55 lbs. of copper. Most of this metal go to wires connecting the chief components of the engine and air conditioning system. Of all the metals, copper is the material chosen for this task for obvious reasons. Here are some of the properties of copper and their applications in the car’s functionality.

Electrical Conductivity

While a car’s primary function is mechanical, it needs electrical energy to support its other features. In fact, for the engine to start, electricity must be fed to the starter. It is, therefore, critical for the car design and structure to have a highly conductive and efficient electrical system. To achieve that, all wires have to be made of copper and brass sales.

Copper wires are responsible for carrying current from the battery to basic features of the car, such as lights, central locking, on-board computers, in-car entertainment systems, and satellite navigation. Safety features, such as airbags and ABS braking systems, also need electricity to set off.

Thermal Conductivity

A car’s engine consists of different metal parts that rub against each other at high speed when the car is running. Friction produces heat, which is why the engine tends to become very hot after a long drive. This heat has to be released instantaneously to prevent the car from overheating. To achieve this, coolant has to pass through the radiator to cool it down, and the best material for transferring heat through that fluid is copper due to its high thermal conductivity.

Corrosion Resistance

Driving your car on various terrains exposes it to all kinds of elements, which can have a corrosive effect on its metal components. This is why manufacturers make sure that the car parts are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant materials. Tubes that convey oils and fuels are made of copper or brass because these metals do not easily break, thus avoiding leaks. Most of these parts are collected for recycling at the end of the car’s life.

Bearing Capacity

Copper alloys also don’t wear easily since they do not stick when rubbing on the surface of other metals. This makes them an excellent bearing material, which is very common in most engines, not just in vehicles. Brass and bronze, in particular, perform better than other metals as a bearing.

Various applications other than car engines require the use of copper and its alloys. These metals may also prove useful when doing simple home renovations, such as backsplash installation or countertop covering. If you have projects that require copper supplies, you shouldn’t be confused about where to buy copper sheets. It would be best to turn to a trusted supplier like Rotax Metals.

Source:

Copper recycling and sustainability, resources.schoolscience.co.uk

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