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Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity. Cables and wires are capable of carrying comparatively more electric current per diameter of wire. A copper cable is a group of two or more copper wires bundled together in a single sheath or jacket. About half of all copper mined is used to make electrical wire and cable conductors.
A cathode – a 50 to 80 kg copper square – is produced when pure copper separates from unwrought copper in an electrolytic refining process. The major uses of copper cathodes are in the manufacture of copper rods for the wire and cable industry and copper tubes for consumer durable goods. Copper cathodes are also used for making alloys like brass, bronze and alloy steel.
Copper bars and rods are usually obtained by rolling, extrusion or drawing. They may subsequently be cold-finished which give the products a finish of higher precision. Precision engineered and finished Copper round rods are available in hard, half-hard as well as in soft conditions in Extruded, Forged, Hot Rolled, as well as Cold worked options, in different dimensions.
Cement copper (precipitated copper) is a product obtained by precipitation (cementation), i.e. by adding iron to the aqueous solution resulting from the leaching of certain roasted ores or residues. It is a finely devised black powder containing oxides and insoluble impurities. Cement copper is often added to the charge which goes to a melting furnace to produce copper matte.
Manganese ore is a silver-gray metal with a pinkish tinge. Manganese ore is alloyed with steel to improve hardness which is essential in the manufacturing of construction materials. It has a similar application when alloyed with aluminium and helps to reduce corrosion and is used in the manufacturing of beverage cans.
Cobalt is a bluish-gray, shiny and has magnetic properties similar to iron. There are no significant minerals of cobalt. It is rare and obtained mostly through refining of nickel ore. When it is alloyed with other metals, very strong magnets are created. Superalloys containing cobalt are used in the production of jet engines and gas turbine engines for energy generation.
Zinc is a brittle, crystalline, bluish white metal and readily combines with other metals forming alloys – brass (copper and zinc), bronze (copper, tin and zinc) and nickel silver (copper, nickel and zinc). Zinc is the third most used non-ferrous metal after aluminium and copper. About 50% of production is used for galvanising steel to protect it from rust.
An increasing percentage of chrome ore supply is in the form of fines, concentrated to reduce impurities such as silica. Around 92% of all the chromium produced in the world is consumed in steel, to which it brings a high resistance to corrosion, temperature and wear. The steel which uses chromium most extensively is stainless steel, which consumes more than 80% of the chromium used in steel applications.
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