Specific heat of substances table
Table shows specific heat capacity of selected gases, solids and liquids.

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Unit
Decimals

metals

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
aluminum (pure)
900
brass
375
bronze, manganese
370
bronze, phosphor
370
cadmium
234
chromium
452
cobalt
435
copper (pure)
385
gold
129
iron
444
lead
160
magnesium
1050
magnesium, alloy
1010
manganese
460
molybdenum
272
nickel
461
platinum
133
silicon
705
silver
237
steel, carbon
490
tin
228
titanium
523
tungsten
132
uranium
116
zinc
388

liquids

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
acetone
2150
glycerin
2386
ethanol (alcohol)
2440
oil, petroleum
2130
gasoline
2220
mercury
139
water 25°C
4150

other materials

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
ice (frozen water, 0°C)
1760
asphalt, crushed
920
brick
900
cement
1550
paper
1336
window glass
815
organic glass (plexiglass)
2440

gases

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
Specific heat (Cv)
[J / (kg × K)]
ammonia
2190
1660
helium
5190
3120
hydrogen
14300
10163
nitrogen
1030
735
carbon dioxide (CO2)
844
655
dry air (normal conditions, 0°C and 1013,25 hPa)
1003
716

plastics

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
bakelite
1380
nylon
1310
polycarbonate
1100
polyethylene
1550
rubber, hard
2010

wood

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
balsa wood
1700
cork wood
2000
bamboo wood
1680
pine wood
1300
larch wood
1400
alder wood
1400
birch-tree wood
1900
maple wood
1600
oak wood
2400
beech wood
1300
ash wood
1600

Some facts

  • Specific heat is a physical quantity determining the amount of energy (heat) that should be supplied (transferred) to one unit of substance mass to raise the temperature by one unit.
  • The basic specific heat unit in the SI system is J / (kg × K) (joule per kilogram per kelvin).
  • Specific heat is a property of substance (the so-called material constant). Also, it depends on external conditions: pressure and temperature.
  • The specific heat tells us how difficult it is to heat the given body. Substances with low specific heat change their temperature easily, whereas high ones require much more energy delivered to achieve identical effect.
  • To calculate the specific heat of the selected substance, we can use the following formula:
    c = ΔQ / (m × ΔT)

    where:
    c - specific heat of the substance,
    ΔQ - amount of heat delivered,
    m - mass of the heated sample,
    ΔT - noted temperature change.
  • Due to the high compressibility of gases, two values of specific heat are given in their case:
    • Cp - specific heat under constant pressure,
    • Cv - specific heat under constant volume.
    *) Compressibility is the property of a substance meaning that substance changes volume significantly under pressure.

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