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Copper and Lead-Coated Copper Sheet Metal

When it comes to the use of sheet metal in construction, there are many different choices. Two popular ones are copper and lead-coated copper sheet metal.

Copper is a soft and malleable metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity. Lead-coated copper sheet metal is copper that has been coated with a thin layer of lead. This lead coating protects the copper from oxidation and corrosion. Lead-coated copper is used in a variety of applications, including roofing, flashing, guttering, and downspouts.

How Can Copper Be Used?

Pure copper is lightweight, soft, and malleable, which is why it's commonly available as sheet metal. It's also incredibly durable and doesn't corrode as easily as other metals. As a result, it's a popular choice for various construction applications. For example, a properly installed copper roof can last up to 75 years.

Copper is also used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware, and coins, and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples.

However, copper will still start to show signs of wear and tear over time due to constant exposure to the elements. One way to better protect copper from the elements is by coating it with lead.

What's the Difference Between Copper and Lead-Coated Copper?

Lead is dense, but it's also somewhat brittle. Lead has a low melting point and is easily cast. Because of its weight, it is used in the construction industry to make counterweights, such as those found in elevators. Additionally, it's very resistant to corrosion and is often used as a protective coating on other metals.

Lead-coated copper sheet metal combines the benefits of both copper and lead. It's made by applying a thin layer of lead onto a sheet of copper. This process is known as electroplating. The lead coating protects the copper from oxidation and corrosion. Lead-coated copper is an excellent alternative to regular copper sheet metal in environments that are more prone to corrosion.

As such, lead-coated copper is an excellent choice for coastal construction projects because it's able to withstand salt spray and other corrosive elements.

What Types Of Finishes Can Be Used?

There are a lot of different finishes that can be applied to both copper and lead-coated copper sheet metal. The most common finishes are patina, verdigris, and wax.

You can also paint copper and lead-coated copper, although paint adheres to lead-coated copper better than it does to regular copper due to the lead oxide layer.

What Are the Specifications?

Copper and lead-coated copper sheet metals are available in a variety of thicknesses and widths. The thickness of the metal will determine the weight and durability, while the width will affect the coverage area. The gauge or thickness of the metal is typically measured in ounces per square foot.

Our Copper and Lead-Copper Sheet Metal Restoration Services

We specialize in the restoration of all types of sheet metal, including copper and lead-coated copper. We use the latest technologies and methods to ensure that your copper or lead-copper project is completed to your specifications. We can restore a wide range of copper and lead-copper sheet metal features, including domes, steeples, decorative elements, statues, metal-clad windows and doors, and more. For more information about our restoration services, contact us at Heather & Little today.

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And if you are looking for a second opinion on your project or have a particularly complex issue that needs a fresh eye, we’re here for that too. Tackling tricky challenges is our specialty and we welcome the opportunity to provide consulting advice, with the same exacting attention to detail we bring to all our commissions.
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