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Topic: What's up with this Copper sample?  (Read 5450 times)

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Offline sslaptnhablhat

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What's up with this Copper sample?
« on: July 21, 2017, 12:08:15 AM »
My sample of Copper for my element collection looks really light in colour, not light enough for me to consider it to be Brass or some other alloy, but light enough for me to question it's purity. I'm not complaining in the slightest, as Copper is pretty cheap and I'm not too bothered about the purity, but it's just something I noticed. Also note that my camera is really bad, the Copper in the pictures appears slightly lighter in colour than it actually is.


Offline Arkcon

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 06:22:07 AM »
The vagaries of digital cameras notwithstanding, that does look like the wrong color.  The exposed copper pipes in my mom's basement don't look like that.  And yes, I've polished the oxides off the pipes and seen, it should be "pinker" than that.  The same for insulation scraped off of electrical wiring, which by definition, is >99.99% pure copper.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2017, 08:47:02 AM »
@sslaptnhablhat
How did you acquire your piece of copper?

Offline sslaptnhablhat

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 09:27:30 AM »
I had a small chemistry set that contained some samples of a few chemicals, and I thought I'd just grab the Copper from it and use it as the display sample for my element collection. I have reason to believe it's >98% pure at least, but I don't really mind to be honest, considering the availability of pure Copper.

Offline Athrax

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 11:41:13 AM »
Hmm..with the white balance of these photos being off by a mile, it's hard to say what color your 'mystery copper' really is. If it's for an element collection, I'd simply discard it, then look for some piece of electric wiring and use that. Copper used in electric wiring commonly is 99.9% pure electrolytic copper.

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 11:14:36 AM »
... I'd simply discard it, ...

I think re-purpose would be a better choice
I hardly ever discard.

Offline sslaptnhablhat

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 09:17:06 AM »
Hmm..with the white balance of these photos being off by a mile, it's hard to say what color your 'mystery copper' really is. If it's for an element collection, I'd simply discard it, then look for some piece of electric wiring and use that. Copper used in electric wiring commonly is 99.9% pure electrolytic copper.
Yeah, the iPhone 5 camera is pretty terrible, but as stated above, I don't really mind so much. I have a bunch of Copper electrical wire laying around somewhere anyway.
Oh, and I adjusted the image slightly to better show off how it actually looks, hope this helps a little:

Offline Arkcon

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 10:26:17 AM »
Nice try, but no, not really an improvement.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline sslaptnhablhat

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 12:59:18 PM »
Nice try, but no, not really an improvement.
Sorry.

Offline sslaptnhablhat

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2017, 07:15:04 PM »
Low-purity copper compared to the aformentioned copper wire I had laying around (Pretty huge difference, even with the terrible camera):

Offline Arkcon

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2017, 08:47:43 PM »
That's more like it.  So now you know what to put in you element collection.  Now, what exactly is that original sample?  Some brass?
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline sslaptnhablhat

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2017, 08:06:24 AM »
That's more like it.  So now you know what to put in you element collection.  Now, what exactly is that original sample?  Some brass?
Yeah, I don't really know any other element or alloy that looks remotely similar, so I guess it's safe to assume it's brass.

Offline Arkcon

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2017, 08:41:58 AM »
Why not look up some physical and chemical properties, and find out for sure?
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline sslaptnhablhat

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 11:58:14 PM »
Why not look up some physical and chemical properties, and find out for sure?
I've had a think, and I've come to the conclusion that I could weigh a sample precisely, dissolve it in a solvent that zinc dissolves in but copper does not, or vice versa, then weigh the remaining metal and calculate the difference. Thing is, I've looked around and I can't seem to find a solvent that will dissolve one or the other.

Offline Arkcon

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Re: What's up with this Copper sample?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2017, 06:55:12 AM »
That's not a bad plan.  And actually, its pretty trivial for the home chemist to find a zinc dissolving reagent.  But you won't easily get the zinc metal back, if that provides you with a little hint.  Warning:  alloys can be a little different, sometimes, the alloyed metal shields the more active metal from attack.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

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