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Antimicrobial Uses of Copper in Plumbing

Ever since the industrial revolution, human beings have been developing new machines and new practices when it comes to various industrial settings, and have been advancing and evolving at an astonishing rate.

With that being said however, there is one material that has been utilized by human beings for industrial purposes for literally thousands of years (ever since 8000 BC, in fact) and that metal is Copper. During the Stone Age for example, this metal was used to develop tools and weapons. Nowadays however, Copper is used for very different reasons;

What is Copper?

Let’s take things right back to basics and discuss this surprisingly useful metal in more detail. Copper is a form of non-ferrous metal which is used for a number of different reasons in various industrial settings. In construction for example, Copper is utilized a great deal because it is waterproof, and relatively inexpensive – which makes it absolutely ideal for roofing, cladding, and for plumbing. What’s more, as the metal is so ductile, it is perfect for industrial usage as well.

In fact, Copper is the third most abundant metal used in industrial settings, third only to aluminium and iron. It can be utilized in electrical power industries such as in plugs and cables, plus it can be utilized in computer circuits. Copper also happens to be antimicrobial, which is one of the primary reasons why this metal is so popular in plumbing.

Why Is Antimicrobial Copper Used in Plumbing?

As you may already know, most water pipes are made from copper which means that the drinking water that you get in your home reaches your home via copper piping. As mentioned, Copper is waterproof (which is one of the reasons why it is used for this) but it actually is the antimicrobial properties of Copper that make it perfect for use with water pipes.

How Does Antimicrobial Copper Work?

Copper can affect harmful bacteria in two separate ways. To begin with, when bacteria comes into contact with copper, the outer membrane of the bacteria ruptures. The second way is that once it has ruptured, the bacterial cell then becomes weaker as it loses vital water and nutrients. Basically, Copper punches holes into bacterium, causing it to weaken and die before it has chance to multiply and do any lasting damage. Bacteria thrive in dark, humid, and moist conditions – which ordinarily would make water pipes a breeding ground for them. By making the pipes out of copper however, the bacteria are destroyed before they get chance to breed, meaning your drinking water is clean and safe for consumption. 


Nitec provide the full range of Copper Plating services - get in touch for more infomation 

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The electroless nickel plating process is a high quality, cost effective solution for coating metals such as mild or stainless steel.

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Heat Treatment

The heat treatment solutions at NiTEC can be used for stress relieving and de-embrittlement as both pre-plate and post-plate treatments.

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Aqua Blasting

Aqua blasting is a wet blasting process that's perfect for gently removing surface dirt and grime from metal components.

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Nickel boron plating is a good alternative to chrome for coating a variety of steels to enhance corrosion resistance.

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Case Studies

From corrosion resistance for oil pipes to plating vacuum chambers, our electroless nickel plating is second to none.

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NiTEC is committed to the highest levels of quality and standards.

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From marine to mining, gardens to artwork, we've got your surface technology needs covered.

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Special Projects

NiTEC have many years' experience working with special projects; from art installations to architectural features.

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Technical Information

As the deposit formed by electroless nickel plating is based on a chemical reaction, the dispersion of the deposit is equal over part, regardless of shape.

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Marine corrosion resistance product, SeaTEC 100 - corrosion resistant coating

Corrosion resistant coating withstanding salt-spray conditions for at least 3 and a half years

NiTEC's SeaTEC 100 provides unprecedented corrosion resistance extending the life of components and reducing maintenance costs.

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Electroless Nickel Plating - wear and corrosion resistance, cost-effective and wear resistance - find out more about our Nickel Plating services

Diffused Nickel Plating - the gold standard in corrosion resistance - great for a marine environment - find out more about our Diffused Nickel Plating services

SeaTEC 100 - increases the longevity of components in subsea environments reducing maintenance costs and increasing strength of components - find out more about SeaTEC 100

Copper plating - an excellent conductor providing EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) shielding - find out more about Copper Plating

Shotblasting and Heat Treatment - thorough surface preparation is acheived using Shotblasting and Heat Treatment in addition to the standard chemical cleaning and activation process - find out more

Special Projects - Electroless Nickel Plating has been used in many special projects throughout the world where corrosion resistance is required such as art installation and archictectural application - find out more about special projects

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