IS THE COPPER IN THE ANVIL COPPERCORE SAFE?
Yes it is!
This post is going to answer the question “Can the CopperCore off-gas during vaping”?
This post is not going to delve into the extremely high safety of copper in general nor its massive impact on our everyday lives. We are not going to focus on the amount and uses of the essential mineral copper found in all of our bodies. Nor will we contemplate how do tens of thousands of plumbers torch copper pipes every day, all day, with no ill effects. Or that those plumbers string miles and miles of copper piping that our drinking water flows through. We aren’t going to investigate the foods copper is found in or brand names of the copper vitamin supplements on the market. While interesting it would be off topic to explore why the copper layer in copper cookware is lined with stainless to protect it from being dissolved by acids from cooking. Today we are here to answer one simple question and one question only: DOES HEATING AN ANVIL COPPERCORE OVEN WITH A BUTANE TORCH AT STANDARD ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE CREATE COPPER?
Nope it doesn’t.
Most, if not all of us, are familiar with the phases matter takes as it heats up. Solids melt into liquids which then evaporate into gasses. While it is true that pretty much every element will become a gas given the correct conditions those “correct conditions” must be met. In very special circumstances solids can go directly to gas through a process call sublimation but those conditions aren’t happening during a sesh. The graph shows the Vapour Pressure curves for a variety of common metals. A vapour pressure curve shows the combinations of temperature and pressure at which a metal will transition from its melted liquid phase to a gas. As the atmospheric pressure rises the temperature required to gasify a material rises as well. To the left and above the curve a material remains as a solid or liquid, to the right and below the curve it will become a gas. I have taken the liberty of marking the graph with two lines in red. The horizontal red line represents what is called standard atmospheric pressure. This is the air pressure at sea level, a decent approximation for where we all live. I extended that line over to intersect with the vapour curve for Cu, periodic table speak for copper. Dropping a vertical line down from that point we can see that at normal atmospheric pressure, which is 760 mm of mercury, the copper needs to be heated to 2,500 C or 4,500 F to evaporate. A couple of clicks and a little herb combustion would occur first I’m thinking.
Next I wanted to explore a question posed on Reddit. I paraphrase but it kinda goes like this. “The inside of a butane torch flame gets to 2,600 Fahrenheit?? Surely with that much heat all sorts of off-gassing is to be expected.” Being a curious guy I wanted to check if off-gassing was in fact “to be expected”? So, assuming that the CopperCore could actually be heated to the maximum temperature at the core of a butane flame, I went back to the vapour pressure curves and drew a blue line straight up from 2,600 F. Again I intersected the Cu/copper vapour pressure line. I then drew a blue horizontal line across to the left to intersect the pressure scale to determine how much we would have to drop the atmospheric pressure to actually evaporate the copper if we wanted to gasify it using a butane flame at 2,600 F. As the graph shows we would need to reduce to an atmospheric pressure of about 0.1 mm of mercury. I know pressure drops with altitude so I asked myself “how high would I have to climb to reduce the pressure that much”?
A little help from the guys at EngineeringToolbox.com shows that at the peak of Mt. Everest the atmosphere is only down to 225 mm of Mercury. At 20 miles above the earth’s surface you still have an atmospheric pressure of 8.9 mm of mercury. We are still almost 100 times away from our goal. As best as I can figure it in order to reduce the atmosphere to 0.1 mm of mercury you would need to hitch a ride into outer space with Jeff Bezos, be sitting on the outside of his weenie shaped rocket, and somehow keep your torch lit - which would be tough.
In summary you can’t evaporate copper from a CopperCore oven by vaping with a butane torch at normal atmospheric pressures. To create copper gas you have to lower the atmospheric pressure substantially, most likely in a vacuum chamber, and simultaneously raise the temperature to 1,000’s of degrees beyond the range we experience.
OK- LOTS OF CHART STUFF BUT DOES “THE SCIENCE” MATCH OUR EXPERIENCE?
If we were in fact creating “copper gas” by torching our ANVILs then they would be evaporating - and disappearing in front of our eyes. The hypothetical copper gas has to come from somewhere - think of a pot boiling, eventually the water disappears. We have had no customer service calls for disappearing Anvils. When the copper is heated at standard atmospheric conditions it combines with oxygen to form a protective oxide coating. It does not evaporate or sublimate.
In order to evaporate the copper you would first notice it melting and turning into a liquid. Think about the general phases of heating matter, solid to liquid to gas. No matter how long you heat an ANVIL with a portable butane torch with room air as oxidizer you are not going to be able to melt it, let alone evaporate the copper. Not surprisingly we have had no customer service calls complaining of melting ANVILs.
Sometimes, we get asked “But surely heating the copper creates cyanide gas, or causes phosphorus to outgas, or something???” - We use C100 pure copper which contains no phosphorus. As for the Cyanide, it as a compound made from Carbon and Nitrogen - neither are present in an ingot of pure C100 copper.
In summary I believe the AVNIL is a safe and effective way to medicate with dry herbs.