Iron is a metal with many uses. The question is whether does iron corrode easily or not, which is an important parameter for different applications of this metal. Most people fail to make the right findings and regret their decision with the use of iron.
Yes, Iron rusts easily when exposed to moisture and oxygen. However, it is commonly used to make cages for underwater construction projects. But the iron used in these projects must be treated with a protective coating to prevent corrosion.
Many people assume that any metal left outside will simply corrode. But some metals are much more resistant to corrosion than others. Iron is an extremely reactive metal, so it rusts easily when exposed to air or water. But with a bit of work, it can be protected from the rust elements in several ways.
Therefore, if you ever want to use iron for any job that has to do with moisture, you should give it the right coating so that the rusting process will be prolonged.
- What Does Corrosion Mean?
- What Happens When Iron Corrodes?
- How Can You Prevent Iron From Corroding Easily?
- What To Do When Your Iron Corrodes?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What Does Corrosion Mean?
Corrosion is a process where ions and refined metal are changed into compounds like hydroxides and metal sulfides. In the case of iron oxides, it happens because there is an action of environmental reaction to moisture and air.
When iron rusts it firms FeO(OH). What is required for iron to rust are electrolytes and a humidified environment. For, iron pollutants can cause the corrosion process to accelerate.
What Happens When Iron Corrodes?
There are some visible features you will notice when the iron rust, they are:
No visible production of oxide film
Though some metals like aluminum produce a firm of protective film when they rust this is the case with iron corrosion. It doesn’t emit any form of film oxide. Instead it forms a flaky and powdery element which cannot act as a protection.
The hydrated iron skin does not self heal
When aluminum rusts it forms a thick nanometer which heals automatically, however this doesn’t happen with iron.
This leaves it prone to continuous corrosion as long as it’s open to oxygen and water.
Magnetite can stop further iron corrosion
There is a blueish oxide known as magnetite which can form a layer which guards it against further damage from corrosion.
However, this is complicated because this magnetite reacts negatively to H20 to form flakes and blisters.
Stainless steel may not be corrosive
While some steels and iron can be corrosive, stainless steel which contains about 10% chromium may not rust. This chromium oxide is a self-healing element which allows stainless steel to be more durable and stable than other iron.
Steel remains more corrosive than Iron
Corrosion happens when an electrochemical reaction reacts with an anode and other cathodes.
With steel, this process is easy because of the presence of ferritic-martensitic materials, however because this is absent in iron it doesn’t corrode as easily as steel. Iron resistance to rust depends on some alloy substances.
To make iron more resistant to rust, it needs the right combination of alloy elements. This can be amplified when you add copper, nickel and silicon to iron.
How Can You Prevent Iron From Corroding Easily?
There are several methods to reduce the corrosion in iron, they include :
1. Protective coating
Using reliable protective coatings to act as a barrier for irons during corrosion works well.
There are several coatings that work well to protect irons; they include polyurethane, polyurea, acrylics and epoxies. They should be applied to the outer layer of the iron for best results.
2. Metal coatings
Another preventive option is using zinc coating to prevent your iron from rust. Zinc coats will work well to protect the surface of the iron. This is known as galvanizing.
This is a popular method to prevent iron from rust, infact military use this method to protect their firearms from getting rust easily.
Using this process will produce magnetite which will keep the iron well – oiled to perform its functions.
4. Cathodic process
This iron rusting preventive method can reduce the rate of corrosion in any metallic surface.
It does this by emitting a form of cathode. This method protects iron via producing elements like substrate which can make it better protected.
What To Do When Your Iron Corrodes?
If eventually your iron corrodes easily due to many factors, you can use the following ways to remove rust :
Lemon is a good way to remove rust from iron. It works well when used in tandem with sodium. Cut the lemon into two and squeeze the juice into a cup.
Pour the juice into the iron surface and leave for some minutes. Then get a thick iron sponge to scrub.
Coke isn’t just for drinking, it has some active elements which can eradicate corrosion from your iron. Dip the iron into a can of Coke for 45 minutes, remove and rinse with water.
Using vinegar to remove rust is an age-long rust removal process because it works well, especially for early stages of iron corrosion.
Vinegar should be poured on the outer surface of the iron and left for an hour. Be out and scrub the rust gently. This procedure needs to be repeated for best results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Does iron rust or corrode?
Iron rusting is a type of corrosion itself where an electrochemical event which involves anode, an electrolyte and a cathode occurs.
What makes iron corrode quickly?
Salt and oxygen are factors which can increase rusting in iron. This is why there is a need for corrosion preventive methods where air and moisture is kept away from iron. Some of these protective methods are paints and plastic coating chemicals.
Is iron regarded as a corrosive metal?
Yes, iron is a corrosive metal when exposed to prolonged air and water. It becomes corroded easily via an oxidation process which results in loss of many irons.
However, note that iron can also corrode naturally when it’s alloy is converted chemically.
Does iron corrode faster than steel?
Iron corrodes faster than steel because of the oxide process it undergoes. Also, out of all metals, it remains the most susceptible to rust.
Iron when exposed to water and other acids undergo oxidation, so does iron corrode easily?
Yes, iron corrodes easily due to prolonged exposure to air, water and other acids.
However this corrosion can be prevented if the iron is coated with oil-paints and other abrasives to reduce rust. Also, when rust finally sets in, there are ways to remove rust from iron easily.