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The materials required for the experiment:

  • 20 pieces of metal from the exterior body of a car ?cut into sheets of 20cm by 20cm (these metal sheets can be purchased from car work shops)
  • 1 large can of automobile bodywork spray paint
  • Polymer sealant (example Zaino Brothers Z5)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bottle of Clorox cleaner
  • Bird dropping (fresh)
  • 1 bottle of soy sauce
  • 1 bottle of tap water
  • 1 bottle of sugar diluted in water
  • 1 bottle of mouthwash
  • 1 bottle of salad cream
  • 1 bottle of cooking oil
  • 1 can of shaving cream 


  1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the use of protective sealant and the type of materials used to act as the corrosive agent. The dependent variable is the appearance of rust or corrosion on the metal sheets over time. The constants (control variables) are the type of metal sheets used, the temperature, amount of sunlight and type of paint used.
  2. The experiment is begun by spray painting all of the 20 metal sheets and allowing them to dry for 8 hours.
  3. 10 plates are separated and applied with a coating of protective sealant. The metal sheeets with the protective sealants are marked (i.e. rotective sealant?written with permanent marker in one corner) and numbered 1 to 10.
  4. The following 10 types of materials are spread on the metal sheets with and without the protective sealant ?egg, Clorox, bird dropping, soy sauce, tap water, sugar water, mouthwash, salad cream, cooking oil and shaving cream.
  5. The metal plates are kept in a place where they will not be disturbed, and where the amount of sunlight and heat is constant (eg. air conditioned room). They are observed closely for appearance of corrosion and the results are recorded in the table below once a week, for four weeks.
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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 4 weeks for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Not applicable