Corrosion in Iron Metals


Salt-Air Pt 2

Corrosion, on the other hand, is the natural process of converting refined metals into chemically stable oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, or sulfides. Corrosion is the gradual degradation of materials due to chemical and/ or electrochemical interactions with their environment.

When a metal object corrodes, it undergoes a transformation called rusting. If the metal object is iron, the transformation is called rusting. The weaker, flaky, brown compound formed is called rust. Salt solution acts as an electrolyte. Salt is a material that contains free ions that allow it to conduct electricity. Salt solution causes iron to lose electrons faster. The process is accelerated when salt is added to the water. Salt is a very powerful electrolyte because it contains a lot of dissociated ions. The corrosion in salt water is greatly accelerated by the presence of salt. Salt, or salt solution, accelerates the rusting process because it is an electrolyte. The process of rusting involves the loss of electrons by metal atoms and the production of ions. Salt or a salt solution that contains ions accelerates the process of rusting by allowing electrons to readily flow from the metal to oxygen. As a rule of thumb, the faster electrons move from the metal to the oxygen, the faster the process of rust.

In the broadest sense, corrosion refers to the oxidation of metals by an oxidant (e.g. oxygen or sulfates). For example, the formation of iron oxides is called rusting. This type of damage results in the formation of oxides or salts in the original metal, giving it its distinctive orange hue. Corrosion can also occur in other materials (e.g., ceramics, polymers), but the term “degradation” is more commonly used. Corrosion affects the properties of materials and buildings (e.g.: strength, appearance, fluid and gas permeability).

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