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How Electrodeposition Works
For example, we commonly determine the copper content using this electrolytic technique when the purity is between 99.75% to 99.95%. Testing is performed in accordance with ASTM E53 as a guide. The sample is first dissolved in sulfuric-nitric acid mixture. This is then followed by the separation and deposition of copper on a tared platinum cathode, which is initiated by means of applying current to the sample that is immersed in the acid mixture in a beaker. A magnetic stirrer is used during this process and the electrodes or wires are typically made of platinum to avoid attack by the solution.
Once the solution becomes colorless the electrolyte is analyzed by atomic absorption techniques to determine the amount of unplated copper. This is then combined with the amount of the plated copper to calculate the total copper content in the sample.
For copper-tellerium alloys a similar technique is used utilizing ASTM E121 as a guide.