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The effect of temperature on the corrosion of aluminium

Materials

The materials required for the science fair project:

-    5 pieces of aluminum plate, each measuring 5centimeters x 5centimeters
-    5 beakers
-    2500 milliliters of tap water
-    50 grams of salt
-    100 grams of ferric chloride
-    5 beakers
-    4 hotplates
-    1 measuring cylinder
-    1 digital weighing scale
-    1 bottle of vegetable oil
-    5 thermometers
-    1 spatula

Procedure

1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the storage temperature of the aluminum plate immersed in the salt solution. The dependent variable is the formation of rust on the surface of the aluminum plate. This is determined by observing the aluminum plate after a period of 5 days. The constants (control variables) are the concentration of salts in the solution, the types of salt used, amount of water in the beaker and the size of the aluminum plate.

2.    Using the measuring cylinder, measure and pour 500ml of water into each of the 5 beakers. Weigh 10g of salt and 20g of ferric chloride and add them to each of the 5 beakers. Mix the solutions with a spatula.

3.    Place 1 aluminum plate inside each of the 5 beakers. Then, pour about 3-5mm of vegetable oil over the solution in each beaker. Place 1 thermometer inside each beaker.

4.    Store the first beaker at room temperature (25 °C) for the next 5 days. Place the remaining 4 beakers on hotplates, and adjust the temperature of each to 40 °C, 55 °C, 70 °C and 85 °C. Check the thermometers and hotplates periodically to ensure that the temperatures remain constant.

5.    After a period of 5 days, inspect the aluminum plates for markings of rust or corrosion. Record your observations in a table, as shown below.

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost (\$):
40
Time required:
2 hours for preparation, 5 days for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

None