Chemistry Science Fair Project
The relationship between temperature and the corrosion rate of aluminum


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Project Information
Title: Determine the relationship between temperature and the corrosion rate of aluminium.
Subject: Chemistry
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Medium
Awards: None
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Year: 2004
Description: Three different aluminum strips or computer port covers were submerged each into a solution of water and sodium chloride and ferric chloride for a few days. The solutions were maintained at constant temperatures of 61 C, 32 C and room temperature of 20 C. The distance of crevice corrosion was regularly recorded.
Links:
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Background

Aluminium is remarkable for its ability to resist corrosion (due to the phenomenon of passivation) and its low density. Structural components made from aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and very important in other areas of transportation and building. Its reactive nature makes it useful as a catalyst or additive in chemical mixtures, including being used in ammonium nitrate explosives to enhance blast power.

Corrosion resistance of aluminum can be excellent due to a thin surface layer of aluminium oxide that forms when the metal is exposed to air, effectively preventing further oxidation. The strongest aluminium alloys are less corrosion resistant due to galvanic reactions with alloyed copper. This corrosion resistance is also often greatly reduced when many aqueous salts are present however, particularly in the presence of dissimilar metals.

Aluminium is the most widely used non-ferrous metal. Global production of aluminium in 2005 was 31.9 million tonnes. It exceeded that of any other metal except iron (837.5 million tonnes). Relatively pure aluminium is encountered only when corrosion resistance and/or workability is more important than strength or hardness. A thin layer of aluminium can be deposited onto a flat surface by physical vapor deposition or (very infrequently) chemical vapor deposition or other chemical means to form optical coatings and mirrors. When so deposited, a fresh, pure aluminium film serves as a good reflector (approximately 92%) of visible light and an excellent reflector (as much as 98%) of medium and far infrared.

Aluminium is widely used in watch and cookware production as it provides durability and resists tarnishing and corrosion.

For More Information: Corrosion & Rust K-12 Experiments & Background Information

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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