TREVOR CLIFFORD PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TREVOR CLIFFORD PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Iron nail in water and air. Experiment to show the corrosive effects of different combinations of water and air on iron. Here the nail is in a beaker partially filled with water, with air in the remaining half. Iron rusts (corrodes) in the presence of oxygen and water. In normal air this tends to happen slowly as the amount of water is quite low. Here the nail is rusting more quickly under the water than in the air. However, the presence of the water has made the air very damp and so the top half is also rusting. Rust (iron oxide, brown) deposits can be seen at the bottom of the beaker.
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