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Why is Copper so expensive?

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Drinkingbuddy

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2001
Ok, I don't know much about coolers and how they are made, etc. But consider this... Pennies before 1982 were 90% copper. How many do you think it would take for a standard heatsink if they were melted down? 500 at the most? So that's 5 bucks. Why are they so expensive then???
 
W

William

Guest
well the melting of pennies is illegal. Copper is one of the rarer metals. It also has a high demand making its price even higher. Also, when melted it will oxidize with air and thus has to be done in an enviroment without oxygen. to give you an example, copper is so expensive that companies are taking the wiring from old buildings and houses and melting it to get copper cheaper. The opperation is quite expensive to run, so that can give you an indication of. I am in an ap chem class, and we did an experiment that showed how they recover copper in the industry through a series of reactions, and it is quite expensive to do as the chemicals are not common and not the easiest to make, and you loose about 5-10% of your product in the experiment in one proccess when dealing with the very smal copper oxide. I wish copper was cheaper too, but things are what they are.
 

Richard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
No it isn't. Melt them all you want. It's your money. You're just not supposed to pass of a melted penny as money. Same goes for paper currency. Do whatever you want with it. Once its been modified from its original form it isn't money.

dunno260 (Mar 24, 2001 03:01 a.m.):

well the melting of pennies is illegal.

Copper really isn't _that_ expensive. It's just that its harder to machine and therefore any copper heatsinks or waterblocks will cost more.
 

dimmreaper

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Location
home
Richard999 (Mar 24, 2001 07:47 a.m.):Copper really isn't _that_ expensive. It's just that its harder to machine and therefore any copper heatsinks or waterblocks will cost more.
Actually copper is as easy to machine as aluminum. And being employed as a part-time machinist, you should believe what I say ;D

Copper waterblocks and heatsinks are more expensive because people will pay whatever the manufacturer wants to charge, because copper is a little better than aluminum. It's all keeping up with the Jones's :O)
 

WyrmMaster

I'm a little teapot Senior
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Location
Montana, USA
I agree with Jeff, its just supply and demand. Think about it, a 1ghz chip is exactly the same material wise as a 700mhz chip, but costs twice as much. Its just what people will pay.
 

Richard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
That's interesting because I hear quite a bit about how copper binds up drills more readily than Aluminum.

Whatever the case may be. Copper is more expensive for more reasons than just material cost.
 

stool

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Location
Albany, NY
Take a penny and sand it, then see how much of what is left even resembles copper. Some time ago, I began an attempt to duplicate SurlyJoe's copper HS, and it appeared to me that there is not a whole lot of copper actually left in a penny.
 

moleman

Registered
Joined
Dec 31, 2000
Drinkingbuddy (Mar 24, 2001 12:06 a.m.):
Ok, I don't know much about coolers and how they are made, etc. But consider this... Pennies before 1982 were 90% copper. How many do you think it would take for a standard heatsink if they were melted down? 500 at the most? So that's 5 bucks. Why are they so expensive then???


isn't the core of pennies zinc?
 

dimmreaper

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Location
home
Richard999 (Mar 24, 2001 10:34 a.m.):
That's interesting because I hear quite a bit about how copper binds up drills more readily than Aluminum.

Whatever the case may be. Copper is more expensive for more reasons than just material cost.
It is true that copper will bind to the tool a little more than aluminum. But all my experience machining it has been with a pump continuously supplying coolant/lubrication to prevent it from sticking. It also helps to use the right tool. There are lots of different styles of endmills designed for different applications.
 

markedmundb

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Location
Kent, UK
If you wanna smelt some copper, get some metal water pipes. They should cost a lot less that the 500 Pennies, and it is probly more pure copper than a penny.
 

Mr B

Senior Admin Emeritus
Joined
Dec 28, 2000
Location
East Bridgewater, MA
moleman (Mar 25, 2001 01:34 a.m.):
Drinkingbuddy (Mar 24, 2001 12:06 a.m.):
Ok, I don't know much about coolers and how they are made, etc. But consider this... Pennies before 1982 were 90% copper. How many do you think it would take for a standard heatsink if they were melted down? 500 at the most? So that's 5 bucks. Why are they so expensive then???


isn't the core of pennies zinc?

I'm assuming you are referring to U.S. "pennies" (I know a lot of you guys are from the U.K....If I recall right you have a "Penny" coin in England, as well. World coinage isn't my strong suit, but I used to collect U.S. coinage years ago)

U.S. one cent coin compositions;

1793 to 1942 (all) 95% copper , 5% zinc
1943 steel, zinc plated
1944 to 45 they used recycled ammo shell casings from the war, can't remember the exact composition off the top of my head
1946 to 1982 1/2 Back to 95% copper, 5% zinc. In the middle of the year, they changed this to;
1982 1/2 to date Zinc core, copper/zinc plated.

Please note anything older than 1959 is of more "worth" to a numismatist (coin collector) than the copper it's made from. If you really intend to smelt a bunch of pennies, there isn't a lot of "collectable coins" minted from 1960 to 81. There's a couple, but you have to know what to look for, and they're pretty rare.

My $.02

Mr B