Forging Copper

Material Description

Copper is a versatile and widely used metallic element known for its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity. It is characterized by its lustrous reddish-brown appearance, malleability, and ductility. In its pure form, copper is a soft and highly malleable metal, making it suitable for various industrial applications. Its atomic number is 29, and it has a melting point of approximately 1,984 degrees Fahrenheit (1,085 degrees Celsius). Copper is often alloyed with other metals to enhance its mechanical properties, such as strength and corrosion resistance. Common copper alloys include bronze and brass, which incorporate elements like tin and zinc. In addition to its electrical and thermal conductivity, copper also boasts antimicrobial properties, making it suitable for use in healthcare and food processing equipment. Its excellent corrosion resistance makes it an ideal choice for plumbing, roofing, and architectural applications. Copper’s natural aesthetic appeal, durability, and recyclability further contribute to its popularity in various technical and industrial contexts.

Copper is essential in numerous technical applications due to its unique combination of properties. Its high electrical conductivity, surpassed only by silver, makes it an ideal choice for electrical wiring, power transmission, and electrical components. Its exceptional thermal conductivity makes it valuable in heat exchangers and cooling systems. Additionally, copper’s excellent corrosion resistance and natural patina formation over time further extend its applications, particularly in outdoor and architectural elements. The metal is highly ductile, allowing for seamless manufacturing processes, such as extrusion, casting, and machining. Furthermore, its use in various alloys, such as cupronickel and beryllium copper, enables specialized applications in industries ranging from aerospace to electronics. Copper’s importance in technology, construction, and industrial sectors remains significant, underlining its status as a fundamental material in the modern world.

Industry Applications

Utilized in defense for electrical connectors, in solar structures for wiring, in medical for diagnostics, in electric vehicles for wiring, in drones for electrical conductivity, in aerospace for avionics, and in general engineering for electrical components.

Finishing Options

Patinas, Lacquering, Polishing

DensityTensile Yield
Strength (MPa)
Conductivity (W/m-K)
Coeff. of
(micro Ohm-cm)
8.96210-22021045-10039816.51.68 x 10^-8

Design Recommendation

When designing components for forging with copper, simplicity is key to cost reduction. Create parts with straightforward, uniform shapes to minimize material waste. In areas requiring additional strength, consider thicker sections while also incorporating fillets and rounded edges to alleviate stress concentrations. The selection of the appropriate copper alloy for the specific application is essential. Avoid intricate designs that may necessitate extensive machining, which can add to production costs.

Cost Saving Tip

When forging copper, choose the appropriate copper alloy for the application to avoid over-specification and cost overruns. Optimize the forging process to minimize scrap and rework. Invest in efficient heat treatment equipment to save on energy costs. Implement tight process controls to maintain material quality and avoid costly errors. Additionally, consider recycling and reusing copper scrap to reduce raw material expenses.