The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

Is Rust The Same As Corrosion

Carole Stephens
• Monday, 14 December, 2020
• 8 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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The main difference though between corrosion and rust is that corrosion occurs as a result of the chemical influence and it affects a lot of materials whereas rusting is only accelerated by certain chemicals and usually affects iron substances. Difference Between Rust and Corrosion CorrosionRustCorrosion 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.

You’ll see why we started with that opening line when we plan to talk about rusting and corrosion. Firstly for general knowledge, and secondly, we keep on talking about how corrosion affects your steel fencing, and how rust is the enemy of your metal fence, regardless if you live in Melbourne suburb or have a property in rural Victoria.

Corrosion is a natural process where the result is an electrochemical reaction between materials and substances in their environment. This natural process converts a refined metal to a more chemically stable form.

During the oxidation process electrons move from the metal to the oxygen molecules, then negative oxygen ions generate and enter the metal creating an oxide surface. It was first assembled in 1884 in Paris, then disassembled, and again reassembled in the United States.

In 1981 the team of engineers and architects made an inspection and discovered many issues, some of them were : When assembling the Statue of Liberty, people behind it didn’t consider galvanic corrosion.

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This is a type of corrosion where one metal corrodes preferentially when it is in electrical contact with another in the presence of an electrolyte. The restoration of the statue was needed due to the galvanic corrosion of the iron armature that was in contact with the copper skin.

Iron and copper are dissimilar metals and that difference in electrochemical potential was the driving force for the electrolysis. All the iron of the Statue of Liberty was interconnected, except one location that was left in contact with the copper skin.

100 years later, in 1986, the Statue of Liberty was restored due to the galvanic corrosion with the help of several engineers, scientists and professional consultants. In time, in the presence of oxygen and water, an iron mass will convert entirely to rust and disintegrate.

The surface of rust is flaky and doesn’t provide any protection to the underlying iron. When it comes to copper surface and the patina that forms on it, it’s a bit different story.

We have an experienced fence and gate repairs team who is up for a challenge. Call us on (03) 9753 4566, shoot us an email on, or just get a FREE online quote.

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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.

After some time he will grow old, and his body functions will disintegrate. In time, his body will no longer be able to carry on, and he will die.

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.

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This happens when impure iron comes in contact with water or moist air and oxygen or other oxidants, such as acids, and forms rust. Chlorine in water causes the formation of green rust.

Metal reacts with the external environment, and over time, can degrade the useful properties of material and structures including strength, appearance and permeability to liquids and gasses. When exposed to the external environment, metals undergo oxidation and reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere.

Rust will increase and speed up the corrosion process, so upkeep is important. After some time, if the material is not treated, it will disintegrate, and everything will turn to rust making it unusable.

This barrier doesn’t flake off like rust does, which prevents further corrosion of the aluminum in the future. This patina is desirable as it not only forms a protective barrier to further corrosion, but has a visual appeal that consumers like.

Corrosion and rusting are two chemical processes, which result in disintegration of materials. When a material reacts with the external environment, over a time, its structure will be deteriorated, and breaks down into small pieces.

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When exposed to the external environment, metals will undergo oxidation reactions with oxygen in the atmosphere. Other than metals, materials like polymers, ceramics can also undergo disintegration.

The external factors that cause metals to corrode are water, acids, bases, salts, oils, and other solid and liquid chemicals. Other than these, metals corrode when exposed to gaseous materials like acid vapors, formaldehyde gas, ammonia gas, and sulfur containing gases.

The basis of the corrosion process is an electrochemical reaction. Coating is one of the methods to protect materials from corrosion.

This includes painting, plating, applying enamel on the surface, etc. Rusting is a chemical process, which is common with the metals containing iron.

In other words, the corrosion process taking place when there is iron, it is known as rusting. If rusting starts at one place, it will eventually spread, and the whole metal will be disintegrated.

corrosion rust

Rusting begins with the transfer of electrons from iron to oxygen. Oxygen forms hydroxide ions by accepting electrons in the presence of water.

The most familiar form of rust is the reddish coating that forms flakes on iron and steel (Fe 2 O 3), but rust also comes in other colors including yellow, brown, orange, and even green ! The different colors reflect various chemical compositions of rust.

Rust is the common name of the chemical called iron oxide. Rust forms when iron or its alloys are exposed to moist air.

The oxygen and water in air react with the metal to form the hydrated oxide. Rust requires three chemicals in order to form: iron, oxygen, and water.

The iron oxide reacts with oxygen to yield red rust, Fe 2 O 3. H 2 O. Rust occurs more quickly in saltwater than in pure water, for example.

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Carbonic acid is a better electrolyte than pure water. As the acid attacks the iron, water breaks into hydrogen and oxygen.

Once rusting starts, it continues to corrode the metal. Rust is brittle, fragile, progressive, and weakens iron and steel.

To protect iron and its alloys from rust, the surface needs to be separated from air and water. The difference is the chromium oxide does not flake away, so it forms a protective layer on the steel.

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