Rust

It's the brown stuff you see on metal!

What is rust?

... Rust is a reddish-brown coating of iron oxide that is formed on iron or steel in the presence of moisture.

Chemical Formula:

4Fe + 3O2 + 6H2O --> 2Fe2O3 - 6H2O

Iron metal + oxygen gas + water --> Iron (III) Oxide Hexahydride



  • This is an example of an oxidation reaction.

How does this happen?

    1. Iron is exposed to oxygen for a long period of time which combines with the metal and forms a new compound called an oxide.

    2. This oxide then mixes with water droplets in the air to make a hydrated version of the initial oxide.
    Rusting of Iron

    What's so bad about rust?

    The waste of produced from the rusting process is... You guessed it! ... Rust!



    1. Rust can cause structural damage and cause failures in buildings, towers, etc.

    2. It wastes natural resources since good iron is turned into unusable iron.

    3. Due to this, natural iron is depleted, and this in turn depletes economic resources as well.

    What can be done to prevent rusting to occur?

    • Galvanizing --> the iron is coated with a layer of zinc, preventing the oxygen and water from reaching it.
    • Alloys of iron and other metals can be created so that rusting cannot occur.