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What happens when copper powder is heated?

what happens when copper powder is heated

Copper is a metal with both utilitarian and aesthetic applications, but when it is heated to high temperatures, fascinating chemical reactions can occur. This blog will explore the changes in copper powder when it is heated and what those changes mean for its purposes.

What Happens When Copper Powder is Heated?

When the copper powder is heated to a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius, it undergoes an oxidation reaction and forms a copper oxide, also known as black copper oxide. This oxidation reaction occurs because the individual particles of copper powder are exposed to oxygen in the air and react to form different compounds. The heat speeds up the reaction and helps the particles bond with oxygen molecules more quickly.

The newly formed compound has several properties that differ from pure copper. For example, black copper oxide has a lower electrical conductivity than pure copper or even other types of oxidized metals such as rust. It also has slightly higher levels of thermal conductivity and magnetic permeability than pure copper. Consequently, this makes black copper oxide useful in certain industrial applications because it can be used as an insulator or heat sink.

It’s also important to understand that heating copper powder produces two different types of compounds – metallic particles and non-metallic particles. Metallic particles are composed primarily of elemental copper, while non-metallic particles are composed primarily of black copper oxide. The ratio between these two types of particles depends on the temperature at which the material was heated; higher temperatures lead to more non-metallic particles and vice versa.


In summary, heating copper powder results in an oxidation reaction that creates black copper oxide with unique physical characteristics compared to pure elemental copper. These qualities make black copper oxide useful for insulation or heat sink purposes in certain industrial settings while maintaining some degree of electrical conductivity depending on the ratio between metallic and non-metallic particles produced by heating it at various temperatures. Knowing what happens when you heat different materials like this is essential for many professions that work with metals and alloys!

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