Copper Sheet, Copper Foil and Copper Tape 101

Manufacturing Thin Copper Sheets

Copper is a basic chemical element known for its high thermal and electoral conductivity. Commonly used for a variety of products including electrical wire, pipes, cookware and more, pure copper has a vibrant reddish-orange color.

Manufacturing thin copper sheets begins with melting the product in a crucible. The molten copper is then poured into a rectangular mold to create an ingot. The ingot is then submerged in chemicals for cleaning, a process called pickling. Once the copper ingot has been pickled, it can be rolled. The copper is fed through a press roller again and again while the rolling drums move closer and closer until the desired gauge, or thickness, is reached.

Types of Copper Alloys

Choosing the right copper alloy for your application is an important step for choosing your thin copper sheets. There are a variety of copper alloys available, and selecting one means considering a variety details such as application, density, tensile strength, workability, corrosion resistance and more. Luckily, the experts at All Foils have been helping partners determine the ideal metal alloys for their unique applications for decades.

All Foils maintains an inventory of 110 and 102 copper alloy, plus copper sheet and Hot Tin Dipped copper. Also known as Electrolytic Tough Pitch, or ETP, copper, alloy 110 is employed for most applications when carrying an electric current is desired. Copper alloy 102, or Oxygen Free copper has been refined to reduce the oxygen level to .001% or less and maintains a minimum 100% IACS conductivity.

For help selecting the ideal copper alloy for your application, contact All Foils.

Determining the Right Gauge for Various Types of Copper Foil

Sometimes it can be difficult to know what type of copper foil sheet you need for your product. A big part of choosing the right copper sheeting is understanding thicknesses, or gauge, of the material. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right gauge.

  • 1 Mil Copper Sheet: This very thin copper foil sheet is only .001 inches thick and can be easily torn with your hands or punched into various shapes with paper punchers. It’s often used for arts and crafts, electrical, and manufacturing applications.
  • 1.4 Mil Copper Sheet: Measuring .0014 inches in thickness, this thin copper foil sheet is about two times thicker than household aluminum foil. It cuts easily and can be torn by hand, but it also wrinkles very easily. Like 1 mil copper sheet, it also is used in arts and crafts, electrical and manufacturing applications.
  • 5 Mil Copper Sheet: This gauge of copper is .005 inches thick and is glossy and shiny. This foil doesn’t tear by hand, but can easily be cut with scissors. 5 mil copper sheeting is often used for embossing, die-cuts, and other craft projects, as well as for various other applications.
  • 8 Mil Copper Sheet: This heavy duty copper tooling foil measures .008 inches thick and can be used in a variety of arts and crafts applications, home improvement and construction applications. It can be cut with scissors and may hold shape a little better than 5 Mil, but will yield to pressure.
  • 10 Mil Copper Sheet: Measuring .010 inches thick, 10 Mil copper sheeting is approximately 14 times thicker than household aluminum foil. At this thickness, the copper begins to hold weight and can maintain shape. It can be cut with a pair of heavy duty scissor or a utility knife, and can be hammered or texturized using other methods.
  • 16 Mil Copper Sheet: 16 Mil copper sheeting measures .016 inches thick and is more rigid than thinner materials. As a very durable gauge of copper sheet, it’s often used for sculptures, jewelry, or other arts and crafts.

All Foils is happy to help you select the right gauge of copper sheeting for your application. Contact us today to learn more.