Copper is probably the most used material for plumbing in Europe.
These are the main benefits of copper pipe:
Reliable and time proven: Copper has been conveying water for thousands of years: the first known installation was laid in an ancient Egyptian temple, almost 5,000 years ago.
High resistance: It can withstand extreme high and low temperatures and pressures and can be exposed to the UV rays, temperature and oxygen of outside environments.
Versatile: Copper tube is used in many products and services: drinking water, home heating (traditional and radiant), gas, medical gases, solar energy systems, fire sprinklers, air conditioning systems. It meets the requirements of safety in a unmatched, wide range of temperatures and pressures.
Energy saving: Thanks to its excellent thermal conductivity, copper pipes are the best material to exchange heat (or cold fluids). That’s why the most efficient radiant heating have circuits in copper tube.
Hygenic: Copper is an excellent tube material for installations to combat build up of germs and bacteria, like legionella.
Recyclable: In cases of demolition or renovation, copper tube can be 100% recycled without loss of performance; so, the volume of waste at landfill is not increased and the mine resources are not further exploited.
Healthy: The tube is made of 99,90% copper, and the composition will not change in time; no additives, volatile organic compounds or pigments are inside it. Beyond that, it is the material of choice for transport of medical gases – like pure oxygen – in hospitals.
Beautiful: Copper tube can be fitted on the outside of a wall and, thanks to its attractive look, can even be exploited to make beautiful kitchen and bathroom accessories like wall radiators.
Versatile: Copper tube and copper fitting meet international standards. They are available in all European markets and components of a pipework system are exchangeable, whoever is the producer.
Copper has a unique feature among the materials used for the transport of drinking water: its hygenic properties can fight and inhibit the proliferation of bacteria coming in contact with its inner surface, like legionella pneumophila. This helps the drinking water to be healthy. Several research papers have proved this benefit of copper, and some hospitals have decided to install copper tube for their water piping system to protect the health of their patients. In addition, copper tube can release only copper ions into water, which are necessary for the metabolism of our body: the water we drink and use will not contain additives, pigments, VOCs or other synthetic compounds.
Copper is the product of choice for heating installations, thank to its reliability and safety. It melts at 1083°C: therefore, hot water or steam do not soften or alter the shape of the tube; high temperature does not shorten the life of the tube, and consequently the life of the installation. In addition, copper has excellent thermal conductivity and, for that reason, is the most efficient material for systems that have to exchange heat. This is the case, for example, with radiant heating under the floor or underwall: systems made with copper have shorter piping paths if you compare to plastic systems, which means less heat loss and less energy consumption for the circulation pumps.
Copper tube for gas can be placed almost everywhere: indoor and outdoor, embedded, in the ground and flooring or in dedicated structures, because it is able to meet the safety requirements for this kind of installation. The red metal is not permeable to gases and air, so no leakage or contamination from outside is possible; oxygen, UV rays and temperature do not lower its mechanical properties. All over Europe copper tube is allowed by standards; designers and installers rely on it, knowing that it doesn’t burn or propagate fire (class A1 to reaction to a fire) and it provides gas-tight joints and fittings.