Without copper, the modern era as we know it would never have come about. The events that marked its dawn - the discovery of America and the invention of the printing press - would simply not have been possible without copper. Centuries later, copper-zinc alloys were used to create brass, which has multiple uses. Brass helped Britain transform itself into a leading industrial nation. Since the discovery of electric current, copper has been used in almost all fields and is an essential material in modern industry.
The 21st century
Copper is essential for the generation, transmission, distribution and use of electricity –without which our civilisation would collapse. Copper is especially important for the supply of environmentally-friendly energy because it’s such an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. With awareness of sustainability and eco-friendly energy solutions on the rise, copper will become even more important to the energy sector in the future.
From the earliest days of telecommunications, copper has provided the building blocks for transmission of signals from A to B. Decades of development and breakthroughs in communication would have been impossible without copper. And the higher demands we place on information technology – faster delivery of information, high-speed connections and guaranteed availability everywhere – are leading to rising demand for copper.
Copper has played an important role in the motor industry for a long time. Without copper electrical and electronic components, intelligent engine and gear management wouldn’t be possible. The ever-increasing demand for comfort in modern cars creates more demand for copper. And the development of greener and fuel-efficient electric engines and electric cars is dependent on copper. The engine in a hybrid car contains about 50kg of copper – and demand is set to increase even more.