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April 2013

## A Guide To Calculating The Resistance Of Copper Sheet

The resistance is the name given to a metal property that describes how hard it is for an electrical current to pass through a particular object. To calculate the resistance of an object, such as copper sheet, you will need a knowledge of its resistivity (which is another name for its fundamental electrical properties) and its shape or geometry. The resulting value should provide you with all of the information that you require.

Step 1: Measure the length of the sheet using a tape measure. Make a note of this value, making sure that it has been recorded in meters. This is because the resistivity will be calculated in metric units.

Step 2: Measure the width of the sheet using the tape measure. Make a note of this value, also in meters.

Step 3: Measure the thickness of the sheet using the tape measure. Make a note of this value, again in meters.

Step 4: Multiply the thickness of the copper sheet by its width. The answer will represent a cross-section of the object in the direction of its length. It is also possible to work out the resistance along another dimension.

Step 5: Multiply the resistivity of copper by the length of the object. We can tell you that the resistivity of copper is 1.72x10^-8 ohmmeters. Make a note of this value, making sure that it has been done so in meters.

Step 6: Divide the value that you received in step 5 by the cross-section of the sheet that you received in step 4. This will provide you with the resistance of the copper along its length.

You should now have the information that you need to determine how easily an electrical current will pass through your copper sheet. It is often necessary to have this information on hand if you are trying to work out how much of a current you will need or if you are trying to work out whether your workers will be at risk of electrical shock. Just make sure that you double check all your measurements to ensure that your results are accurate. *
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