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Effect of acid rain on buildingsFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to understand which building materials are more easily damaged by acid rain. The science project was done using marble, limestone, granite and brick

Hypothesis

Between marble, limestone, granite and bricks. limestone suffers the most damage from acid rain.

Scientific Terms

Acid rain, nitrogen, sulfur, ecosystem, calcite

Background

Acid rain

Acid rain is the rainfall that has turned acidic due to water vapor reacting with other pollutants like nitrogen and sulfur in our atmosphere. Acid rain not only poses a threat to the ecosystem and environment, but also causes serious damage to buildings and sculptures worldwide.

Limestone and marbles are very vulnerable to damage by acid rain. These two building materials contain calcite which easily dissolves in acid. Acid rain causes serious damage to concrete surfaces and paint finishes on building surfaces.

Most modern homes and buildings nowadays are made of materials resistant to acid rain. Even then, acid rain does not spare them. The steel rods used in manufacturing concrete blocks, corrode faster when exposed to acid rains. Bricks also start to crumble in acid rain. Bricks use a special fabric that helps to hold silica grains together. Acid rain dissolves this fabric easily causing the bricks to become weak and fragile and this eventually causes bricks walls to eventually collapse.

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
80
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 4 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Handle acids with care - ensure that you wear protective clothing/goggles/gloves. Adult supervision required.