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Electroplating


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Electroplating

In this electrochemistry activity, learners will explore two examples of electroplating. In Part 1, zinc from a galvanized nail (an iron nail which has been coated with zinc by dipping it in molten zinc) will be plated onto a copper penny. In Part 2, copper from a penny will be plated onto a nickel.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • galvanized nail
  • water
  • 4 bright and shiny copper pennies
  • 3 bright and shiny nickels
  • 100 mL graduated cylinder or graduated beaker
  • beakers
  • stirring rod
  • 0.5M hydrochloric acid (31% muriatic acid and water)
  • 0.1 M copper sulfate solution (25 grams copper sulfate pentahydrate and water)
  • warm water or mortar and pestle (optional)
  • 3 plastic cups
  • plastic film can with lid
  • 2 1-inch brass fasteners
  • 1.5 volt C battery
  • 2 alligator clip leads
  • toothbrush
  • powdered cleanser (e.g. Bon Ami)
  • small piece of sponge
  • 3 paper clips, #1 size (bare metal, not plastic-covered)
  • foam double-stick mounting tape, 1/2 in wide
  • appropriate eye protection
  • paper towels
  • newspaper
  • utility knife

Subjects


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Solutions
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elements and Periodic Table
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories


  • Electronics

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Rathjen, Don

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2004

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