Abstract The aim of this investigation is to determine the effects of several factors have on the corrosion of iron.


several factors are different electrolytes, bent iron nail, galvanized iron nail and iron in contact with dissimilar metals. 6 hypotheses are developed and an experiment has conducted to test them. The data that was collected do not wholly agree with any of the 6 hypotheses, because of the errors and anomalies presented in the experiment and data.

Iron is an element that is widely used as a construction material in many different things, such as ships, shipping containers, water pipes… However, as a metal, it corrodes easily. To prevent iron corrosion on constructions and buildings, government uses millions of dollars every year. Therefore, understanding the chemistry behind iron corrosion and how fast it would corrode when the environmental condition and its own structure change. This investigation aims to explore the effects that several factors have on the corrosion of iron. They are, different electrolytes, placing iron with dissimilar metals, bent iron and iron galvanized with zinc. Corrosion is the deterioration of matters, usually metals, when interacting with the surrounding environment. Often, the properties of the matter would be altered after the degeneration process. This type of chemical reaction is an oxidation-reduction reaction (redox reaction) as well as an electrochemical process. (Electrochem. No Date) All metals are unstable, except those noble metals such as gold. In nature, they usually exist in the form of metal ores, where they form ionic bonds with other elements. When humans extract the metals from the ores, metals become unstable. They seek to return to the stabilise state. In order to do so, they therefore, undergo corrosion, losing electrons to form ionic compounds with the non-metals. (Corrosion Doctors. No Date) For corrosion to occur, three basic elements must be present. They are anode, cathode and electrolyte. An anode refers to substances that lose electrons to the electrolyte. This part refers as the oxidation. The cathode receives all the free electrons from the anode. This is known as the reduction. The electrolyte contains ions that provide a medium to conduct the electrons’ movement from the anode to the cathode. (Corrosionist. No Date) One of the most common examples of iron corrosion is the exposure to water droplets containing dissolved oxygen. In here, iron itself is the anode, while the dissolved oxygen serves as the cathode, and the moisture (water) is the electrolyte. During the corrosion process, the iron gives up electrons, becoming iron ions.

meaning more oxidizing agents to accepts the electrons donated by the iron. or rust and do not obtain the properties of iron. the iron ions combine with the hydroxide ions to form iron hydroxide. These are all categorized as iron oxides. Between pH 0 – 3. Iron tends to corrode faster in acid. (Cli Houston) Furthermore. more electrons can be carried from the anode to the cathode. No date) The above example demonstrates the basic chemistry of how iron corrodes in the presence of water or moisturised air. The reason being is that ions are charged particles and adding more of them into water increases its ability to conduct electrical current. (Frost Burg University. some of the oxides remain on the surface iron after the reaction. there is a couple of possible reduction reactions. the faster the corrosion.htm This however. these corrosion products are not capable of preventing corrosion. With oxygen as well exists in the electrolyte. No date) .The oxygen retrieved the free electrons from the moist. is only the primary product of iron corrosion. Although. forming hydroxide ions. There are several other forms of products such as Fe2(OH)3 and Fe3O4. changing the properties of the medium (or electrolyte) would alter the rate of iron corrosion. However. Because lower pH means more hydrogen ions (as ). For instance. Source: http://www. the rate of corrosion is much quicker than the rate is in between pH 4 . this do not stop the water from attacking the unaffected region of iron. No Date) Or Also. Hence the corrosion process happens quicker than in the water. Iron corrosion would not stop until the entire metal is corroded. That means. Acid environment contains more hydrogen ions. During corrosion. (Chemtopics. Unlike any other metals.com/Iron_Corrosion.corrosionist. the lower the pH is. Fe(OH)2. (Sakshi Education.6. the addition of sodium chloride and other ions greatly increases the rate of corrosion. Then. the pH of the electrolyte can also have an effect on the corrosion rate of iron. hydrogen ions can act as cathode which it gain electrons from the iron.

In other words. those stressed regions corrode at a faster rate than others. stress corrosion is about the corrosion that occurs on the stress cells of the iron. More stress energy means they are more anodic. Uniform corrosion describes the type of corrosion that progresses uniformly over surface area of the material. No Date) Galvanic Series Anodic end (this is where the corrosion occurs) Standard Electrode Element Lithium Magnesium Zinc Chromium Iron. slowed down the process. How fast the anode corrodes depends on the Source: http://www. for galvanic corrosion to occur. the one +1.340 -0. In environment where pH is lower than 8.045 -2. the faster the corrosion rate of the anode.744 -0. stress corrosion generally possesses a quicker corrosion rate than uniform corrosion. (efunda. the series depicts the electrode potential of different metals. passivation of iron very difficult to perform. Using hydrogen as a reference point.php difference of electrode potential with the other. as shown on the left table. for instance Titanium +0. the rust (iron oxides) they are unable to develop a protective film for the iron to shield it from corrosion. Gold becomes anode and the other metal turns into the cathode.thelen.055 magnesium and tin. Because of this. (Hyperphysics.us/1galv. Determining which of the two dissimilar metals is the anode and cathode relates to the galvanic series. No Date) Examples of stress regions Corrosion rate can also be affected by the type of corrosion the iron material is experiencing. while the cathode becomes negatively charged. Between them a galvanic current develops and the more anodic metal acts as an anode and donates electrons to the other metal that is less anodic which is the cathode. therefore. the anodic metal corrodes. No Date) Another type of corrosion – galvanic corrosion also affects the iron corrosion. On the other hand. and is therefore protected from corrosion or at the very least. This is because the oxides that are produced in iron corrosion.762 -0. therefore. In addition.000 In the scenario when two dissimilar metals.440 -0. the iron corrosion rate is usually slower than in electrolyte that has a neutral pH. (ASSDA. Stress cells refer to the part of the iron that contains more stress energy than the rest of the metals. in this case magnesium. Mild Steel Tin Hydrogen electrode reference Potential (Volts) at 25 C -3. usually by bending it. are placed together in saline water.136 0. The bigger the difference is. No Date) . the difference of electrode potential has to great enough. developed as a film that act as a protection against corrosive medium. It takes place when two electrochemically dissimilar metals are contacted and placed together in an electrolyte. This process is called passivation.(no corrosion here) which is tin. passive .As for base environment (pH 9-14). Cathodic end. (Nautarch. especially in acidic environment.420 that has a lower electrode potential.

The mass of bent iron nails would decrease at a quicker rate than the normal iron nails. saline water. the oxide film it forms would stay on the surface on the nail. the iron would lose mass while the copper would gain mass. whereas the oxides form by the plain iron nails. because. That layer of metal has to be more anodic than iron. copper. 4. not just because it is further up the galvanic series compared to iron but also the fact that after it reacts with oxygen.34.Because of the properties of galvanic corrosion. becoming Na + and Cl-. allowing the electrolyte to come in contact with the unaffected regions. When testing galvanic corrosion involving iron with an dissimilar metal. zinc is best to use for galvanizing the iron. and magnesium with an electrode potential of -2. . (USGS. and in some cases. losing electrons to the cathode which is the copper. When iron is in contact with copper in an electrolyte. meaning its electrode potential should be lower than iron. 2. which greatly increases the ability of conducting electrons from the anode to cathode. Plain iron nail would lose more mass than the iron nail coated with zinc.37.40 E°). have been chosen. 3. Iron nails that have been corroded decrease in mass. the iron nails are placed in the electrolytes to react for one week. the iron ions combine with other particles. the iron nails would have enough time to display noticeable results. This then serves as a protective layer to protect the zinc from further corrosion. the oxide layer does not flake off like iron oxide does. meaning it would act as an anode. the iron is being shielded from corrosion by the metal. Because of this it would corrodes faster than normal nail. Also. Therefore. The corrosion process in saline water would be faster than those in normal tap water. as they lose electrons. that has an electrode potential of 0. ensuring. The purpose of weighing the nails is to determine whether they have been corroded or not. the one week of observation period. No Date) To observe and prove how iron responds to these factors. acidic and basic solution). they flakes off. after. Often. This method is known as galvanizing. when zinc corrodes. bent iron and the contacts with dissimilar metals in iron corrosion. they are weighed on the electronic balance. In order to obtain accurate results for the analysis. The difference has to be great enough for the corrosion to occur. The choice of using electronic balance is to provide an accurate mass weighting. since iron is further up the galvanic series. iron nails are used and placed them into the different environment and conditions mentioned above. Hypothesis 1. the two metals cannot have a similar electrode potential. since the bent iron nails contains stress regions that corrode much faster than the rest of the nails. This way. preventing further corrosion from happening. because saline water comprise of plenty of NaCl that dissociates into water. Aim The aim of this experiment is to investigate the effect of the different electrolytes (tap water. further decreasing the mass of the iron nails. it is very common to coat a layer of metal on top of the iron to prevent the iron form corroding. for instance iron (-0.44 E°) and cadmium (-0.

which is the cathode. 4. 3. the iron would gain mass while the magnesium would lose mass. Measure the mass an iron nail. since magnesium is located in a higher position than iron. Repeat step 2. The corrosion rate of plain and bent iron nails increase as the pH value decreases. indicating that magnesium would serve as the anode to give up electrons to iron. then wrap the copper around the iron nail. Use a puppet to fill up the 5 beakers with 20ml of water 2. since in base solution. . then place it into one of the beakers.5. Place them into one of the beakers. but this time use magnesium instead of copper.1M) 40 ml KOH (2M) 100 ml Saline water (10g of salt with 90 ml of water) 100 ml of Tap water Puppet (20ml) Electronic Balance 35 beakers (100ml) Method  Water: 1. Measure the mass of a strip of copper and an iron nail. 6. and acid environment contains more hydrogen ions accelerating the corrosion rate. When iron is in contact with magnesium in an electrolyte. the formation of iron oxides protective film shields iron from corrosion. Materials 25 iron nails (polished with sand paper) 7 bent iron nails (polished with sand paper) 3 zinc coated iron nails 8 pieces of copper 8 pieces of magnesium 80 ml Sulphuric Acid (3M) 80 ml HCl (3M) 80 ml Acetic Acid (3M) 40 ml NaOH (0.

5. Repeat step 2-5  Sulphuric Acid: 8. Use a puppet to fill up 4 beakers with 20ml of hydrochloric acid 11.  Saline Water: 6. . Use a puppet to fill 4 beakers with 20ml of acetic acid 13. Bend an iron nail and repeat step 4. Repeat step 2-4 16. and then take them out of the beakers and weigh them individually. Weigh the copper and magnesium as well. Record down the results. Repeat step 2-4  Hydrochloric Acid: 10. Use a puppet to fill up 5 beakers with 20ml of saline water 7. Use a puppet to fill up 4 beakers with 20mml of sulphuric acid 9. Use a puppet to fill up 4 beakers with 20 ml potassium hydroxide 15. Repeat step 2-4  Acetic Acid 12. Repeat step 2-4  Potassium Hydroxide 14. Leave the Iron nails for a week.

01 +0.005 1.01 0.005 -0.05 ± 0.01 -0.01 +0.005 0.1 ± 0.05 ±0.005 0.03 ±0.1 ± 0.01 -0.005 1.01 1.005 -0.01 ±0.01 +0.07 ± 0.04 ± 0.01 0.99 ± 0.005 1. Galvanic Corrosion: Iron and Copper Mass of Iron (g) Mass of Copper (g) Final Change Initial Final 1.01 ± 0.005 0 ± 0.01 0.05 ±0.01 -0.03± 0.02 ±0.04 ± 0.005 1.005 1.005 1.97 ± 0.05 ±0.02 ±0.98 ± 0.08 ± 0.03 ±0.01 -0.01 0.05 ± 0.005 0.01 -0.005 1.07 ±0.06 ± 0.005 0.08 ± 0.02 ±0.03 ±0.005 0.01 ±0.005 1.09 ±0.16 ± 0.03 ± 0.00 ± 0.03 ± 0.005 1.01 -0.01 Medium Initial Water Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Acetic Acid Saline 1.005 0.08 ± 0.005 1 ± 0.01 +0.005 0.02 ±0.08 ± 0.01 .01 -0.005 0.005 0.005 Medium Initial Water Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Acetic Acid Saline Change +0.06 ±0.005 1.005 1.10 ± 0.13 ± 0.01 ± 0.05 ±0.005 1.01 ± 0.01 -0.03 ± 0.05± 0.005 1.005 0.005 0.01 ±0.06 ± 0.01 -0.005 0.04 ±0.005 1.05 ± 0.005 1.005 0.02 ± 0.07 ± 0.01 -0.01 +0.01 -0.04 ± 0.005 Table 3 Plain Iron Mass of Iron Nail (g) Initial Final 1.005 0.005 0.04 ± 0.005 1.04 ±0.00 ± 0.04 ± 0.08 ± 0.Results Table 1 17.14 ± 0.02 ±0.01 -0.005 1.02 ±0.08±0.02 ± 0.005 -0.005 1 ± 0.005 0.005 1.005 0 ± 0.01 +0.97 ± 0.005 1.005 Table 2 Galvanic Corrosion: iron and Magnesium Mass of Iron (g) Mass of Magnesium (g) Final Change Initial Final Change 1.01 -0.93 ± 0.04 ±0.005 Medium Water Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Potassium Hydroxide Acetic Acid Sodium Hydroxide Saline Change +0.94 ± 0.01 ± 0.005 0 ± 0.02 ± 0.01 -0.005 0.04 ± 0.01 ±0.05 ± 0.01 ± 0.005 0.005 0.005 0.005 1.01 ± 0.02 ±0.005 0.01 ±0.005 0.02 ±0.14 ± 0.95 ± 0.

01 -0.01 Graph 1: Change of Mass in Iron Nails in Saline water and Tap Water 0.005 Medium Water Saline Change 0 ±0.93 ± 0.01 -0.01 -0.005 1.01 Table 5 Iron Coated with Zinc (g) Mass of Iron Nail (g) Initial Final 1.01 ±0.005 0.03 ± 0.01 -0.01 -0.1 ± 0.01 ± 0.1± 0.005 0.02 ± 0.01±0.005 1.005 1.01 0 Mass (g) Plain Iron -0.005 Medium Water Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Potassium Hydroxide Acetic Acid Sodium Hydroxide Saline Change -0.08±0.02 ± 0.01 ±0.05 ± 0.97 ± 0.01 -0.Table 4 Bent Plain Iron Mass of Iron (g) Initial Final 1.02 -0.005 1.98 ± 0.05 -0.05 ±0.01 ±0.005 1.92 ± 0.005 0.005 1.01 ± 0.09 ±0.005 1.06 Bent Iron Zinc Coated Iron Water Saline Water Electrolyte .04 -0.07 ±0.12 ± 0.005 0.005 0.03 0.98 ± 0.005 1.00 ± 0.03 -0.005 1.99 ± 0.005 1.01 -0.13 ± 0.02 0.005 0.06 ± 0.01 -0.

02 Mass (g) 0 Water -0.1 Electrolyte Graph 3: Change of Mass in Iron and Copper 0.04 -0.08 -0.06 -0.02 Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Potassium Hydroxide Acetic Acid Sodium Hydroxide Saline Plain Iron Bent Iron -0.04 0.08 Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Acetic Acid Saline Iron Copper Electrolyte .06 -0.06 0.06 0.04 0.02 -0.02 0 Mass (g) Water -0.04 -0.Graph 2: Change of Mass of Plain and Bent Iron Nail 0.

06 0.08 0.04 Mass (g) 0.06 Sulphuric Acid Hydrochloric Acid Acetic Acid Saline Iron Magnesium Electrolyte .04 -0.1 0.Graph 4: Change of Mass in Iron and Magnesium 0.02 -0.02 0 Water -0.

different electrolyte. However. Because of this difference. To meet the aim of this investigation. For instance the molar mass of Fe(OH)2 is 90g while iron is only 56g. and much of the corrosion product stay on the surface of the iron. meaning that it corrodes less than the plain iron nail. This in fact does not contradict to the theory explained before that iron would deteriorate faster than zinc coated iron. In fact. not supporting the hypothesis. The plain iron nail in the anomaly does experience corrosion. the rust along with iron nail itself can actually gain mass. And also. according to the hypothesis. and would be analysed and discussed in this section of the report. The zinc coated iron does not lose mass. Zinc patina provides a barrier between the zinc metal and the corrosive medium. However. plain iron nail decreases 0.Discussion The aim of this experiment is to investigate the corrosion of iron when altering several factors. the plain iron nail should experience a decrease in mass since it undergoes corrosion. hydrochloric acid. it is logical that the iron’s corrosion rate is quicker than the zinc protected iron. As shown in graph 2. rather than just the change on the iron itself. some of them flake off into the electrolyte while some accumulate on the surface of the nail. The theory behind this hypothesis is that when zinc corrodes. It is the wording of the hypothesis that caused some of the results to be an anomaly. while zinc coated iron does not change at all. When corrosion products are produced. plain iron nail gains mass. the corrosion products of iron do not possess this ability. They are. plain iron nail would lose more mass than the iron nail coated with zinc. plain iron nail should lose more mass than the galvanized nail. No Date). the decrease in mass of plain iron nail is less than the bent iron.04g of mass while the galvanized iron nail loses only 0. a layer of film is generated on its surface know as zinc patina. They are unable to stop water from reaching unaffected region of the iron surface and so the corrosion process continues.01g. When place in the electrolyte of saline water. if the accumulation is large enough. Based on this observation. out of the 7 different electrolytes. while the bending ones lose mass. Hence. The hypothesis focused on the change mass of the entire iron nail (which in turn includes the oxides as well).02g. since. in four of them including sulphuric acid. The data collected in table 3 and 5 and graph 1 partially supports the first hypothesis. acetic acid and saline water. Data was collected during the conduction of the experiment. in which it states that during corrosion. It is form by the zinc corrosion products which are zinc oxides and zinc carbonate. This is considered an anomaly. In the other three. galvanized iron nail with zinc and when comes in contact with a dissimilar metal in an electrolyte. there is alternative explanation for the anomaly that exhibits in here. five hypotheses have been developed. . resulting the 2g of mass gain. iron with stress region. The molar mass of each of those iron corrosion products are heavier than the iron alone. there is only a portion of the results supporting the hypothesis which it declares the mass of bent iron nails would decrease at a quicker rate than the normal iron nails. until the entire material is corroded. the results of water show that plain iron nail gains mass of 0. Therefore. (Corrosion Clubs. corrosion is prevented.

which tap water only possess a very little amount. All have shown that. The accumulation of the rust on the surface of plain iron nail is much more than those in the bent iron nail. The pH of both 0. meaning the tendency of losing electrons increases. Furthermore. overall. The third hypothesis states that the iron nails in saline water would corrode at a faster rate than those in normal tap water. Graph 1. as depicted in graph 3 and 4. in the results. only the plain iron nails increase but not the bent nails. it would be reasonable if both of the two bent and normal nails gained mass in the two base electrolytes. Hence. provides an environment for the development of protection film. the bent iron nail undergoes two different types of corrosion at the same time. NaCl is soluble in water. the bent iron nail would therefore. and thus it contains more strain energy. corrode faster than the plain iron nail. The anomaly in the result of the water part can be solved by the explanation used in the previous discussion on the first hypothesis. which is the establishment of iron oxides film on the surface of iron to protect the iron from corroding. indicating that. can prevent corrosion by enabling the passivation of iron. This is why the data of those two electrolyte in graph 2 is an error. the corrosion that occurs in the stressed regions is faster.1M sodium hydroxide and 0. compared to rest of the nail. In other words. As for. Therefore. could be an incorrect method. it dissociate into water.1M potassium hydroxide is 13. The protective film on the surface of iron would definitely increase the mass of the iron nails. resulting it to gain mass while bent nail loses mass. the data on the two base electrolyte. With this. When adding it into water. the results on these two base electrolytes would be ignored. stressed corrosion in the bending area and uniform corrosion in the unaffected region of the nail. The reason behind this is that. This is due to the fact that. the results do support the second hypothesis. it would stop the corrosion process. becoming Na+ and Cl-. the iron corrosion in tap water: . where the change of mass in saline water between the iron and the other dissimilar metals (that are copper and iron) happens in a greater rate than tap water. Consequently. While the plain iron experiences uniform corrosion. making it very difficult to determine which nail would corrode quicker. Most of the results in all of the 5 tables support this claim. the fact that. This also occurs in the galvanic corrosion. with a pH of 9-14. compares the change of mass of three different types of iron nails in the 2 electrolyte. However. Therefore. causing this part of the result disagree with the second hypothesis. the nails in saline water lose more mass than those in the water. Corrosion involves the transfer of electrons from an anode to a cathode through the medium of electrolyte.The reason why bent iron nail would corrode faster than the normal nail is because of the existence of stressed region in bent iron nail. It is known that base solution. placing the two different types of iron nails into base solution to investigate whether it supports the hypothesis. base solution. the corrosion rate in saline is quicker. The bent area is being stressed. For instance. they however are considered as an error. which is within the optimum pH range for the iron passivation. as mentioned before. The strain energy causes it to become more anodic. saline water contains large amount of NaCl (1 part NaCl : 9 parts water).

it is not known that the amount of iron that is corroded due to H+. Magnesium is very reactive to strong acids. In the case of copper and iron. as shown in table 1. while copper’s is +0. The other metal would become the cathode to retrieve the free electrons becoming negatively charged. it is possible that it is being consumed very fast. losing mass.34. The reason why this does not happen in the case of corrosion between iron and copper. Similar to the 4th hypothesis. All the iron nails are still present. sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid) in table 2 do not agree with the 5th hypothesis. It can corrode in acid fairly quickly. the metal that is more anodic (that has the more negative electrode potential) becomes the anode to donate electrons. Since. it has extra electrons. . however. it depicts a trend that iron loses mass to copper when placed in any of the 5 electrolyte. iron loses mass and copper gains mass. after one week. Also. However. the magnesium has been entirely consumed (by both acid and galvanic corrosion). Furthermore. iron has a standard electrode potential of -0.7 while iron is -0. Both iron and magnesium lose mass.09g. 4 agree with the 4th and 5th hypothesis. Therefore. After. 2 and graph 3. its mass would decrease. It explains why the results of iron in HSO4 and HCl on table 2 lose mass. indicating the existence of hydrogen gas. as there is bubbling in the acid. magnesium would lose mass while iron’s mass would increase when the two undergo galvanic corrosion. This could result unreliable data when analysing the results. the fifth one claims that when iron and magnesium are placed together in an electrolyte. This explains why saline water is a more corrosive electrolyte then tap water. The results on acetic acid and saline on table 2 and graph 5 support the 5th hypothesis. not all of the electrons that are given up by the anodes are transferred to the cathodes. Magnesium has a standard electrode potential of -2. therefore. the iron starts to corrode. Most of the data. iron loses mass and copper gains. preventing itself from corroding in the acidic environment.44. iron gains mass whereas magnesium loses. matching the results on table 1. with no supply of electrons. The reason why this happens relates to the chemistry of galvanic corrosion. Since. Iron accepts free electron from magnesium. 4th hypothesis states that when iron and copper is placed in an electrolyte. the change of mass on the anode may not be entirely caused by the galvanic corrosion. The results on water in table 5. there is an anomaly in the change of mass of iron on the row of acetic acid in table 2. This value is particularly large in comparison to the rest of the data collected in this experiment. Since. the final mass in magnesium is zero. In galvanic corrosion when 2 dissimilar metals are placed together in an electrolyte.44 E°. Some actually. react with the hydrogen ions to form hydrogen gas. Thus. In the galvanic corrosion that takes place in acid environment. enabling the corrosion process to occur at a quicker rate. iron is not as reactive as magnesium to acid. Therefore. it gains mass. cannot be explained. it is an error. In graph 3. The value is 0. 3 rows of results (water. Notice in both sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid. is because.Having plenty of sodium and chloride ions greatly increase the carrying capacity of the electron. it is very reactive to strong acid. This is observed while conducting the experiment. therefore.

This is shown in the results. the lower the pH. there are still several errors that could possibly affect the accuracy of the results. with lower pH. The images on the right also are an evidence of that. all of the metals are left in the electrolyte for one week. the corrosion in the electrolytes of acid are quicker than water (pH around 7) and NaOH as well as KOH. base solution enables iron oxides to form a layer of film to protect the iron nails from corroding. However. in iron corrosion the rust that forms may add mass to the iron nail. the results on the change of mass of the iron nails would not be the true representation of how much has the iron nail corroded. This should not be the case. I is covered in rust and by touching it seems that its diameter has been decreased.The final hypothesis claims that corrosion rate of plain and bent iron nails increase as the pH value decreases. the faster the corrosion rate is. Note: the comparison of results between water and base solution in table 3 cannot be done. Therefore. This is partly supported by the results in table 3 and 4. corrosion rate is quicker. since. temperature affects corrosion rate. comparing base solution with water. Also. Therefore. iron corrosion would be unstoppable. in table 4 the corrosion rates for both these two types of electrolyte are the same. the iron nail coated with zinc when place in water. This is considered as an error. meaning they dissociate into water completely. This measurement inaccuracy could possibly affect the accuracy of the results. for instance the section on galvanic corrosion between iron and magnesium starts at the first week whereas the galvanic corrosion between . Also. Iron nail on the left experienced corrosion in water and it does not display any rust or sign of corrosion. Other than those that have mentioned before. some parts of the experiment begins in different time. did not lose any mass. This is because of the increase of hydrogen ions. In acidic environment. In environment where pH is below 8. The change of mass may be too small for the electronic balance to detect. On the other hand. the nails in the KOH and NaOH should lose less mass than those in water. since zinc definitely corrodes in water. which is iron. resulting inaccurate data. it is sometimes really difficult to get accurate results. It should have either lose mass because of the corrosion or gain because of the development of zinc patina. as the changes of mass of iron nails in strong acids are greater than when they are in acetic acid. In both table. It would only dissociate little into water. As explained before. acetic acid would have a higher pH and less corrosive. when weighing. Acetic acid is a weak acid. Furthermore. HCl and HSO4 is strong acids. in table 5. Since the electronic balance only provides a measurement up to 2 decimal places. It is not possible to know how much is left on the surface of the iron nail. the iron nail in water gains mass). Although. iron passivation is not possible and thus. Therefore. The nail on the right was in sulphuric acid. the iron corrosion rate is faster. More hydrogen ions indicate that more oxidizing agents to accept the free electron given up by the anode. it is the inaccuracy on the measurement of mass. HCl and HSO4 would have a very low pH and the damage to the iron is greater whereas. Firstly. Thus. For instance.

Firstly. The findings of this experiment can be used as a reference when determining how to prevent iron corrosion. perform the entire experiment at the same time. Also. iron can be protected from corrosion. which provides up to 3 or 4 decimal places of measurement. it is suggested to investigate different forms of iron corrosion. . Conclusion The purpose of this investigation is to determine the effects of several factors have on the corrosion of iron. The several factors are the different electrolytes. such as bacterial corrosion. That means temperature of the environment that the two are in would be different. An alternative solution would be to extend the experimental period from one to two or three weeks. the design of the experiment has to improve. it is recommended that. The results on galvanic corrosion. An electronic balance with a more precise measurement. An improvement of the experimental design is therefore necessary if another similar investigation is to be performed. it is to improve the measurement accuracy. they do not entirely support any of the 6 hypotheses but only partially agree due to several errors and anomalies presented in the experimental data and design. For further investigation. so that the change of mass would be greater. to see how does it affects the corrosion rate and the structure of iron. Due to the large no. bent iron nail. The problem of measurement inaccuracy would then be solved. to avoid the experience of different changes in temperature. such as the measurement inaccuracy and the additional mass of the accumulation of rust on the surface of iron nail. leading unreliable results. To overcome these errors. galvanized iron nail and when in contact with dissimilar metals. After analysing the results. 6 hypothesis are developed. Also. another similar investigation should be performed. of errors experienced during the conduction experiment as well as the ones present in the data. the results on the corrosion rate of iron nails in difference electrolyte can be a helpful tool when estimating how fast the iron would corrode in reality with different environmental factors. suggest that using a more anodic metal as a sacrificial anode.iron and copper are in the second week. should be use. pitting corrosion.

79 E° 0.51 E° 1.4 E° -0.htm ) .76 E° -0. Standard Electrode Potential.04 E° -2.58 E° 0.82 E° 2.Appendix Standard Electrode Potential of some metals and compounds Lithium Potassium Magnesium Zinc Cadmium Cobalt(II) Nickel(II) Hydrogen Tin(IV) Copper(II) Oxygen-water Copper(I) Iodine Manganese(VII)(IV) Iron(III)-(II) Mercury(I) Silver Chlorine Gold(III) Manganate(VII) Cobalt(III)-(II) Fluorine -3.4 E° 0. No Date.37 E° -0.87 E° Source: (Benjamin Mils.34 E° 0.52 E° 0.benjamin-mills.77 E° 0.5 E° 1.8 E° 1.28 E° -0. from http://www.92 E° -2.26 E° 0 E° 0.54 E° 0.15 E° 0.36 E° 1.com/chemistry/ecells. Retrieved 26/8/2012.

Iron and steel rust.corrosion-doctors. No Date.au/technical-info/answers-to-faqs/galvanic/dissimilar-metal-corrosion Chemotopics.com/Galvanic_Corrosion.pdf Cli Houston. Retrieved 26/8/2012. Retrieved 26/8/2012. How does iron rust? Retrieved 26/8/2012. No date.clihouston.usgs. Retrieved 26/8/2012. from http://www. 11. Retrieved 26/8/2012.htm Corrosion Doctors.html Sakshi Education. Retrieved 26/8/2012.pdf Frost Burg University.com/(S(hwnhr3bqfaarpp45sosi0bec))/Engg/EnggAcademia/CommonSubje cts/Chem-Unit-2-CorrosionAndItsControl. Retrieved 26/8/2012. from http://hyperphysics.frostburg.assda.pdf 12. No date.htm#Alkaline Inhibitive USGS. Corrosion.edu/CRL/conservationmanual/File9. ASSDA. Zinc Patina. No date. Retrieved 26/8/2012. 5. 8.efunda. from http://antoine. from http://www.gov/fs/2011/3016/pdf/fs_2011_3016. No Date. .electrochem. from http://www. No Date. 7. 9.shtml Hyperphysics.asn. Alkaline inhibitive solution.com/unit13/corros. Retrieved 26/8/2012. Galvanic Corrosion. What is Corrosion. Retrieved 26/8/2012. Corrosion and its control.gsu. from http://www. No Date.com/knowledge-base/iron-and-steel-rust. Strengths of oxidizing and reducing agents. No Date. Zinc-The Key to Prevent Corrosion.htm Efunda. from http://www. No Date.com/zincpatina. Retrieved 26/8/2012. 6.edu/hbase/chemical/electrode2. Retrieved 26/8/2012. from http://nautarch.com/materials/corrosion/corrosion_types. No date.corrosion-club.cfm Electrochem. from http://www.sakshieducation.tamu. Corrosion Theory.pdf Nautarch. 2.edu/chem/senese/101/redox/faq/how-iron-rusts.Reference List 1.phy-astr.chemtopics. from http://www. 4. Corrosion Mechanisms. Galvanic Metal Corrosion. No date.org/dl/interface/spr/spr06/spr06_p24-26. 13.html Corrosion Club. from http://pubs. from http://www. No Date. 10. Retrieved 26/8/2012.htm Corrosionist. No Date.corrosionist. from http://www. 3.org/Principles/Theory.

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