The demand for copper is growing as is the discussion about whether there is enough copper to meet this need. But the data is clear: there is sufficient copper to meet the current and future requirement—also taking into account the expected demand for copper in the coming years. However, to meet this need, copper must be used intelligently and efficiently. To ensure this, industrial investment and political security and stability are required.

The growing use of a multitude of different metals in innovative technologies leads to an increasing dependence in the supply of raw materials. Conversely, supply shortages can have a significant impact on individual companies and entire industries. For copper as well, geological and geographical degradation is becoming increasingly difficult, even though global availability is secured in the long term due to the available resources and reserves. At the same time, international supply chain compliance regulations, such as the US Dodd-Frank Act or the relevant EU regulation in force from 2021, define binding supply chain due diligence that presents many companies with major challenges.

Latest alloy developments and information on behaviour of copper alloys in seawater, corrosion issues and methods of optimising performance will be the topics for a dedicated symposium and an informal Technical Exchange Group workshop. Exhibits, technical publications and the opportunity for one-to-one discussions with leading experts will be on offer at the Copper Development Association booth.

We are delighted to announce the Copper and the Home competition winner for this 2018 international competition dedicated to copper in design. First prize in this design competition has been awarded to Cornelius Comanns with the project ‘Kink’, a set of three water carafes. In second place is Luca Ladiana with ‘Imbuto’, while first prize in the Student Category goes to Claudia Ragnelli and Valeria De Angelis with ‘CU Vietato non toccare’.

An eco-friendly, healthier and more sustainable future is based on copper – essential for a low-carbon economy with more renewables and electric vehicles, and greater energy efficiency and electrification. Copper’s lifespan is infinite—there is no final phase—and as consumtpion increases, it is important to strive towards ‘closing the loop’ to attain a truly circular economy.

Copper is at the centre of many global trends, such as the increased use of energy-efficient equipment, the generation of renewable energy and electromobility. Energy efficient appliances—including distribution transformers, electric motors and air conditioners—mainly use copper. The forecast is for a material demand growth rate of 4.1% per annum, which will reach 9.7 million tonnes per year by 2035.

The recent World Climate Summit—COP 24—in Poland has focused on the need to reduce greenhouse gases and discussed strategies to achieve climate targets. One of the possible ‘decarbonising’ options, i.e. reducing CO2 emissions, is a move to electrotechnical solutions. Copper is the material of choice for electrical applications, and for the transition to a sustainable supply. Electrical heating technologies such as induction, resistance, infrared, arc and high frequency as well as microwave heating are already available today. Although promising innovative technologies such as laser, electron beam and plasma arc heating are still in the development phase, they offer forward-looking approaches.