Understanding Corrosion- How to Become a Pro At The Basics

by Chester C.

When a metal naturally converts to a stable form, it causes the material to deteriorate. The metal can be converted to sulfide, oxide, or hydroxide. This process, until it gets to this state, is called corrosion.

Even though this is very common in metals, some materials like aluminum used in machining aluminum have high corrosion resistance.

The Cause of Corrosion

The process of corrosion has been studied and explained in many ways. But a simple explanation of what happens to the metal best tells the story.

For a metal to corrode, there needs to be another substance. Oxygen, hydrogen, dirt, or electric current can cause your metal to corrode. Keep in mind that hydrogen and oxygen are present in water.

Corrosion can also occur when some metals are put under a lot of stress. The stress slowly causes the metal to crack. Steel is a typical example.

Corrosion is very common in regular iron materials. when the iron material is exposed to oxygen when there is water present, rust is formed.

Rust is a red iron oxide that is formed when iron material comes in contact with oxygen in the presence of water.

Rust also occurs in steel which is an alloy of iron. Rust is also formed when iron reacts with chloride in an environment where there is little or no oxygen.

Green rust is another type of corrosion that formed from metallic iron.

But some metals are corrosion resistant. What does it mean when you say the material is corrosion-resistant?

Corrosion Resistance – What Does It Mean?

The term ‘corrosion resistance’ refers to materials that can fight corrosion. The elements that cause corrosion do not affect these materials.

These materials have different corrosion rates. So, some materials can deal with corrosion better than others.

To prevent corrosion in some metals, some treatment measures are put in place. Treatment measures such as painting and hot-dip galvanizing.

Corrosion resistance is the material’s ability to withstand the chemical breakdown that will occur if it is not able to hold its binding energy.

Some Materials That Do Not Rust

That orange-brown on your exposed metal surface is rust. But some materials will seldom have such problems.

Copper, Bronze, and Brass

Metals like these have very little or no iron in them. That is an advantage to them because their lack of iron makes it possible that they do not rust.

Aluminum Metal

Aircraft, cars, and bike parts are designed and made from aluminum. This is mostly possible because aluminum is lightweight.

The best part about aluminum is that aluminum alloys do not have iron and so they cannot rust. However, if this aluminum alloy is exposed to water, the aluminum oxide will be formed on the surface.

Stainless Steel

Two types of stainless steel have mixed elements. That means that they have a bit of iron in them. Yet, many stainless steel alloys have a high level of chromium.

Chromium is a lot more reactive than iron. And so when it is time, chromium oxidizes and forms a protective layer around the surface of the metal.


While some metals do not have iron, some may be easily oxidized in other more reactive ways. If you are using any metal, do a way to make use of rust-proof.

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