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

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Decimals

metals

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
aluminum (pure)900
brass375
bronze, manganese370
bronze, phosphor370
cadmium234
chromium452
cobalt435
copper (pure)385
gold129
iron444
lead160
magnesium1050
magnesium, alloy1010
manganese460
molybdenum272
nickel461
platinum133
silicon705
silver237
steel, carbon490
tin228
titanium523
tungsten132
uranium116
zinc388

liquids

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
acetone2150
glycerin2386
ethanol (alcohol)2440
oil, petroleum2130
gasoline2220
mercury139
water 0°C4189.9
water 25°C4150

other materials

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
ice (frozen water, 0°C)1760
asphalt, crushed920
brick900
cement1550
paper1336
window glass815
organic glass (plexiglass)2440

gases

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
Specific heat (Cv)
[J / (kg × K)]
ammonia21901660
helium51903120
hydrogen1430010163
nitrogen1030735
carbon dioxide (CO2)844655
dry air (normal conditions, 0°C and 1013,25 hPa)1003716

plastics

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
bakelite1380
nylon1310
polycarbonate1100
polyethylene1550
rubber, hard2010

wood

SubstanceSpecific heat (Cp)
[J / (kg × K)]
balsa wood1700
cork wood2000
bamboo wood1680
pine wood1300
larch wood1400
alder wood1400
birch-tree wood1900
maple wood1600
oak wood2400
beech wood1300
ash wood1600

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 joule per kilogram per kelvin:
    Jkg×K\frac{J}{kg × K}
  • 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=ΔQm×ΔTc = \frac{\Delta Q}{m \times \Delta T}
    where:
    • cc - specific heat of the substance,
    • ΔQ\Delta Q - amount of heat delivered,
    • mm - mass of the heated sample,
    • ΔT\Delta T - noted temperature change.
  • Due to the high compressibility of gases, two values of specific heat are given in their case:
    • CpC_p - specific heat under constant pressure,
    • CvC_v - specific heat under constant volume.
    *) Compressibility is the property of a substance meaning that substance changes volume significantly under pressure.

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