Copper Screen

Copper screen cloth was a material used in porches and window screens in the 1940's and 1950's. Copper was used for its gold like appearance when newly installed. Many people like the green tinge it acquires as gets older and starts to oxidize.

The "oxidation" is not like rust in steel. The oxidation process in copper is normal and it actually protects the material and makes it last longer.

Copper was a luxury in the past and still is today. The metal is a valuable commodity and so screening made from it costs ten to fifteen times what regular cloth would.

The screening is a little easier to work with than steel screening but still will wear your utility knife out quickly. It can easily be cut with hand or powered shears. In traditional screened porches the material would be stapled up against wooden framing and then the stapled edges covered with decorative moulding.

Copper / Bronze screen pricing (100 foot rolls)

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Bronze screening is available in varnished and unvarnished versions. The unvarnished is more electrically conductive and is used in applications such as antenna construction.

Once the screening is installed it will start to slowly loose its shiny copper appearance and develop a "patina" or layer of oxidation. This layer protects the screening from further oxidation and helps its resist salt air in coastal areas.

Copper / Bronze wire installation

Newer methods could be used though and copper cloth could be installed in regular screening frames. This should be done on a table where the frame can be clamped square, to prevent the cloth from bowing the sides of the frames in.

The material will easily crease so care must be taken in storing the material so it remains flat. As mentioned the material will start to form a layer of oxidation as it is exposed to the weather.

Eventually the material will corrode through so the material will not last as long as stainless or epoxy coated steel cloth. The greenish appearance of the oxidized copper appeals to many though, which makes it a good choice for century-old homes where period appearance is important.

This screening can also be used for other purposes than window screens. One example is using it as a shielding material around equipment that is sensitive to radio frequency interference or from static electricity.

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