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Reactivity of copper: patination and etching


(Courtesy of Royal Observatory Edinburgh.)


Copper is low on the reactivity scale. This low reactivity, combined with its malleability makes it ideal for use in architecture. It can be cut and hammered into ornate shapes and it will protect itself with a pale green coating of copper salts called a patina.


You can download and save this new Copper Development Association resource as two PDF files. Click on the following links and choose the 'save' option.

Copper Reactivity - Patination.pdf
Copper Reactivity - Patination - Answers.pdf



Copper reacts with a solution of ferric chloride and also copper chloride. This has been known for a long time and is a common way of etching copper.

Etching is a basic tool to reveal the grain structure of copper. The etchant attacks the polished  copper surface selectively revealing the size and shape of the grains.

You can download and save this new Copper Development Association resource as two PDF files. Click on the following links and choose the 'save' option.

Copper Reactivity - Etching.pdf
Copper Reactivity - Etchings - Answers.pdf


 
You can download and save these new Copper Development Association resources as one Zip file. Click on the following link and choose the 'save' option.

To use the files from the Zip folder, you will need to extract them by right clicking on the folder and choosing the 'extract all' option.

Copper reactivity (all).zip

View all CDA resources
 
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