Copper machining has several manufacturing advantages, such as very high electrical and thermal conductivity, good tensile strength and excellent malleability and ductility. In addition, it has antimicrobial and biostatic properties. Hence it is mainly used in electrical devices and installations, plumbing, marine applications, and in areas of public health, such as hospitals.
While pure copper is difficult to machine, the work-around is to use copper alloys such as free machining brasses, or recently developed alloys such as the low-alloyed copper alloys, copper-nickel alloys and lead-free copper alloys. Each of these has a different level of machinability, and therefore working with these alloys require specialized knowledge and expertise.