Monday, December 16, 2013


Have you ever noticed the shiny handles of a bicycle? Do you know why is it shiny? This is because a material has been coated with chromium. If you scratch this surface you would find a very dull material inside! Lets see how to electroplate an iron nail with copper!!

Materials Required:
1 Copper Plate
1 Iron Nail
Copper Sulphate
1 Beaker
1 Battery
250 ml Distilled Water
Dilute Sulphuric acid (to speed up the process; optional)
Some Wires

In a glass beaker put 250 ml of distilled water.

Dissolve 2 teaspoonful of copper sulphate. Then add a few drops of dilute sulphuric acid.

Clean the iron nail and copper sulphate with sand paper, wash with water and then leave for drying.

Connect the nail to the negative terminal of the battery through a wire, and the copper plate with the positive terminal, dip put them (they are called "electrodes") in the copper sulphate solution and leave them for 15 minutes.

Observation: The nail is coated with copper!

What Is Happening??
When electricity is passed through the solution, copper sulphate breaks up into copper and sulphate. The copper is deposited on the electrode connected to the negative terminal (iron nail). But what about the loss of copper in the solution? Well, the copper plates replace the amount of loss copper in the solution. Hence, we can say that we are using the copper plate to electroplate the iron nail! 

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