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Difference Between Corrosion and Rusting

Chemistry | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

What is Corrosion?

A material can get deteriorated due to different reasons, like wear and tear or physical damage. Apart from this, there is another from of deterioration of a material called chemical deterioration or corrosion. (Corrosion is the gradual destruction of material, usually metals, by chemical reaction with its environment.

What is Rusting?

This usually happens on a metal or alloy. It occurs when the metal comes in contact with oxygen and water, and other substances in the atmosphere for prolonged periods which causes some chemical reactions.

Rusting of iron is the most common form of corrosion. You may have noticed brownish patches on the metal parts on your bicycle. This is called rust. (Rust is a reddish- or yellowish-brown flaky coating that forms on iron or steel due to chemical reactions with the atmosphere)

Methods for Prevention of Rusting and Corrosion

Galvanization :

Galvanization is a process in which a coating of zinc is applied to steel or iron in order to prevent rusting. The most common method of galvanization is called hot dip galvanization where steel parts are dipped in molten zinc.

Cathodic Protection :

It is another method used for protection of a metal from corrosion by making the metal surface a cathode of an electrochemical cell.

Coatings and Paintings :

Metals can be protected from rusting by applying a coat of paint of paint, lacquer or varnish which isolate the metal from the environment.

Humidity Control :

Rust can be controlled by controlling the humidity in the atmosphere by keeping it at an level which does not favor rust.

Dangers and Safety :

Rust can be dangerous, it can and has caused bridges to collapse. Rusting parts, in a car, ship or an air plane are never a good sign, as they shows weakness. If left unchecked it can ultimately cause malfunction in the working of the parts which in turn can lead to accidents.

Apart from this rusting causes economic loses also. Good which get rusted, cannot be sold or used and they loose all their value.

It is also bad for human health. Getting cut by a rusted object can cause infections. So it is always important to remember to be careful around rusted objects and if at all you get hurt or cut, you should tell your parents and go the doctor.