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RUST IN PIECES

Compare the magnetic properties of iron and rust

Suitable For

Grade 7

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <12 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

When some metals such as iron come in contact with humid air, a chemical process called ‘oxidation’, also known as ‘rust’, takes place. The ‘oxidation’ turns the iron to ‘iron rust’ or ‘iron oxide’. In this science experiment we will compare the magnetic attraction of rusty iron filings with regular iron filings, by comparing the weight of each type of filings that can be picked up by a magnet at once:

Topics covered

Oxidation, Rust

What will I need?

  • IRON FILINGS
  • BAR MAGNET
  • TAP WATER
  • KITCHEN SCALE
  • STIFF PAPER
  • SMALL SAUCER OR PLASTIC LID
  • PLASTIC SPOON

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

This science experiment works because ‘iron oxide’ or ‘rust’ is not as magnetic as pure iron. ‘Rust’ differs from pure iron in a variety of ways, as rust is composed of three different iron oxides, often together with impurities making it only weakly magnetic. The magnet will hence pick up a lot more of the ‘pure’ iron filings and it will weigh more than the amount of rusty iron filings picked up by the magnet.

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