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Need info on metal-acid reactions

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I need information on chemical reactions! Any resources are greatly appreciated! My Question is, Does acid really burn hole(s) in some metals. What are some acids other than citric acid that burn a whole in metal. (preferably aluminum)

Caitlyn B.
student - Sorrento, FL, U.S.


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Caitlyn,

To be precise, no acids do not "burn" holes in metals. Burning infers combustion, and this does not (usually) occur. However, acids will dissolve metals and create holes in them. The reason for this is the reactivity of the metal. Some metals, such as sodium, potassium etc will react violently with water and ignite, producing lots of hydrogen gas and the hydroxide of the metal. Others, such as nickel will not react with water, but they will dissolve in other acids such as hydrochloric acid. Again, they produce hydrogen and (in the case of HCl) the chloride salt. Still other metals, such as gold will not react with any acid. It all depends on the chemical reactivity of the metal and the type of acid being used. As a rule of thumb, the strngest acids, sulphuric, nitric, hydrochloric, hydrofluoric etc, will dissolve the gretaer number of metals, although there must be the caveat that some of the more oxidising acids can pasivate some metals. Citric acid is regarded as a weak acid and will only react with the more reactive metals.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


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I wanna know whether any acids or combinations of acids can melt or create a hole in any metals...

Acutually my problem is that I lost the keys of my locker.. the locker was used by my family & by my forefathers and I suppose it may be more than 200 hundered years old... my problem is that I cannot open my locker.. I tried opening it with gas cutter, but it is having the slightest impact on the locker.. I tried opening it with a combination of gasses, but no impact... I tried breaking it open with a hammer, cross bar but nothing is having any effect on it.. acutually I don't know what the locker is made off. I think it is made up of a combination of metals, since it is a bit shiny... I think it may be a combination of copper, brass, iron , steel & may consist of other metals also....

I wanna know whether anybody can help me in this....

John Varkey
electricals & electronics - Kottayam, Kerala, India

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Surely a competent locksmith can figure out how to make a key for a 200 year old lock? You shouldn't be working with some acid so ludicrously hazardous that it can dissolve all alloys known and unknown.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

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What is metal in acid used for in real life? I just need to know this because I am interested in this kind of reaction and I am hopeful that you kind people can answer my hard question.

Kayla M
science is golden - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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