Public Lab Research note

Copper Rod to Copper Sheet Discussion

by ErikHanley11 |

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This research note discusses the advantages of using copper sheets instead of copper rods as the testing method for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other corrosive gas presence. Copper rods have been used by many community members in their own environmental testing on Public Lab. The original method for creating these tests can be found here. However, copper sheets corrode just the same as copper rods, but they are easier to visually analyze and assess their chemical composition. Copper rods cylindrical form makes it difficult to take complete 360˚ pictures of them, as well as use analytical tools to characterize their chemical composition.

Scientific literature uses copper sheets for their copper corrosion analyses. They are often cut into small squares (1-2 cm) and are usually about 1 mm thick. They also use 99.99% copper that they polish using a variety of methods. One method calls for polishing with oil and diamond paste and then rinsed with isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. (1) Another method calls for polishing with acetone, isopropyl, and nitric acid, and then rinsing with distilled water. (2) This method has been altered to become more accessible for communities to use. Details of this altered method can be found here. The Wylie Lab has used these copper sheets for copper corrosion tests and will be reporting their results later.


  1. Reid M, Punch J, Ryan C, et al. Microstructural development of copper sulfide on copper exposed to humid H2S. J. Electrochem. Soc. 2007; 154(4): C209-C214. doi: 10.1149/1.2436612
  2. Demirkan K, Derkits Jr. GE, Fleming DA, et al. Corrosion of Cu under highly corrosive environments. J. Electrochem. Soc. 2010; 157(1): C30-C35. doi: 10.1149/1.3258288


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