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ELECTROCHEMICAL PLATING PLEASURE

Use some simple chemistry to electro-plate a nail

Suitable For

Grade 4

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <12 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

A ‘chemical reaction’ in simple terms, is the breaking apart of substances to form new substances. Use some simple chemistry in the following science experiment to learn how electro-plating works:

Topics covered

Chemical reaction, Electroplating

What will I need?

  • GLASS JAR
  • DULL, DIRTY COPPER PENNIES
  • 125ml LEMON JUICE
  • PINCH OF SALT
  • TIMER
  • PAPER TOWEL
  • NAIL
  • SCOURING POWDER & PAD

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.

The electro-plating of the nail works because two chemical reactions take place in the above science experiment. First, the copper from the pennies reacts with the acid of the lemon juice to form a new substance, copper citrate.

When the nail is placed into the solution, a second reaction takes place. The copper citrate compound plates, or covers, the nail with a thin layer of copper. This process is revered to as ‘electrochemical plating’.

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