The Detroit Post
Monday, 25 October, 2021

Is Rust Erosion

Carole Stephens
• Wednesday, 25 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Rusting and corrosion are two chemical processes, which result in disintegration of materials especially metals. In fact, it is a common sight in factories, shipyards, wrecked buildings, abandoned vehicles etc.

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Difference Between Rust and Corrosion Rust Corrosion is the process of deterioration of materials as a result of chemical, electrochemical or other reactions. Rusting is a part of corrosion and is a chemical process which results in the formation of red or orange coating on the surface of metals. Corrosion can occur on different surfaces such as skin, wood, metals, etc. Rusting usually occurs on surfaces of iron and its alloys. Corrosion can occur when the substance is exposed to air or some chemicals. Rusting mainly occurs when a metal is exposed to air and moisture. Corrosion results in the formation of the oxides of metal or salts. Only iron oxide is formed when rusting takes place. Corrosion can occur in materials like polymers and ceramics and this type is known as degradation. To know more about the important differences between other topics in Chemistry, you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

Both corrosion and erosion happen due to certain external actions on a surface. Corrosion also means the loss of electrons from the metals when it comes in contact with the moisture and oxygen in the atmosphere.

Erosion happens because of natural forces like water and wind. Other factors such as acid rain, salt effects and oxidation of materials are also known to cause erosion.

Erosion is a natural process that removes or carries away materials from one place to another. When corrosion takes place, the material will be transformed to another chemical compound known as rust.

Various types of corrosion include galvanic, crevice, pitting, intergranular and selective leaching. Erosion also involves several processes like weathering, transportation, and dissolution.

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To prevent corrosion, a protective layer is coated on the surface of the metal that constantly comes in contact with the atmosphere. While growth is a natural process affecting everything on Earth, it's opposite, which is death and disintegration, are also as certain as all the changes that take place.

He exists the moment he is conceived by his mother, and then he is born into the world and grows into a child, a teenager, and an adult. Rust and corrosion are two processes that cause the disintegration of materials.

It is a gradual process with the elements eating away at the materials making it deteriorate and break up because of the oxidation of the metals as a chemical reaction to an oxidant, usually oxygen. While it is common in metals, it can also happen to other materials such as ceramics and polymers, but it is called by another name which is degradation.

Exposed materials are prone to corrosion, and they can be just a crack in a small area, or they can be concentrated in a larger part. Even without a visible oxidant, materials can still corrode when left in the open air.

Rust, on the other hand, is a type of corrosion which happens to iron and its alloys. This happens when impure iron comes in contact with water or moist air and oxygen or other oxidants, such as acids, and forms rust.

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After some time, if the material is not treated, it will disintegrate, and everything will turn to rust making it unusable. 1. Corrosion is the disintegration of materials due to chemical or electrochemical reactions while rust is a type of corrosion.

2. Corrosion is the disintegration of all types of metals as well as materials such as polymers and ceramics while rust is the corrosion of iron and its alloys. Rust has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty.

In the absence of any one of these rusting does not occur to any significant extent. In air, a relative humidity of over 50% provides the necessary amount of water and at 80% or above corrosion of bare steel is worse.

As the iron corrodes, the pH in the droplet rises. If other ions like calcium or carbonate are present, they make a variety of precipitates that mix in with the iron hydroxide to produce a crusty, twisted coating which can either slow corrosion by cutting the iron off from the acid, water, and air supply or grow into convoluted shapes called tubercles.

This process can be the result of man made activity, or the chemical composition of soil or water as it moves across the rock's surface. Chemical erosion causes an alteration to the actual composition of the rock, primarily in its surface minerals.

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This process seeks out the minerals that are already fairly unstable in the rock's surface, and can often result in the formation of clay. Water plays a very effective role in chemical erosion, as it introduces active agents that react with the minerals in the rock.

It can also occur when water that contains key chemical agents dislodges thin pieces of shale material. The carbon dioxide reacts with the water, which forms a weak acid and eats away at the affected rock.

Both erosion and corrosion are natural processes that have different results on the surfaces they act upon. They are totally different from each other in the sense that while erosion takes small rocks and pebbles to newer places, corrosion changes the chemical nature of substances as it causes changes in the composition of the surface it takes place.

Erosion is a physical process in which the movement of small fragments of rocks occur under the influence of gravity and a natural agent such as water, winds or melting ice. This process removes the soil, rock or dissolved material on Earth’s crust, from one location to another.

The erosive agent can be water, ice (glaciers), snow, air (wind), plants, animals, and humans. The process includes conversion of refines metals into more stable forms such as oxides.

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Furthermore, this process can cause the degradation of important properties of materials such as structure, strength, appearance, etc. The most common methods that we can use to prevent a surface from corrosion include passivation and chromate conversion.

Erosion is a physical process in which the movement of small fragments of rocks occur under the influence of gravity and a natural agent while corrosion is a chemical process in which the change in the chemical composition of some surface (mostly metals) occurs because of the action of oxygen in the presence of moisture. More importantly, the key difference between erosion and corrosion is that erosion refers to a physical change of matter whereas corrosion refers to a chemical change of matter.

Furthermore, erosive agents such as water, ice (glaciers), snow, air (wind), plants, animals, and humans cause erosion while corrosive agents or oxidants such as oxygen and sulfates cause corrosion. The below infographic shows more facts about the difference between erosion and corrosion.

Corrosion is an electrochemical process by which certain materials (e.g. iron) undergo a change in their oxidation state and combine with some compound present in the environment. Erosion, on the other hand, is a physical phenomenon which consists in the fact that certain natural phenomena (wind, rain, movement of glaciers ...) modify the shape of the materials by mere dragging of the soft materials of their surface (in the case Erosion due to movement) or dissolution in the water of others.

As for erosion, it is basically the physical phenomenon involving the movement of small fragments of rocks or the topsoil due to the influence of natural forces like gravity, water, wind, etc. Interestingly, one similar fact about corrosion and erosion is that they both happen due to certain external actions on a surface.


Erosion involves different processes like transportation, weathering, and dissolution. Corrosion types include pitting, galvanic, crevice, intergranular and selective leaching. Land reform techniques like terracing or planting trees can prevent erosion. The preventive measure includes applying a protective layer on the surface of the metals. Defense manufactures a hand-held, non-destructive ultrasonic thickness Gage that is ideal for measuring the effects of erosion and corrosion on various substrates.

Dependent on the application (i.e. size of the area to measured), rapid sampling and data logging may be required. Secondary challenges include attaining accurate measurements on substrates with rough or curved surfaces such as tanks and pipes.

Figure 1 is an application photo of the instrument measuring the substrate thickness of the leading edge of a refurbished propeller blade. The user may either select a specific substrate from the Gage menu or make a simple adjustment to a known thickness or sound velocity.

For non-ferrous substrates such as aluminum, the “N” series of gags correlate eddy currents from an induced magnetic field into a coating thickness. Erosion is the process by which a protective coating or substrate is worn away by friction resulting from repetitive mechanical interaction.

If within the 150 °C (300 °F) surface temperature constraints of the Gage, most inspections can occur while the equipment is running, therefore avoiding loss of production. Corrosion rates are affected by several elements including seawater, humidity, wind, temperature, airborne contaminants, and biological organisms.


Ships, marinas, pipelines, offshore structures, and desalination plants are all systems that are subject to varying levels of marine erosion and corrosion. Gage's are designed for measuring thickness of metallic (cast iron, steel and aluminum) and non-metallic (ceramics, plastics and glass) substrates and any other good ultrasonic wave-conductor provided it has relatively parallel top and bottom surfaces.

When access is only available from one side of the substrate, ultrasonic wall thickness measurement is the most efficient way to monitor effects of erosion or corrosion. Companies using non-destructive inspection methods minimize safety concerns, ensure code compliance, and reduce the frequency of major repairs (and subsequently costs).

Due to their susceptibility to erosion and corrosion, a wide range of industries can benefit from ultrasonic thickness Gage measurement. Ultrasonic Thickness Gage users are primarily inspectors, surveyors, maintenance departments, and substrate refurbishes.

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