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Copper Wire’s Fight Against Microbials and Bacteria

Multiple industries use 铜线 for its conductivity and corrosion resistance. However, did you know that many businesses also choose copper for its antibacterial properties? From healthcare agencies to food processing, copper is a key component in parts for antibacterial and antimicrobial benefit. Let’s dive in to what supports copper wire’s fight against microbials and bacteria. 

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How Does Copper Kill Bacteria

Copper as a metal is inherently antimicrobial, meaning its physical properties inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses. This is one of the main reasons why copper, or high copper alloys like brass and bronze, are used in high touch surfaces. 

Copper boasts these cleaning tendencies through the oligodynamic effect, which refers to a metal’s ability to exert toxic effects on bacteria and other microorganisms. When bacteria comes in contact with a copper surface, copper ions are released. 

These ions can penetrate bacterial cells and interfere with essential processes within the cell, respiration for example, leading to the destruction of the bacteria. 

Copper Wire's Antimicrobial Strength

Antimicrobial copper kills 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of exposure. Copper has been known to reduce Staphylococcus Aureu, Enterobacter Aerogenes, E. coli and SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus).  

The History of Copper's Cleaning Prowess

Long before chemists studied copper’s antibacterial properties, the alloy was used for sterilization and treating illnesses. Copper was first thought to be used by the Egyptians to sterilize wounds and water around 2600 B.C. Its natural antimicrobial properties have been used for medicinal purposes ever since. 

Copper is the only solid metal registered as a health product with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

Antibacterial Uses of Copper Alloys

Now that you know copper is antimicrobial, let’s look at some examples of copper alloys used to kill bacteria.  

Hospital Equipment

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  • Bed rails and bedside tables use copper-infused surfaces to stop the spread of bacteria within patient rooms 
  • Medical instruments like stethoscopes use copper components to limit microbial growth 

High Touch Surfaces

  • Copper and brass doorknobs and handrails in public settings limit germ spread in many places 
  • Copper countertops and surfaces in restaurants and schools limit the amount of bacteria present before and after eating 
door-knob
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Food Processing

  • Copper equipment and utensils in food processing facilities reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during food preparation and handling 
  • Copper-lined containers and packaging materials inhibit microbial growth and extend the shelf-life of perishable foods.  

Water Treatment

  • Copper pipes and plumbing systems are used in water distribution systems to help prevent microbial growth and to help purify the water.  
  • Copper ionization systems used in swimming pools, spas and water storage tanks both help sanitize the water and control bacteria.  

Safety in Quality

When selecting a wire or cable for your application, consider choosing an alloy with built-in safety benefits, like copper. Rest assured that you are selecting the safest option by choosing a high-quality product. In critical or life-saving applications, don’t settle for second-best. 

Central Wire Group of Companies has been providing quality wire and cable for over 60 years. Our copper alloys, as well as our stainless steel and nickel alloys, are used in mission-critical applications every day. Save time and money by choosing the right product the first time.  

Custom Copper Wire for You

copper spools

Central Wire Group of Companies offers copper resistance wire, fine wire, knitted wire mesh and medical wire. Common alloys include C101, C102 and C110. Diameters range from 0.001” up to 0.0808”. Wire can be drawn according to the Buy American Act when necessary.  

Remember that antibacterial copper works best without coatings, waxes or paints. Our knowledgeable sales department can help you find the perfect copper product for your antimicrobial application. In doing so, we will contribute to copper wire’s fight against microbials and bacteria.

Natural antibacterial properties allow copper alloys to be an ideal choice for sanitary or medical applications. From medical fine wire to public eating applications, choosing a safe, high-quality metal starts with the alloy. 

Central Wire Group of Companies has the resources to offer several copper alloy wire products for your industry and application. Looking for more information about the benefits of copper? Learn more about our copper products today!