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Bust That Rust! (page 2)

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Author: Cy Ashley Webb

Experimental Procedure

Experiment #1
  1. Dampen a steel wool pad with approximately 2/3 cup regular water and put it in a first saucer.  
  2. Dampen a steel wool pad with approximately 2/3 cup salt water and put it in a second saucer.
  3. Make a mildly acidic solution by mixing 1/3 cup vinegar with a 1/3 cup water.  Use all of this solution to dampen a steel wool pad and put it in a third saucer.
  4. Leave an undampened steel wool pad in a fourth saucer.  This is your control.
  5. Inspect the steel wool pads at 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours and 96 hours.   Which pad rusted the fastest?  The second fastest?  The third fastest? Take pictures of the rusted pads and write up your results.
Experiment #2
  1. “Pre-treat” steel wool pads by coating them in any of the following:  clear nail polish, spray-on car wax, vegetable oil, polyurethane finish, and furniture polish.   You do not have to use all of these substances, but try to select at least two.  Which do you think will prevent rust the best?
  2. Dampen your pre-treated steel wood pads with water (just as you did in experiment #1) and put them on a saucer.  Come back and observe the steel wool pads at 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, and 96 hours. Which pre-treatment worked the best?  Why?

Bibliography

  1. Wikipedia "Rust"
  2. How Stuff Works "How Does Rust Work?"
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