The advantages of copper tubes
Copper, and therefore tubes made with this metal, offer a number of advantages.
Copper is bacteriostatic, that is, it combats the proliferation of bacteria on its surface. Now, in many American hospitals, door handles and banisters must be made of brass (a copper-zinc alloy) to prevent the transmission of diseases and proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. For instance, it has been found that the proliferation of Legionella is reduced when copper tubes are used. This property is already known in the nautical field: copper salts are added to many anti-fouling varnishes for ship keels in order to prevent the growth of algae and molluscs.
Copper is by far the best material against Legionella and other pathogenic bacteria, such as Escherichia Coli, Streptococcus Faecalis and Staphylococcus Aureus. Copper ions kill the micro-organisms that pathogenic agents feed on and reduce the growth of the biofilm, which tends to form a protective shield for bacteria. Its bacteriostatic property, together with other physico-chemical and economic characteristics, played a major role in the choice of copper alloys for the coinage of European Union coins.
Copper has very high electrical and thermal conductivity, second only to silver. Due to its physical properties, it is used to make heat exchanging systems, such as heat exchangers, solar panels, and wall and floor-mounted radiating panels, more efficient. Alternative products, made up of several layers of different materials, do not have the same level of thermal conductivity and have different mechanical/chemical and flow characteristics for each layer, unlike copper which has a univocal, low thermal expansion coefficient.
Copper is highly resistant to corrosion and is not magnetic; it is easy to work, extremely ductile and malleable and easy to recycle, as well as having a high scrap recovery rate. Its impermeability and resistance to ultraviolet rays and low temperatures, which means it can be installed in winter time without any risk of breakage, constitute further added value and give the product unique features thus guaranteeing maximum reliability.
Copper is an eco-friendly product, in the forefront as far as new design concepts are concerned, due to its extreme adaptability to manufacturing and installation innovations.
Quality of copper tubes and applications
Copper tubes are used on a worldwide scale for various types of industrial use: heating and gas distribution systems, including in hospitals, as well as for air-conditioning and refrigeration.
Due to the many qualities of this type of metal, copper pipes may be used for carrying drinking water, pursuant to Presidential Decree no. 1095 of 3 August 1968 and European Directive 98/83 on the quality of water for human consumption.
Thus, heat technicians, installation engineers and end consumers can safely use copper pipes in plumbing installations without any risk.
The modern technologies used to work the raw material and subsequently manufacture the finished product, together with strict quality controls, make copper tubes a leading and absolutely reliable product in all applications for which they are intended to be used.
Due to its quality, copper can be supplied in various physical states (soft, half-hard and hard) so as to better adapt the final product to users’ needs.
Silmet continually upgrades from a technological point of view in order to guarantee quality standards of the highest degree in compliance with international regulations.