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Copper Essay

explanatory Essay
1028 words
1028 words
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Copper is the metal that archaeologists suggest is the first metal to be extracted by humans and therefore is a metal that is extensively used by humans. The period of time in human history that copper metal is thought to have been first discovered is the transition from the Stone Age to the age of metals, also known as the Copper Age which was from five thousand to three thousand BC. Originally copper metal was used to make ornaments, tools, weapons and cooking utensils. Copper is a soft metal so using the copper for weapons and tools was a disadvantage. Later we would discover that if a small amount of tin was added to the copper it increased the coppers hardness creating bronze, this was a huge development in the making of weapons and tools. The Egyptians used copper metal for copper pipes to convey water the Egyptians also used the copper for beads. Copper was and still is today used for cooking pots; this is because of its fantastic thermal conductivity.

Copper has over one thousand alloys that have been formed. An alloy is when a small proportion of another element is added; this can alter the physical properties of the metal dramatically. The pure metal is generally a lot softer than its alloy, this is because the small quantities of the other elements disrupt the structure of the atoms in the lattice. One major alloy of copper is bronze; bronze is the result of adding ten per cent tin to ninety per cent copper and played an important role in human cultural development called the Bronze Age which was between three thousand to one thousand BC. Bronze is much harder and less malleable than copper or tin therefore giving it many advantages for tools such as axes and knives because bronze maintains a sharp cutting edge and is...

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...worth will increase. Although our ability to produce copper and other metals from lower quality ores and have the technology to access ores deeper in the earths crust and in the ocean copper and other metals will still run out. Recycling our copper materials is important. To recycle to material it needs to me sorted from the other metals and cleaned. Then it is melted down and reformed for another use. Copper is used widely in today’s society for heating and is one of the most important metals used today. Copper has excellent heat and electrical conductivity and it is used is water systems because it doesn’t corrode. If copper were to no longer be available many of the everyday items we have wouldn’t be accessible, which is why recycling copper is important. Recycling would prolong the availability of copper and the numerous uses of copper could still be performed.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that copper is the first metal to be extracted by humans, and is widely used. it was used for ornaments, tools, weapons and cooking utensils.
  • Explains that copper has over one thousand alloys that have been formed. an alloy is when a small proportion of another element is added; this can alter the physical properties of the metal dramatically.
  • Explains that the extraction of copper metal has changed very little since ancient times. the process requires moderately high temperatures and requires a large supply of carbon.
  • Explains that modern day metal refineries in australia are one of the biggest in the world.
  • Explains that mining copper can have unfavourable impacts on the environment such as air pollution and reduce the soil and water quality.
  • Explains that minerals are a non-renewable resource because they are formed in the earth's crust and are limited in quantity. recycling our copper materials is important.
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