Why is copper resistant to corrosion

Correctly and effectively remove copper corrosion

Copper corrosionis the well-known green and hard coating on copper. But what is copper corrosion and how does it come about? And more importantly, the corrosion is also increasing again removeand bring the copper back to its original condition? In this blog we will go into these questions in more depth and show a good and simple solution to free your valuable copper from corrosion.

What is copper

Copper is a metal that people have worked with for a very long time. During excavations, copper utensils that are more than 10,000 years old have even been found. The beautiful, red-colored metal belongs to the so-called transition metals, a group of metals that are widely used in modern, technical applications, but are generally in short supply (with the exception of iron). This also applies to copper, which is why the metal has appeared in the news a lot in recent years, mainly because of the many thefts of copper cables and other copper material from railroad sites, electricity and telecommunications companies. Even works of art made of copper and bronze are not spared. This is all directly related to the prices paid for old copper. Where scrap dealers do not yet pay 20 cents per kilo for scrap iron, it can quickly reach 15 or 20 times this amount for copper.

Copper has properties that are particularly useful for certain uses. One of the properties is that it is not so prone to corrosion. This is evident from the good quality of sometimes centuries-old copper parts on old roofs and buildings. Much better known is the property that copper is a great conductor for both heat and electricity. A large part of copper in the world is therefore also used for, among other things, power cables and in coils for electric motors and generators. In addition, copper is relatively easy to work with. We see it again in works of art, everyday objects, musical instruments and kettles. And of course copper is also the metal that is used for water pipes. And finally, of course, copper also forms the basis for the widely used metal alloys bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) and brass (copper and zinc).

What is copper corrosion?

Corrosion occurs with most metals. What is less well known is that ceramic metals and plastics can also corrode because they are affected by their surroundings. The best known form of corrosion is the electrochemical reaction, in which water and oxygen react on metal and cause it to oxidize.

However, corrosion can also be caused by the action of acids and by galvanic and other reactions. In addition, exposure to metal can have a major impact on whether or not the metal corrodes. Therefore refer Stress corrosionand Fatigue corrosionon the effect that a metal corrodes more quickly from the inside if it is loaded statically (tensile stress) or dynamically (moving parts).

In general, copper has good resistance to corrosion (Copper corrosion). Not because it doesn't corrode, because it certainly does. But because the corrosion stops quickly. Iron that rusts creates a porous layer of rust through which water and oxygen can continue to penetrate. This allows the rust process to proceed unhindered. Sometimes there is only a tiny bit of rust on the outside of an iron or steel object, while the inside or back of the object is almost completely rusted away. With a metal such as copper, aluminum, zinc, nickel and lead, corrosion often causes a closed oxide layer, which closes the metal even more and stops further corrosion. Iron and steel completely rust through without treatment, copper gets a green-black oxidation layer, also called patina, but then the process stops.

How can you remove copper corrosion?

The patina layer protects against further infestation and is also perceived as very beautiful in some cases. But of course there are also copper objects from which you would like to remove such a layer of corrosion in order to be able to show the original red copper in its full shine. For these cases we need a means by which the Copper corrosioncan be easily removed without damaging the copper. Ferrocon is an excellent solution for this. Ferrocon is applied with a brush, paint roller or - for larger surfaces - with a low-pressure sprayer. You can just brush away the patina and the end result is the copper as it originally looked. After this cleaning process, however, you have to treat the copper separately to protect it from new corrosion.

Ferrocon

  • With a simple treatment, you can remove rust from old and new steel or iron and prime at the same time.
  • Available in 0.5 / 1 / 2.5 / 5/10/25 liter containers.

In the case of rusting metals such as iron and steel, Ferrocon converts the rust into a hard primer layer, which then automatically protects the metal. With copper and other metals that only form an oxidation layer but do not rust any further, the hard primer layer does not arise. For this reason, you should apply a protective layer separately. For example, there are specific primers on the market that are suitable for protecting copper. For cleaning the copper itself, however, Ferrocon is the perfect solution. Your copper looks like new again.