Copper vs Stainless

Newark Copper Cylinder Co. Ltd. manufacture both Copper and Stainless Steel hot water cylinders and although there are several advantages and disadvantages to both materials, our opinion is that the benefits of copper cylinders do outweigh the benefits of stainless steel and if your budget will allow, a copper cylinder is always the best option.


With this in mind, please use our "star rating system" and the total star scores for each material, to compare the two materials and form your own opinion as to which one is more suitable for your own individual requirements, as some advantages may be more or less valuable to different people or situations (Click the titles for more information):


Table comparing the properties of Cylinders made with Copper and Stainless Steel, using a points system to rate each property out of a total of 5 stars.





  • Antibacterial Properties     ★★★★★

    Copper has been renown for its excellent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties for centuries; copper will eradicate E-Coli, MRSA, Avian Flu, Leigonella and 99% of bacteria in just 5 hours.

  • Heat Conductivity     ★★★★

    Copper is one of the most efficient conductors of heat. It has a thermal conductivity of 401W/mK. Thermal efficiency is vital for renewable sources such as solar and geothermal energy.

  • Value for Money     ★★★★★

    Although copper cylinders are more expensive than a stainless alternative, they are more cost effective in the long run by being the most efficient of the two and therefore being cheaper to run.

  • Flexibility     ★★★★★

    As copper is a durable and flexible material, it allows for a wider range of customisation such as taller, shorter, wider or narrower cylinders without compromising structural integrity.

  • Recyclability     ★★★★★

    As copper is an element, it is 100% recyclable and 90% of copper scrap is reused. With more and more emphasis being put on the sustainability of construction projects, the obvious green credentials of copper are becoming more important to specifiers and contractors.

  • Ability to withstand high pressure     ★★★

    Although copper is suited for pressurised systems, there is a limit for the amount it can be pressurized due to it being a softer material.

  • Affordability     ★★★★

    Copper is more expensive as a commodity, but its benefits far surpasses the initial costs.

  • Life expectancy     ★★★★

    Both copper and stainless are very resistant to corrosion, the largest factor to determine life expectancy is the acidity of the water in the area.

  • Antibacterial Properties     ★★★

    Although Stainless is still perfectly safe for use, tests have concluded that bacteria takes longer to die on a stainless steel surface than a copper one.

  • Heat Conductivity     ★★★

    Stainless steel has a much lower thermal conductivity than copper at just 14w/mK; this means that there is less heat transfered, but we compensate for this by including a slightly larger coil.

  • Value for Money     ★★★★★

    Although stainless steel cylinders are initially cheaper, the lower efficiency can be slightly more costly to run.

  • Flexibility     ★★★★

    We are one of the only companies in the UK able to manufacture bespoke stainless cylinders; we are usually able to manufacture to any requirements but the material can be slightly more difficult to work with.

  • Recyclability     ★★★

    As stainless steel is an alloy, it requires separating into its key elements before it can be recycled, this is a more difficult and more costly process.

  • Ability to withstand high pressure     ★★★★★

    With stainless steel being a stronger material, stainless cylinders can withstand a higher pressure than copper with the same material thickness; resulting in stainless being suited to pressurised or unvented units

  • Affordability     ★★★★★

    Stainless steel proves most cost effective when used in a pressurised system as a thinner material thickness is required due to its ability to withstand high pressure.

  • Life expectancy     ★★★★★

    Both copper and stainless are very resistant to corrosion, the largest factor to determine life expectancy is the acidity of the water in the area.

Copyright Newark Copper Cylinder Ltd. 1977-2013 All Rights Reserved


Newark Copper Cylinder Co. Ltd.

Brunel Drive

Northern Road Industrial Estate



NG24 2EG


Tel: 01636 678 437

Fax: 01636 678 964