Ask almost any industry professional to define the most fundamental qualities of a metal/alloy and you’ll hear: density, hardness, ductility, purity, malleability, conductivity, machinability, tensile strength… the list goes on. Some of these properties were discovered thousands of years ago and through the ages have been the catalyst for innovation, in many ways improving the world in which we live. Even today, we continue to find innovative properties in base metals; copper is one example.
Earliest estimates put discovery of copper at 9000 BC in the Middle East, one of the first metals to be used by human beings. Now, copper can be found in a wide range of products from weaponry to jewelry to modern day electrical cables. Copper continues to be one of the most important metals in the energy, transportation, and communications industries.
Recent studies conducted by the EPA have focused on copper as a powerful antimicrobial agent. That is, using copper alloys on shared-touch surfaces such as door handles and countertops can kill 99.9% of infection-causing bacteria and other microorganisms within 2 hours of contact. This discovery has far-reaching implications for hospitals, where 1 out of every 20 patients develops an infection during his or her stay. In a culture increasingly conscious of community health, there are many everyday environments that stand to benefit from this technology. Publicly used spaces such as restaurants and hotels, office buildings, transportation systems and sports facilities, even coins, are all good candidates for the use of copper touch surfaces in an effort to reduce infection rates.
The antimicrobial quality of copper can rapidly change the face of the copper industry as uses for this base metal expand. At Admiral Metals, we keep abreast of this kind of innovation within our industry, looking for opportunities for our business as well as for our customers. It’s one more way we deliver quality and service every day.
Wishing you the very best in business,