Righton Blackburn's stocks and supplies a full range of high conductivity, deoxidised and oxygen-free high conductivity copper products including sheet, flat and round bars for free machining use.

Copper is known for its electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, heat transfer, structural capability and aesthetic appeal. Copper and copper alloys are amongst the most necessary materials needed to provide the means to keep homes, commerce and industry running.

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General Information for Copper

Copper Properties

Corrosion Resistance

All copper alloys resist corrosion by fresh water and steam. In most rural, marine and industrial atmospheres copper alloys are also resistant to corrosion. Copper is resistant to saline solutions, soils, non-oxidising minerals, organic acids and caustic solutions. Moist ammonia, halogens, sulphides, solutions containing ammonia ions and oxidising acids, like nitric acid, will attack copper. Copper alloys also have poor resistance to inorganic acids.

The corrosion resistance of copper alloys comes from the formation of adherent films on the material surface. These films are relatively impervious to corrosion therefore protecting the base metal from further attack.

Copper nickel alloys, aluminium brass, and aluminium bronzes demonstrate superior resistance to saltwater corrosion.

Electrical Conductivity

The electrical conductivity of copper is second only to silver. The conductivity of copper is 97% of the conductivity of Silver. Due to its much lower cost and greater abundance, Copper has traditionally been the standard material used for electricity transmission applications.

However, weight considerations mean that a large proportion of overhead high voltage power lines now use aluminium rather than copper. By weight, the conductivity of aluminium is around twice that of copper. The aluminium alloys used do have a low strength and need to be reinforced with a galvanised or aluminium coated high tensile steel wire in each strand.

Although additions of other elements will improve properties like strength, there will be some loss in electrical conductivity. As an example a 1% addition of cadmium can increase strength by 50%. However, this will result in a corresponding decrease in electrical conductivity of 15%.

Surface Oxidation/Patination

Most copper alloys will develop a blue-green patina when exposed to the elements outdoors. Typical of this is the colour of the copper Statue of Liberty in New York. Some copper alloys will darken after prolonged exposure to the elements and take on a brown to black colour.

Lacquer coatings can be used to protect the surface and retain the original alloy colour. An acrylic coating with benzotriazole as an additive will last several years under most outdoor, abrasion-free conditions.

Yield Strength

The yield point for copper alloys is not sharply defined. As a result it tends to be reported as either a 0.5% extension under load or as 0.2% offset.

Most commonly the 0.5% extension yield strength of annealed material registers as approximately one-third the tensile strength. Hardening by cold working means the material becomes less ductile, and yield strength approaches the tensile strength.


Highly prized in the marine industry the anti-microbial properties of copper make it resistant to bacteria, microbes and viruses. This is possible because of an outer layer or ‘Patina’ which is formed initially by corrosion but then acts as a protective barrier. This creates much fewer pathogens, and when alloyed with other metals it is the ideal choice for subsea conditions.

Low maintenance

Expensive as a material compared to some other metals, copper requires less ongoing care and maintenance, making it a long term cost effective choice.


Containing no harmful compounds or chemicals, copper piping is a safe choice for the home or business. It is also highly recyclable so a kind choice for the environment.

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Copper Weight Calculator

All weights shown using this metal weight calculator are for guidance only. They are calculated using nominal dimensions and scientifically recognised densities. Please note that in practice, the actual metal weight can vary significantly from theoretical weight due to variations in manufacturing tolerances and compositions.

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