What Is Coated On Iron To Prevent It From Rusting?

Iron is a very useful metal, but iron left in contact with water and oxygen will rust. Rust is iron oxide, a flaky, red powder that flakes off the surface in places. Rusting takes time to happen, and it gradually weakens a piece of iron over time, making it fall apart, crumbling. So, what is coated on iron to prevent it from rusting?

Powder coating is a good alternative to painting iron to keep it from rusting. This coating becomes part of the iron and is more difficult to remove than paint. Powder coating prevents metal from rusting when applied properly and includes a warranty against rusting.

With the information on different metal plating below, you can find more information on preventing metal from rusting.


Nickel plating is one of the most trusted ways to prevent iron from rusting because of its outstanding resilience to moisture and rust. Nickel is also a transition metal which makes it almost inert and unreactive, therefore, it can stand its ground against most ordinary electronegative substances in ideal conditions without rusting.


Nickel is also known for its hardness which makes it the best coating for iron which will be used in heavy industrial works. Mostly, it is used in coating parts that undergo a lot of friction and will carry a heavy load. This is because it is hard to leave a scratch on it and also due to its high resistance to most of the chemicals used in industrial areas.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is an alloy that is growing popular by the day because of its ability to ward off rust and still shine beautifully. Stainless Steel is smooth and does not retain water or other liquids on its surface which is one of its huge steps to combating rust.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel however varies in composition, and this is important to decide what level of quality or possession of certain components is needed for a particular project. However, when it comes to coating heavy-duty metals, Stainless Steel is not the preferred option because of its nature. It is more useful in lightweight metals and household utensils.


This is another veritable option when you want your iron coated. It is used more when the iron is going to be used in projects that require longevity and strength. Moreover, because it is impervious to rust and very durable, some prefer it to nickel. However, both are just as good in protecting iron from rust, though nickel will take the upper hand when it comes to heavy-duty metals.

Chrome is made from chromium and is called chrome when it is used for plating. It is also one of the transition metals that does not rust because of its high resistance to moisture and oxygen. Moreover, Chrome can also be used where aesthetics is concerned just like Stainless Steel making it the ideal choice between strength and beauty.

Galvanised Steel (Zinc Coating)

This is one of the strongest methods of preventing iron from rusting due to its intricate and very effective science application. Galvanising involves a process where the steel or iron is dipped into molten zinc thus giving an additional layer of security against rust. One particular great benefit of this method of rust prevention is that even if rust does appear on the later of galvanised steel, it still will not reach the iron underneath.

Galvanised Steel (Zinc Coating)

It serves as a double line of defence because if the steel or iron below the coating is scratched the zinc will still be there to protect it. Moreover, it will react with the moisture and oxygen in the air to form a very compact green layer called the patina that is especially effective in warding off rust thus further protecting the iron from the elements that should have corroded it.

How Can I Prevent Iron From Rusting?

Aside from major coating options over iron and steel that we have mentioned, there are other methods that you can use to ensure that you keep your iron materials in peak condition though they might not be as effective.

They are:

How Can I Prevent Iron From Rusting

Painting the metal

Painting can also achieve somewhat of the same result as coating though it may not last like one. You will need to paint the iron intermittently to ensure that it does not rust.

Applying a dry coating

This is mostly to ward off moisture and other chemicals that will hasten the rusting process. It is done to add a layer of protection that any corrosion agent must conquer before getting at the iron underneath, however, it is not meant to be used for long-term preservation.

In Conclusion

Iron and steel are very important materials for many industrial purposes and therefore are needed to be safe, secure, and sound. To ensure that iron is used in its peak condition and remains so, it is coated with less reactive metals to protect it from one of its major weaknesses; rusting.

Nickel plating, Chrome plating, Stainless Steel, and galvanising are methods to curb and reduce the rate of rusting in iron. On a smaller scale, methods such as dry coating and painting can give the iron a limited amount of protection.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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