Comprehensive Guide on Melting Point of Copper

Understanding the physical properties of a metal is essential to determine its application and processing methods. One of the critical parameters in metallurgy, engineering, and manufacturing is the melting point of copper. Understanding copper’s melting point is essential before using it. This guide covers its fundamental aspects, including temperature range, influencing factors, and other heat characteristics.

Comprehensive Guide on Melting Point of Copper

Properties of Copper

Copper and its alloys are highly versatile for engineering applications due to their unique physical properties, including anti-bacterial properties, strength, conductivity, corrosion resistance, machinability, ductility, and patina.

Properties of Copper

What is the Melting Point of Copper?

Copper is a standard metal material, mainly composed of copper (Cu) and a small amount of other alloying elements. The melting point of copper depends on its composition and purity, usually around 800 degrees Celsius. Specifically, the melting point of copper is approximately 1083 degrees Celsius, but it also varies with changes in alloy composition.

The melting point of copper is of great significance for its application. Due to its low melting point, copper has been widely used in some processing and manufacturing fields, such as wires, pipelines, furniture decoration, etc. Meanwhile, copper also has good thermal conductivity and is commonly used in electronic devices, heat sinks, and other fields.

Why is it Crucial to Know the Melting Points of Copper?

It’s important to know when copper melts for various reasons: 

1. It helps to reduce the chances of structural failure of copper due to a high temperature exceeding the melting point.

2. Fabricating technicians can determine whether copper is suitable for their project.

3. When copper is used in structural applications, failures such as creep can occur as it approaches its melting point. Therefore, knowing the melting temperature of copper will help you operate the structure within safe temperatures.

4. Knowing the melting temperature of copper can help select the right furnace and energy source for copper fabrication and heat treatment.

Melting Point of Copper

Is the Melting Point of Copper The Same for All Types of Copper?

Melting points for copper alloys: 

Pure Copper (Cu) at 1,085°C

Bronze at 913°C

Brass at 930-940°C

It is rare to use copper in its pure form for most engineering applications due to the superior properties of copper alloys—every element, whether non-metal or metal, has a unique melting point.

How Does Atmospheric Pressure Influence the Melting Point?

Most solid substances, including copper, experience an increase in melting point when subjected to pressure. Consequently, the melting point of copper can vary depending on environmental conditions. When processing copper, one can choose specific conditions to reduce the high energy cost of melting copper and achieve savings.

How Does Atmospheric Pressure Influence the Melting Point

Can the Addition of Impurities to Copper Result in a Decrease in Its Melting Point?

When impurities are added to copper, its melting point decreases. It happens because the impurities disturb the normal arrangement of copper atoms, making it harder for copper to remain solid. As a result, less energy is required for copper to transition from a solid to a liquid state, ultimately leading to a lower melting point. This is called “melting point depression“.

Does Grain Size and Structure Affect Copper Melting?

Grain size and structure play a crucial role in determining the melting temperature of copper. The grain structure of copper can differ depending on the alloy used. For instance, the grain structure of brass is dissimilar to that of pure copper. When any element is added to pure copper, it alters its grain size and structure, changing its melting point.

Does Grain Size and Structure Affect Copper Melting?

What Other Factors Affect the Melting Point of Copper Alloys?

Grain Boundary Energy

A grain boundary is formed when two grains meet in a copper metal structure. If the grains are small, then the grain boundary within the copper structure is weak. This results in a low melting temperature for copper alloy. On the other hand, a large grain structure implies a higher melting temperature for copper alloy. For example, tinned copper has a melting point of approximately 1900°F, indicating a change in the grain structure.

Grain boundary strengthening

The Hall-Petch relationship explains how changing a metal’s grain size or crystalline structure can affect its strength. Generally, metals with smaller crystalline grain structures are stronger and harder. However, this also means that they have a lower melting point. 

For instance, comparing copper and mercury to copper and lead, the latter has a lower melting point due to its smaller grain size. 

In addition, the melting point of nickel-copper alloy is higher (1,455°C) than pure copper’s (1,085°C). This is mainly because nickel has a larger grain size.

Dislocation Density

Controlling the melting point of copper compound is possible by understanding its dislocation density. In general, a lower dislocation density results in a higher melting point.

Microstructural Heterogeneity

Copper materials with different structures or cross-sectional areas can affect the melting process. Smaller grains melt faster. Copper wire can melt between 1,085°C and 1,215°C while tubing can start at 1,085°C and go higher depending on its size and cross-section.

Diffusion Rates

It has been observed that small copper particles heat up faster than larger ones. This is particularly noticeable when analyzing the melting point of copper wires. The size of copper granules can be changed during the manufacturing process, resulting in copper with smaller grains melting more quickly.

Stress Concentration

High stress reduces copper’s melting point by disrupting its atomic structure. Stress can cause plastic deformation. Post-fabrication processes like hardening and recrystallization can alter copper’s melting point and improve its temperature endurance.

Surface Energy

Copper’s melting point changes with its surface energy. It melts when heat energy overcomes surface energy.

Molecule Size 

Smaller molecules have lower melting points due to intermolecular forces, while macromolecules are bonded with covalent bonds.

Factors Affect the Melting Point of Copper Alloys

Melting Copper Methods

Various methods are available to melt copper, regardless of whether you use copper welding sheets, rods, or bars. It is essential to have a reliable technique that can help you transform pure copper or copper alloy from a solid to a liquid state.

  • Induction heating – Using oscillators, high-frequency alternating current, and electromagnets, copper can be effectively melted and heated.
  • Hot isostatic pressing – This process combines high pressure and temperature to liquefy copper material.
  • Arc melting copper – Due to its high melting and boiling points, copper requires a high electric current. With sufficient current, you can achieve the full copper conversion.
  • Laser melting – A high-powered laser is used to melt copper to the desired state.
  • Electric resistance heating –Electric current passing through copper alloy heats it and causes it to melt, a common heating technique for brass and other copper alloys.
  • Suction casting – The process of melting copper is common when producing intricate parts because high heat is used.
  • Electron beam melting – The technique uses a high-energy electron beam to melt copper. It elevates the copper temperature beyond the melting point.
  • Solar furnace melting – The copper melting process utilizes solar energy to heat the copper, making it one of the green energy technologies.
  • Direct electric heating – Most copper alloys can be efficiently melted by passing current through copper, generating heat.
  • Vacuum melting – Using a vacuum chamber, copper can be melted without contamination at high temperatures.
  • Oxy–fuel Torch – When a combination of propane and oxygen is used, it creates heat capable of melting copper by exceeding its melting point.
  • Plasma arc melting – Plasma arc is an effective and rapid method for melting most copper alloys.
  • Cold crucible melting – Using electromagnetic induction, copper metal is melted in a water-cooled crucible.

There are different technologies used to melt copper depending on the application.

Melting Copper Methods

Copper Melting Process Tips

Material Preparation

Gather all the needed materials and tools before beginning the process.

  • Stainless steel pot
  • Copper cable
  • Stove
  • Pliers/Tongs
  • Apron, Gloves, goggles for safety protection

Steps of Copper Melting

1. Before melting copper, ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment, such as gloves, an apron, and goggles to protect yourself from hot metal splatters. If you use copper wire, remove the insulation and cut it into small pieces to ensure even melting. 

2. Place the crucible or stainless steel pot on the stove and heat it to medium-high. Add the copper pieces to the crucible, but do not fill it. Leave some room for the copper to expand as it melts.

3. Stir the copper pieces occasionally to ensure they melt evenly and don’t stick to the pot. Remove impurities with a spoon or ladle if you see impurities rising to the surface.

4. Once the copper has completely melted, turn off the stove and let the copper cool completely. Use tongs to remove the crucible from the stove and place it on a heat-resistant surface.

5. Finally, pour the molten copper into molds and let it solidify. Remember to handle the molds carefully, as they will be very hot.

Copper Melting Process Tips

Comparing the Melting Temperatures of Copper with Other Metals

The melting points of metals vary greatly due to differences in their atomic structures.

  • Copper: 1084°C
  • Brass: 930°C 
  • Aluminum: 660°C 
  • Aluminum Bronze: 1027-1038°C 
  • Carbon steel 1371 to 1593
  • Cast iron 1127 to 1204
  • Chromium: 1860°C 
  • Gold: 1063°C
  • Inconel: 1390-1425°C
  • Incoloy: 1390 to 1425°C
  • Lead: 328°C 
  • Magnesium: 349 to 649°C
  • Molybdenum: 2620°C 
  • Nickel: 1453°C 
  • Platinum: 1770°C 
  • Ruthenium: 2482°C
  • Silver: 961°C 
  • Stainless Steel: 1375 – 1530°C 
  • Titanium: 1670°C 
  • Tungsten: 3400°C 
  • Zinc: 420°C 
  • Zirconium: 1854°C
  • Vanadium: 1900°C


Which metal melts faster: copper or aluminum?

The melting point of copper is 1084°C。 Aluminum alloys have a lower melting point compared to copper alloys. The melting point of pure aluminum is around 659 °C, but adding other elements can increase this point.

Does the value of copper increase if it is melted?

Melted-down copper scrap may only sometimes be the most profitable option. This is because many copper products are not pure copper, but some copper alloy. Pure copper is more valuable than copper alloy. Therefore, melting down copper scrap into ingots can be expensive and may result in lower profits than selling the scrap in its original form.

Can material aluminum and copper be melted together?

Copper has a higher melting point than aluminum, so copper’s usually not damaged. If aluminum is overheated past its 660°C melting point, copper may melt too, but only if the temperature reaches over 1100°C.


The melting point of copper varies depending on the type of copper alloy, crystal structure, and impurities present.

This article helps you determine whether copper is the most suitable material for your application.

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