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Galvanic Corrosion Lab

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Environmental Science
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University of Nairobi
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Galvanic Corrosion Lab
Introduction
Purpose statement: Determine corrosion rate of zinc and how corrosion is related to the EMF
series, the area effect, the distance effects, and liquid conductivity.
Corrosion is a naturally occurring phenomena in nature due to the formation of electrochemical
cells that result in the oxidation of metal which leads to the destruction of that metal over time.
In galvanic cells, this corrosion occurs due to oxidation at an anode which results in electrons
flowing to the cathode. Using an online simulation we will be able to see the affects that varying
depth of the electrode, distance between the electrodes, and adding an electrolyte to the tank will
have on the current flow, and as a result the effect it has on the corrosion rate of the zinc anode.
Exploring these relationships and understanding what factors impact corrosion and how it can be
prevented is critical as this is not just theoretical, but can be applied to engineering to ensure long
lasting and stable structures for our society.
Test Procedure
To start the experiment, I opened the simulation and set the volume of the tank, width of zinc,
and width of copper according to my dataset: 8L, 1.9cm, and 2.0 cm respectively. To find the
initial voltage in the tank I made the distance between the two electrodes 50mm and submerged
them both into the water so that they were 14mm deep. I then recorded the voltage in volts. Next
I did a series of four trials where I changed the depths and distances between the electrodes. In
the first two trials I kept the depths of the electrodes the same but increased the distance between
them to 100mm and then decreased it to 30mm for the second. For the third trial I kept the
distance at 30mm but fully submerged both electrodes to 28mm deep. In the final trial I
increased the distance to 47, submerged the zinc 8mm and submerged the copper 12mm. For
each trial I recorded the voltage. Before starting the next part, I set the electrodes back to their
original starting point of 14mm deep and 50mm apart and switched the voltmeter to mA so I
could record the current. Then I submerged the zinc 3mm and the copper halfway and recorded
the current. Next I switched the depths of the electrodes making the zinc halfway submerged at
14mm and the copper 3mm and again recorded the current. After bringing the electrodes back to
their starting depth of 14 mm, I then recorded the current when the electrodes were as close as

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possible at 5mm and as far away as possible at 102mm. After recording those currents, I returned
the electrodes to their starting position and proceeded to add 4g of NaCl to the tank. This caused
great jumps in the current reading so once it leveled out I recorded the current. Finally, I added 2
scoops of 20g NaCl each to have a total of 44g NaCl in the tank, and again recorded the current.
Then I completed all calculations and created graphs to represent the data.
Data
Water Volume (L)
8
Zinc Width (cm)
1.9
Copper Width (cm)
2
Table 1.
Table of predetermined values given in dataset.
Step#
Position
Voltage
(V)
Current
(mA)
D of Cu
(cm)
S (cm)
2-3, 5,8
Starting
Position
0.954
0.110
1.4
5.0
4
V 1
0.954
-
1.4
10
V 2
0.954
-
1.4
3.0
V 3
0.953
-
2.8
3.0
V 4
0.954
-
1.2
4.7
6
I (a)
-
0.061
1.4
5.0
I (b)
-
0.048
0.3
5.0
7
I(Ssmallest)
-
0.01
1.4
10.2
I(Sbiggest)
-
0.198
1.4
0.5
9-10
I (4g Salt)
-
0.185
1.4
5.0
I (44g Salt)
-
0.984
1.4
5.0
Table 2.
All data recorded during the experiment.
Results
Calculating AZn ACu & AR:

  

  


  


  


  


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Galvanic Corrosion Lab Introduction Purpose statement: Determine corrosion rate of zinc and how corrosion is related to the EMF series, the area effect, the distance effects, and liquid conductivity. Corrosion is a naturally occurring phenomena in nature due to the formation of electrochemical cells that result in the oxidation of metal which leads to the destruction of that metal over time. In galvanic cells, this corrosion occurs due to oxidation at an anode which results in electrons flowing to the cathode. Using an online simulation we will be able to see the affects that varying depth of the electrode, distance between the electrodes, and adding an electrolyte to the tank will have on the current flow, and as a result the effect it has on the corrosion rate of the zinc anode. Exploring these relationships and understanding what factors impact corrosion and how it can be prevented is critical as this is not just theoretical, but can be applied to engineering to ensure long lasting and stable structures for our society. Test Procedure To start the experiment, I opened the simulation and set the volume of the tank, width of zinc, and width of copper according to my dataset: 8L, 1.9cm, and 2.0 cm respectively. To find the initial voltage in the tank I made the distance between the two electrodes 50mm and submerged them both into the water so that they were 14mm deep. I then recorded the voltage in volts. Next I did a series of four trials where I changed the depths and dista ...
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