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Science Investigation Report - Aim To investigate how the voltage of the electric current would affect the rate at which a metal is electroplated.

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SSIS GCSE Programme Science Investigation Report Investigating Electroplating Name: Kimberly Hoong Yearn Yi Class: S4 Ruby Aim To investigate how the voltage of the electric current would affect the rate at which a metal is electroplated. Hypothesis If the voltage of the current supplied for electroplating is increased, then the mass of the copper metal deposited on the paper clip would also increase. In electroplating, the anode is the copper metal piece and the cathode is the paper clip. The electrons travel from the negative terminal to the positive terminal, hence allowing the paper clip in the negative terminal to be electroplated. When plating the paper clip with copper, the copper metal piece undergoes oxidation while the cathode undergoes reduction, where: Anode (Copper Metal Piece): Cu(s) --> Cu2+(aq) + 2e- Cathode (Paper Clip): Cu2+(aq) + 2e- -->Cu(s) This happens through the flow of electrons in the circuit. When time taken for electroplating to occur is kept constant, the rate of electroplating would depend on the voltage of the electric current. From this formula: Q = It (Charge = Current x Time) If the time remains constant, only the current would affect the charge of the electricity flowing through the circuit. This then leads to another formula: V = IR (Voltage = Current x Resistance) ...read more.


7. Using a retort stand to prop the wire holding the copper metal piece up, and make sure the copper metal piece is submerged at the mark. Make sure that the crocodile clip is not submerged as well. 8. With the other wire, dip the paper clip into the solution, taking note of the amount of paper clip that is dipped in to make sure the surface area of paper clip exposed to the solution stays as constant as possible. 9. The moment the paper clip is dipped in, time the electroplating process for 30 seconds. 10. After 30 seconds, take out the paper clip, switch off the power supply and weigh the final mass of the paper clip. 11. Repeat step five to eleven a second time to obtain a second set of results. Use a new paper clip each time when repeating the steps. 12. Repeat step five to twelve, increasing the voltage of the current by 2V each time. 13. Tabulate the results. Results The table shows the changes of masses in the initial and final mass of the paper clips when undergoing electroplating at different voltages. Voltage of Electric Current (V) Trial 1 Trial 2 Average Mass Change (g) Initial Mass (g) Final Mass (g) Mass Change (g) Initial Mass (g) ...read more.


The hypothesis was valid as the outcome of the experiment supported it. Limitations and Improvements If I could do the experiment again, --> The results could be repeated a couple of times more for more accurate results, and a few more sets of results could be taken, to broaden the set of results. This could give a clearer graph, as the graph could show more prominently that it is linear if there were more sets of results. --> When the paper clips were submerged into the electrolyte each time, the surface area of the paper clip submerged was not accurately constant throughout, as I had only estimated the approximate surface area for each paper clip. I could have bent the paper clip into a long thin metal wire and measured the length that would be submerged in the solution, as this would help further ensure that the surface area of the paper clip that was to be electroplated to be more constant. --> Instead of using the same copper sulphate electrolyte for the entire experiment, I could have changed the solution after every trial, as after some of the trials I could see a thin film of copper left on the surface of the solution. To ensure that this would not affect the experiment results, I could have used a new copper sulphate solution for each trial. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 | Page ...read more.

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