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Statistical Analysis of

Zinc Coated Washers

Purpose of the Experiment
Determine how many centimeters
of zinc and layers of zinc atoms
are present on the surface of a
galvanized steel washer.

What is Corrosion?
Natural process of deterioration of metals and
alloys in a corrosive environment.
Results in an actual decrease in the thickness or
size of the original metallic structure.
A poorly protected
surface can be a big
mistake - So dont
compromise ...


The most common corrosion reaction is the

rusting of iron in water
4 Fe + 6 H2O + 3 O2 <--> 4 Fe(OH)3
The oxidation portion of the reaction results
in the actual loss of metal
Fe <--> Fe+2 + 2 e- Step one (OX)
Fe+2 <--> Fe+3 + e- Step two (OX)
Fe <--> Fe+3 + 3 e- Overall Oxidation half-reaction

The reduction portion of the reaction

drives the process of corrosion
O2 + 2 H20 + 4 e- <--> 4 OH- Reduction half-reaction

What is Galvanizing?
The process of
galvanizing consists
of coating metals,
such as iron, with a
thin protective layer of

Before &
Hot Dip Galvanizing

The zinc layer

provides protection to
the metal from

Anodic Protection

An anodic layer, such as chromium,

nickel, copper, or paint, allows corrosion to
grow under its layer when it is scratched.

Cathodic Protection

The steel is protected by the

surrounding zinc even if it is scratched.

How Does Zinc Protect The Underlying Iron Surface?

Zinc coatings prevent corrosion of the protected metal by forming a
barrier, and by acting as a sacrificial anode if this barrier is damaged.
When exposed to the atmosphere,
zinc reacts with oxygen to form
zinc oxide, which further reacts
with water molecules in the air to
form zinc hydroxide.
Finally zinc hydroxide reacts with
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
to yield a thin, impermeable,
tenacious and quite insoluble dull
gray layer of zinc carbonate which
adheres extremely well to the
underlying zinc, so protecting it
from further corrosion.

The oxidation of zinc is more likely than the oxidation of iron.


These potentials indicate the relative thermodynamic

tendency for the indicated half-reaction to occur.
Zn <--> Zn+2 + 2 e E = 0.763 volts
Fe <--> Fe+2 + 2 e E = 0.409 volts

Zinc Coating Experiment

1. Get 5 washers, filter paper & Vernier calipers from the stock room.
2. Keep washers in the same order during the experiment. This can be done
by writing numbers on the filter paper.
3. Record on datasheet the inner and outer diameters and the height of each
washer to the nearest 0.01 cm.
Vernier Calipers

Outer diameter

Inner diameter



Zinc Coating Experiment

4. Weigh and record the mass of each washer to the nearest 0.001 gram.
(Making sure to weigh the washers on the same balance each time.)

To Weigh: Place filter paper on the balance. Tare. (Set the balance to zero.)
Place the washer on the filter paper. Record weight.

Zinc Coating Experiment

5. In an 100 ml beaker, get ~60 ml of 3M HCl.
6. Attach copper wire to one of the zinc washers.
7. Dip the washer in the beaker of HCl and observe the reaction.
Zn (s) + 2 HCl

H2(g) + ZnCl2 (aq)

8. Allow the reaction to continue until bubbling stops, approximately 90 sec.

(The surface will change from shiny silver to a dull gray.)
9. Remove the washer from the acid and rinse with distilled water over a waste

Zinc Coating Experiment

10. Use paper towel to dry the washer.
11. Place dried washer on corresponding
filter paper.
12. Weigh the washer on the same
balance used before.
13. Record the mass.
14. Repeat the same procedure for
other washers.
15. Dispose the washers in the used
solids container.
16. Dispose the exhausted HCl in the
liquid waste container.

Di: Inner diameter

Total Surface Area =

2r02-ri2)+ 2r0h + 2rih

Height of
the washer,

where r = radius = diameter

Do: Outer diameter

5 individual measurements for each washer

1. Volume of Zinc Coating = Mass of Washer Reacted / Density of Zinc
where dzinc=7.14 g/cm3
2. Total Surface Area of Zinc = Total Surface Area of Washer
3. Thickness of Zinc Coating = Volume of Zinc Coating / Total Surface Area of Zinc
4. Thickness of Zinc in Atoms, where Diameter of Zn atom = 268 pm, 1 m = 1012 pm
5. Error Analysis & Statistics: Find the Mean (Average), Standard Deviation and
Confidence Interval (98%) for Volume, Surface Area and Thickness of Zinc in

Error Analysis of Accuracy & Precision



Accurate & Precise

The average is
accurate but
not precise.

The average is
precise but
not accurate.

The average is both

accurate and precise.

Systematic or Determinate Errors: Shifts in the measured values from the

true values which reduces the accuracy of a result. (An example of a
systematic error is misreading a graduated cylinder).
Random or Indeterminate Errors: Shifts in the measured values from the
true values which influences the precision or scatter of the result. (Examples
of random errors might be the imprecision among multiple readings).

Determination of Accuracy
The accuracy can be determined by looking at the difference between
the expected (theoretical) average and the experimental (observed)

Percent Error


Xtheor Xobs
X theor


The percent error is the absolute value of the quantity of the theoretical
value minus the observed value divided by the theoretical value and
multiplied by one hundred.

The Average or Mean Value (xbar)


i 1

means sum

The average or mean of a set of numbers, Xi, is found by adding the

numbers and dividing by the number of values, N.
Thus the average of 3, 5, 7, 3, and 5 = 23 / 5 or 4.6.

The Standard Deviation

The standard deviation, a measure of the spread of N values, Xi,
about the average value, , a measure of precision, is given by,


i 1

The standard deviation is used for large populations, N 30.

*Estimate of the Standard Deviation

If the number of values, N, is small, i.e., if N < 30, an estimate
of the standard deviation, s, is given by,


i 1

N 1

*We will be using the

Estimate of the
Standard Deviation
because we have a
small data set.

Confidence Limit


where t is Students t-factor.

At the 90 % confidence limit, 90

timesX out of 100 the true value will

be within 1.64 of the experimental
The confidence limit defines an
interval about the average that most
likely contains .
Students t-factors are given in tables
for different probabilities. (Note: The
table in your book is on page 56.)

Graphs of the Volume, Surface Area and Thickness of Zinc in atoms.

Page 75 #2: In Excel (or any program that will make graphs),
make 3 column graphs where the washers and the average
washer are listed on the x axis of all three. On the y axis of graph
#1 show their volumes; on graph #2 their surface areas; and, on
graph #3 their thicknesses. Do not forget to include units.
Graph #1

Important Note: Each student must make their own graphs. If both lab partners submit
identical graphs, then each lab partner will receive a zero score for the graphs or 0/12 pts.

Graph #2

Graph #3

Hazards for Zinc Experiment

Reactant: 3 M HCl is a corrosive strong acid.
(If spilled, NaHCO3 will be used to neutralize.)
Product: Hydrogen gas is flammable.

Stockroom Information
Before Experiment Check Out:
5 Zinc coated washers
5 pieces of filter paper

1 set of Vernier calipers*

1 piece of Copper wire*

After Experiment:
Place in Used Solids bucket:
*Return to Stockroom:
5 washers with Zinc coating removed
1 set of Vernier calipers
5 pieces of filter paper
1 piece of Copper wire
Pour in Zinc Lab liquid waste carboy:
Used HCl with Zn2+ & Rinsings
Leftover HCl

Next Week - February 10-12

Read: Determining the Empirical Formula of
Copper Chloride (Text pp. 77-94)
Read: Oxidation / Reduction (Packet 69-78)
Read: Dimensional Analysis Sets #2 & #3 (Text pp. 24-28)

Turn-In: 1.) Dimensional Analysis Sets #2 & #3 (all problems)

2.) Zinc pp. 65-75 (This includes the Post-Lab).
Note: #2 (p 75) - You need to make 3 graphs!
Note: Bottom p65 You need to make
a separate calculations page for *ed calculations.