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topic 12319

The environment and how fast nails rust


I'm doing a science fair project at Lineweaver Elm called "whats the environment got to do with how fast nail's rust".and my Ingredients are ... Vinegar , clear soda, water,house hold cleaning detergent and bleach and so far I've had no help. My project must be turned in by 01/28/02 please, please, please, please help me !

Sarah D & Christine C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Tucson, Arizona


I'm not sure what you want; - if you want the answer to your project, do some experiments. Science is fun and is all around you, but you must talk to, and ask, science for it to talk back! Even frying an egg is a quite complex chemical reaction - ask your teacher to explain why the egg albumin goes from a clear liquid to a white lump when it is fried or boiled!

Back to your nails. - Get some iron or steel nails (not stainless or tool steel) from you local hardware store and put them into the different solutions and see what happens. One thing you could do is to boil some water, allow it to cool, put the nail into it and them drop some molten candle wax or a good layer of oil on top of the boiled water. Compare how fast this nail rusts with one in normal tap water kept at the same temperature. Try to explain the results (Hint: the answer lies in the boiling and sealing....but what IS going on?) Have fun and learn by what you see.

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

February 18, 2009

Will verifying temperature effect the rust on a penny in different environments?

Hazel A [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
student - Los Angeles, California

February 21, 2009

Hi, Hazel. Pennies contain no iron, and only iron can rust -- so pennies don't rust. But they do tarnish. For your experiment you could put some pennies in the fridge and leave some on the counter.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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