Copper is a very versatile construction material. Artists, craftsmen and architects use copper sheets for a number of projects, and it is estimated that building construction accounts for 40 per cent of all copper use. Buying recycled copper sheets for your building or art project is fairly common, and most distributors and retailers ship copper sheets made of a percentage of recycled material. When buying copper sheets, you will need to determine the copper alloy, temper, gauge and finish necessary for your specific project.
Find a copper vendor. Search the Internet or your local directory for a metal retailer that sells copper. If you would like to purchase the recycled copper sheets locally, call your local metal scrap dealer to see if they have some available. Your local hardware store may also carry copper sheets, but they may not be 100 per cent recycled material. Copper.org is a helpful retail resource for purchasing copper, and Recycleinme.com is a good marketplace for scrap-metal purchasing.
Talk with a product manager at your local store or online vendor to determine the percentage of recycled product in their copper sheets. Most copper purchased from scrap-metal vendors will contain a higher percentage of recycled material. You might need to try several copper vendors to find one using the highest percentage of recycled material, and to find the best price.
Haul your purchased copper sheets using a flatbed truck or trailer (if purchased locally). Depending on their gauge, copper sheets can be very heavy, so be sure to have some extra hands to help lift the sheets onto the transportation medium. Make sure to secure the sheets to the trailer or bed before driving.
Store your copper sheets in a low-moisture area near your project site to keep the copper from oxidising.
- Copper sheets are sold in a variety of thicknesses and tempers, so be sure you find a vendor that carries your sheet.
- To clean oxidised copper, use a solution of vinegar and salt.