Staying Power: Copper Fixtures Can Last Over 100 Years
Copper is durable. It maintains its electrical conductivity and does not deteriorate or corrode over time. As a result, copper is often used in products designed to last a lifetime, or longer. Naturally-corrosion-resistant, home fixtures made of copper can last 100 years or longer, with the oldest known copper roof in the USA - historic Christ Church in Philadelphia - dating back to 1727.
|Christ Church: Oldest Copper Roof in US Dates from 1727|
One reason for copper's longevity is its protective patina, a film that occurs when copper is exposed to the elements. Over time, the metal's shiny red exterior develops a blue-green (or nut brown, in arid locations) coating that protects it from deterioration. The Statue of Liberty is the best example of the patina that develops when copper is exposed to moist air.
|Statue Of Liberty with its beautiful copper patina has stood since 1885|
Copper and its alloys will very slowly darken in color, but they will not rust. This darkening does not damage their function, which is very important for items such as water and gas pipes, taps and electrical wires. If desired, decorative items such as jewelry, light fixtures and door hardware are easily polished to restore a bright surface. Outdoors, copper and its alloys will gradually attain an attractive, stable patina that enhances the appearance of statues, roofs and other decorative and architectural items. It is no wonder that architects and designers choose copper time and again.
Special thanks to the Copper Development Assocaition Inc. for information.