How to Determine Aluminum Foil Density

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Aluminum foil is available in a variety of lengths, widths and thicknesses to suit a range of applications. It is sometimes advertised by its size, such as “standard duty” or “extra heavy duty.” However, it’s important to know the foil’s actual thickness in order to accurately determine its foil density.

Foil thickness is measured in mils, or one-thousandths of an inch. It is also commonly called a gauge or millimeter. The higher the number of mils, the thicker the foil. The numbers are often printed on the packaging along with a description of the product’s properties and features.

For example, Reynolds Wrap brand foil is a standard household variety that is 0.016 millimeters thick. It is typically sold in rolls that are up to 75 feet long and varying in width. The foil can be used for cooking, baking and storage and is popular because it resists tears and offers a high level of durability.

There are also premium varieties of aluminum foil that provide additional strength and versatility. These include nonstick foil, which has a silicone coating on one side that helps to prevent sticking when used for cooking, or extra heavy duty foil that is a good choice for grilling.

This experiment will show how a piece of foil’s density can be determined by measuring its mass with a balance and the formula, mass = length * width x height. Because the foil is so thin and the atoms are so small, all values will be expressed in scientific notation and multiplied by 10. The result of this calculation can be found in the table at the end of this article.