Copper plating iron

Copper plating iron

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes:  Experiment: Copper plating an iron nail

Aim: Copper plating an iron nail

Materials: beaker, copper sulphate, dilute sulphuric acid, iron nail, copper electrode, amateur, 1.5V torch cells, sandpaper


  1. In a beaker,make up 100 cm3 of solution containing 40g of copper sulphate
  2. Carefully add 100cm3 copper sulphuric acid
  3. Clean the iron nail using sandpaper
  4. Immerse a copper electrode and the iron nail into the solution
  5. Allow a current to flow for about 20 minutes
  6. Switch off the current and disconnect the cathode

Results and observations

  • The iron nail is coated with a thin layer of copper after the process
  • The copper coat is shiny
  • It does not adhere very well and comes off if cleaned using sandpaper
  • The copper electrode will be thinner after the process

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.