Copper and copper alloys are natural antimicrobial materials, a fact known going back to ancient civilizations.
Copper has increasing application in the healthcare industry as the metal makes the hospital environment more hygienic by killing bacteria on frequently touched surfaces. Group 1 alloys containing 96.2% copper are the only solid metal touch surface materials registered with the U.S. EPA as antimicrobial agents; they can kill up to 99.9% harmful bacteria within two hours of contact. Printed labels and membrane switches made with antimicrobial copper including copper foils for control panel buttons are part of the new, antimicrobial protocols.
Uses in a hospital environment include medical instruments, furnishings, fixtures, carts, surgical and diagnostic equipment.
This antimicrobial feature of copper and copper alloys also leads to applications in schools, government buildings and any public gathering venue with large numbers of people; for example, copper and copper alloy touch surfaces and hardware such as door handles and door push plates – anywhere people repeatedly touch surfaces as they move through a public environment. Use of copper can prevent the spread of disease by eliminating the pathogens that cause illness.
Not only do copper and copper alloys continuously kill bacteria, components made from these materials can be expected to survive decades of constant use, remaining safe to use and touch.
Advantages of closed die forging of copper and brass components include superior strength, close, repeatable tolerances, lower overall production costs than machining from solid bar or plate, and attractive surface finishes. Copper and copper alloys typically have excellent formability allowing near to net shapes to be produced rapidly and efficiently.
Queen City Forging has wide experience in forging copper and copper alloys for applications in EV transportation, medical equipment, fluid handling, and hazardous environments. We can suggest which alloys to investigate as appropriate for your manufacturing and service requirements.
Given our experience, Queen City Forging provides a unique understanding of copper metallurgy that has led to process innovations for forging high-density and high-strength copper components.