Copper has a widespread application due to its key properties, which include high conductivity, pressure resistance, corrosion resistance, ductility, and antimicrobial properties.
Copper’s high utility makes it a valuable metal and a bellwether indicator of economic activity
Construction and infrastructure industries use more than 40% of all copper produced. Copper’s properties make the metal ideal for various construction projects. For example, copper has usage in roofing. Copper’s wind resistance, aesthetic appeal, and sustainability make it a perfect roofing material. Another copper application is in tubing in residential heating and water systems. Copper is also used to manufacture hydraulic brake lines in the auto industry due to its non-corrosive properties.
The malleability and conductivity of copper make the metal heavily in demand for the design of electrical circuits, whether it be electrical wiring or electrical components
Electric grids, the generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption of electricity all rely on copper wiring for its electrical conductivity and malleability.
Also, copper lightning conductors are the longstanding protectors of tall buildings when lightning strikes, which is a further testament to coppers’ high electrical properties.
Copper also moves transport from petrol/diesel-powered cars and electrical vehicles (EVs) to trains and airplanes. Without copper, modern transportation would not be possible
Did you know that a single Boeing 747-200 Jet contains 632,000 feet of copper wire? Copper is also used to make busbars and lock wires for aircraft. Landing gear parts and bearings make use of copper alloys to withstand high pressures.
Electric vehicles (EVs) can contain up to 368 kilograms (813 lbs) of copper, depending on their size and type. EVs rely on copper’s electrical conductivity in batteries, wiring systems, and charging stations.
With a policy push to phase out the production of fossil fuel-powered vehicles gaining momentum, demand for copper is likely to boom with the production of electric vehicles
Almost half a dozen countries in Europe have set combustion-engine passenger car phase-out targets and dates in national strategies, plans, and programs, or have drafted or adopted such laws to mitigate climate change. So, the electrification of transport can only mean more demand for copper going forward.
High-speed trains use copper alloys to maintain electrical contact at high speeds. The average luxury car contains 1.6 km (5,249 feet) of copper. Using copper in motors increases efficiency, resulting in higher power generation and longer distances.
The antimicrobial properties of copper make it useful in healthcare. Copper kills 99.9% of E.Coli within two hours of exposure?
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes copper’s antimicrobial properties and healthcare applications more important than ever.
So, in conclusion, if we are on the cusp of monetary inflation due to endless central bank currency creation, then copper is a valuable inflation hedge.
Admittedly, copper doesn’t have the haven appeal as gold and its poor cousin, silver, nevertheless, copper is a useful metal, and therefore will always have value. With the electrification of transport, green energy policies, and blowout fiscal expansion, perhaps we will see more capital flows into copper.