Know More about Your Pure Copper Item
There are many questions which come to our mind for any copper item, that how durable it is if it is pure copper or not, the thickness of the copper sheet used or how to take care of the copper items.
Here in this article, I have added some major points which will clear all the doubts which is related to the purchasing and taking care of the Copper Utensils whether it is Copper Jug, Copper Bottle, Copper Glass, Copper Water Pot or another copper utensil.
Physical Properties of Copper
Let’s start with some of the basic ways of identifying copper from a layman’s perspective. Indeed, you don’t have to be too technical to test the purity of copper. There are a few giveaways or hints that would assist you in that.
Color identification is one of the most effective techniques for identifying pure copper. All you have to do is clean your copper item with a mixture of table salt and vinegar and then observe the color change to find out if your object is made of copper. If the color that comes out after cleaning shinning reddish-brown, then it is indeed copper in a considerably pure form.
Let’s go a little deeper to find out why exactly that happens. If the chemistry isn’t your favorite subject, you may move to the next point. All you need to know is this: only pure copper will come out as lustrous reddish-brown and heavily adulterated one won’t.
Time to talk about science. One of the chemicals created in the combination of table salt and vinegar is Hydrochloric Acid. When you rub or wipe your item after putting salt and vinegar on it, the hydrochloric acid will clean the top surface of your copper item. If the material is pure copper, it will oxidize from exposure to oxygen, water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), thereby showing its original color from the layer underneath.
Bear with us for a moment, there’s no rocket science involved here. This is just a simple test that requires no heavy scientific equipment. Just a weight machine and a scale would do.
So, what you have to do is a test whether the density of your copper item matches with that of pure copper. This turns out to be pretty effective since copper has a fixed number to it when it comes to density, and that is about 8.96 grams per cubic meter.
So what you will have to do here is measure the weight of your copper item. It’s preferred if you use an electronic weight measurement device rather than an analog one to get the exact weight because that’s important. Now measure the dimensions of your copper item and calculate its volume. Divide its weight from its volume, and it's done! If your calculator shows a number near to 8.96 grams, then you’re definitely using one of purer versions of copper. Not so hard, is it?
Electrical Properties of Copper
Now we’re going a little technical. However, even if science isn’t your cup of tea, you can still check out this section for two reasons. One, these properties are much more reliable than the physical ones in terms of identifying the true purity of copper, or any material for that matter. Let’s test out Copper based on two key electrical properties, resistivity, and conductivity.
- Resistivity and Conductivity
Resistivity is one of the most reliable electrical properties of any element. It remains the same for any material everywhere, at all times. While the same is somewhat also true for density that we discussed earlier, but it can still have slight variations at different places around the world. Fun fact, your weight is not the same everywhere on earth. While the variations are very small, it would still matter if you’re testing the purity of copper-based on density. Conductivity, on the other hand, doesn’t change under normal circumstances.
Copper has a resistivity of around 1.7 x 10^-8 ohm-meter at room temperature. Means that it conducts the electric current well, that is why it is used in the wires used to flow current. If your copper item does not conduct current well, it is not made of pure copper. If you can determine the resistance of your item with an ohmmeter, you can calculate the resistivity of the item. To convert from resistance to resistivity, multiply the resistance by the cross-sectional area of the item and divide by its length. If the resistivity of your object is larger than copper's resistivity, it is likely not made of pure copper.
- Magnetic Test
Copper is very less magnetic. So, if you place the magnet closer to the copper item you wish to test, you will not see any effect on it. But the powerful magnet may have a slight effect on your copper item.
The other magnetic test is when you drop a powerful magnet through a copper made a tube, it will appear to fall very slowly than normal. This is because of the eddy current that is generated in the copper by the moving magnetic field. If your item shows these mentioned magnetic properties, it may be the real copper.
These are the quickest and the most efficient ways to determine the quality of copper. Do you have other ways equally, or not more, effective ways to test copper? Let us know in the comments.