The rusting of iron - results


It can be seen from Figure 2 below that the oxygen level makes a steady fall over the 24 hours showing the uptake of oxygen in the reaction which results in rusting.

Educational data logger

You should also be able to see that rusting has taken place by the appearance of the brownish-orange oxide coating that will have formed on the steel wool.


The average room temperature for this experiment was around 21ºC

Rusting of iron experiment results

Figure 2 Graph of oxygen level with time

Teachers' notes

Safety Issues

  • None


  • Time taken to setup experiment: < 30mins
  • Time taken to perform experiment: 1 day

Target Age Groups

  • Ages 9 -16 (Key Stage levels 3 and 4)

National Curriculum

KS3 Science — Sc3 Patterns of behaviour

Pupils should be taught: how metals react with oxygen, water, acids and oxides of other metals, and what the products of these reactions are.

KS4 Double award Science — Sc3 Materials and their properties
Patterns of behaviour

Pupils should be taught: Chemical reactions — about different types of chemical reaction, including neutralisation, oxidation, reduction and thermal decomposition, and examples of how these are used to make new materials.

Credits, comments and further info

This experiment was written by Chris Butlin, Sutton-Upon-Derwent, York.

If you have any comments about this experiment or suggestions for improvements please e-mail