What is Rust: Definition and 45 Discussions

Rust is an iron oxide, a usually reddish-brown oxide formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the catalytic presence of water or air moisture. Rust consists of hydrous iron(III) oxides (Fe2O3·nH2O) and iron(III) oxide-hydroxide (FeO(OH), Fe(OH)3), and is typically associated with the corrosion of refined iron.
Given sufficient time, any iron mass, in the presence of water and oxygen, could eventually convert entirely to rust. Surface rust is commonly flaky and friable, and provides no passivational protection to the underlying iron, unlike the formation of patina on copper surfaces. Rusting is the common term for corrosion of elemental iron and its alloys such as steel. Many other metals undergo similar corrosion, but the resulting oxides are not commonly called "rust".Several forms of rust are distinguishable both visually and by spectroscopy, and form under different circumstances. Other forms of rust include the result of reactions between iron and chloride in an environment deprived of oxygen. Rebar used in underwater concrete pillars, which generates green rust, is an example. Although rusting is generally a negative aspect of iron, a particular form of rusting, known as stable rust, causes the object to have a thin coating of rust over the top, and if kept in low relative humidity, makes the "stable" layer protective to the iron below, but not to the extent of other oxides such as aluminium oxide on aluminium.

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  1. S

    How much can a stainless steel tank rust inside?

    There is a lot of rusts in my water supply. I am suspecting the inside of my stainless steel pressure water tank is rusting. But can the stainless steel pressure tank rust inside? When i put magnet it doesn't stick to it. I plan to replace it with very expensive Aquaflow pressure tank because...
  2. Gary Weller

    Will rust travel opposite of gravity?

    I work in the swimming pool industry. We often lock lumber into concrete by hammering hot galvanized nails half way into the lumber for the concrete to grab a hold of. In an "argument" with my boss, I told him if we set the nails at least an inch below the top of the concrete, the rust will...
  3. bbbl67

    I Why isn't Mercury as red as Mars, even though it has more iron?

    Mars' red surface is said to be FeO rust. Rust requires Oxygen to exist. Are there any theories about where that original oxygen came from? I'm obviously trying to fish for possibilities of life in the past.
  4. jtbell

    News Is this the second largest excavation after the Panama Canal?

    I’m on the road in the “rust belt” again, although mostly not to the same places as last year. My first major destination is Columbus, Ohio, which hosts the American Philatelic Society’s big annual stamp show. I’m taking the same route north through Kentucky as in the previous trip, just with...
  5. H

    Is Salt Water Really Effective in Neutralizing Rust on Fabric?

    I am a textile artist. I transfer rust from rusty objects onto cotton fabric by spritzing the fabric with vinegar and water, then laying or wrapping the rusty object on the fabric, cover loosely and wait for the process to happen. There is a lot of 'advice' on the net about how to 'neutralize'...
  6. jtbell

    News Rust Belt Road Trip: Revisiting the Midwest by Rail Fan

    [This is an old thread. I revived it a year later to add a related factoid.] Some of you with long memories might remember my western road trip several years ago, from which I posted pictures en route. I don't know how to paste links on my phone, but you can easily find the thread with a forum...
  7. G

    I I need some *Rust* is iron oxide rust?

    Old time home garden cure for, mold, mildew, fungi, blight, on tomatoes, squash, and other plants is rusty water. I put some kitchen food cans in a fire to remove glue and varnish, they have been in a bucket of water for a week still no rusty water yet. I need some rust what is a quick way to...
  8. Liam A

    I How to create a natural vacuum

    i work at a cavern attraction and one of the parts in the speech we say is that a section of the cavern was once filled with a naturally occurring vacuum until it was punctured and destroyed. we explain in the speech that the vacuum was created when a river packed in that area with mud and clay...
  9. E

    Does anyone know how to make rust from steel plates

    I want to make some iron oxide from plate steel i have a couple hundred pounds that I can process but want to make about 50 pounds id prefer to just do it by electrolysis. Do to safety issues I would prefer to process it in 2 pound batches in a polyurethane tub. I would also like to save the...
  10. F

    Can I remove rust by applying current?

    hello let's say we have a rusted piece of metal if I apply the correct current can I force the oxygen in the metal oxide to be removed and leave only the metal intact? thanks
  11. kokolyia

    How does molasses remove rust?

    How does molasses remove rust?
  12. kokolyia

    Molasses to Remove Rust from 1920 Ford Model T Pistons

    Hello all, I am currently doing research on the process of rust inhibition and removal using molasses but finding info is tedious (the process is slow as...) :) Anyways, does anyone happen to know the exact science and chemical processes. Any info is appreciated. I will also be posting the...
  13. gracy

    Corrosion and Rust: What is Corrosion & Why Do New Layers Form?

    what corrosion really is?my teacher says it is disintegration and decaying of metals via chemical and more precisely redox reaction.so according to my teacher corrosion is the wearing away of a metal through a chemical reaction.my question is as corrosion is process of decaying,wearing away...
  14. G

    What do the blue and pink color of the rust indicator shown mean?

    Hello, everyone. What do the blue and pink color the rust indicator shown mean? Let say, the mixture of potassium hexacyanoferrate(III) and phenolphthalein is the rust indicator. And we use to detect the rusting of an iron nail. And the result is: the tip, head region of the nail appear blue...
  15. K

    Why galvanised item always protected from rust?

    In my science textbook it is written that even after the zinc layer in galvanised articles is broken, the items remain invincible to rust. Why is it like that? How come it could not rust after losing the protective layer?
  16. S

    Why welded joints rust faster?

    Hey , Earlier today, I discovered that on a metal frame in my house, rust was accumulating on the weld whereas other parts seemed ok. Some ppl told me that it was because the welded region was hotter and hence, it rusts faster. But I don't get it... The welded joint has been cool and at the...
  17. K

    Will AZ91E Magnesium Alloy Corrode in Air?

    Hi I am doing a research on what material will suitable for using in solarcar suspension part and magnesium alloy seems to be a pretty good choice because of it's weight /strength ratio. But seems it have problem in corrosion resistance. Since it's a structural part we are not planning on...
  18. mrspeedybob

    Why does painting over existing rust not prevent further rust formation?

    A properly prepared and painted piece of steel can go for decades without the slightest bit of rust. If however you start with a piece that has started to rust and paint over the rust, it does not last more then a year or two at best before the rust is causing damage again. Why is this? The...
  19. C

    Phosphoric acid vs. Hydrochloric acid when removing rust and rerusting

    Homework Statement Why does a 12mol/L solution of HCl used to clean rust off iron get a brown coating after being exposed to air and washed with water, while the same concentration solution of phosphoric acid takes a day to have an apparent brown coating. Homework Equations Explain the...
  20. L

    Rust from my microwave ruined a nice bowl of soup and also my day

    Hello all, Upon enjoying a nice hearty bowl of tomato soup, warmed conveniently in my microwave, I noticed a few mysterious specks of something dark floating around. On inspection it turned out that this was rust that had fallen from the roof of my microwave. Being a rather anxious person...
  21. coolul007

    Water vortex to eliminate rust in well water

    I am trying to find a way to eliminate rust in well water. I was wondering if a water vortex could separate the rust from the water. I have a 1" diameter flow at 35 to 50 PSI. Can I place the inlet at the bottom of a larger pipe(I do not what size would be optimum) to create a vortex and have...
  22. U

    Best Way To Produce Large Amounts of Iron(III) Oxide (Rust)

    I want to produce a large amount of rust for a thermite reaction, at least a 12 oz can full, in a relatively short period of time. By short period of time I mean maybe a week. Here is a post from another forum: "What you're all missing is this: rust is oxidation -- it's a galvanic process...
  23. R

    Rust Prevention by Electric Potential Difference.

    I hope I'm posting this in the right spot, but I've been wondering this for a while now and figured this would be the best place to ask... I know that rust is an process involving electricity and rust forms on the negatively charged anode right? If that's the case, since a car is on rubber...
  24. S

    Rust and Reflection: The Optical Properties of Oxidized Steel

    A couple of days ago I burnished a very rusty old piece of steel with a fine steel wool. It's now very smooth, and there is no loose rust scale. It has a finish somewhat like a century-old doorknob in some old building at a university. Some place where hands have rubbed it many thousands of...
  25. P

    Rust in test-tubes of HCl FeO or Fe3O4?

    rust in test-tubes of HCl FeO or Fe3O4?? I am doing experiments on steel nails in HCl solutions with a pH of about 1.5 - 2. The rust is black in colour, and is not attached to the surface of the nails. It stays at the bottom of the test-tube. Is this FeO or Fe3O4. Why is it that the rust I am...
  26. P

    Why is there more rust in a solution with less salt?

    more rust in less salt?? As part of my chemistry experiments on corrosion, I am noticing that the steel nails are rusting more in solutions of 3.5g/L salt, than 35g/L salt. What could be some reasons to explain this?? I would have thought that the 35g/L solutions would have lead to more...
  27. P

    Vanadium in Rust: Gas Station Storage Tank Surface Rust

    would one expect to find vanadium in the 'surface rust' collected from an underground gasoline storage tank (from gas station). (tank used prior to 1990's when new regulations required corrosion resistance on tanks) Further, if there was vanadium then what percent of the rust 'could it'...
  28. Q

    Does Gasoline Cause Metal to Rust Compared to Water?

    If yes how about in comparison to water? I ask cause I was wondering how they stop the metallic fuel injection tubes from rusting out. Is there a coating or does it just not rust in presence of gasoline? Im assuming that gasoline doesn't rust since its a hydrocarbon and water contains O, and...
  29. R

    What Are the Risks of Rust on Surgical Forceps and How Can They Be Prevented?

    Hi, Does anyone work in the medical device industry seen rust forming on Stainless Steel Forceps? The rust I am seeing is at the V-joint of the forceps and I guess the soldering/welding metal is oxidizing- Anyone has experience what kind of soldering/welding materials are used for surgical...
  30. wolram

    Rust and Pathogens: Quality Control Risk in Food Industry

    Working in the food industry and quality control people can not tell me why rusty metal is all ways put down as a pathogen risk, what is this risk please. Edit.
  31. G

    Retrieving rust from oxidized steel wool

    Ok so I have done the steel wool in vinegar, bleach, and water, but all I have is a soupy brown water and some steel wool which is 1/4 surface rust. And everything is soaked in chemicals. How do I remove the rust aside form waiting a month for the water to evaporate?
  32. S

    Can u rust a magnet using vinegar and salt water in a reasonable time?

    I have designed a science experiment for my project in which i see whether a magnet gets weaker when it rusts. So, i take a magnet that is not rusted and see how many paper clips it can pick it up. Then, i rust it and see how many paperclips it can pick up after that. I need to finish this...
  33. G

    Rust for art-how to & suggestions?

    Rust for art--how to & suggestions? Hi, I noticed the topic on making rust from steel wool with vinegar and bleach. Can anyone suggest how to form iron rust quickly, but without the chlorine production? I am using large steel sheets and trying to produce art-worthy patterns without waiting...
  34. G

    How to Separate Rust Iron (Fe2O3) into Ferum/Iron and Oxygen?

    Greetings, i am assigned to do a project which requires us to do experiment on ways to separate the rusted iron into 2 elements which are Iron and Oxygen. Anyone have any idea about that?:bugeye:
  35. D

    Rust vs Magnetic Tape: Comparing Properties

    Rust is paramagnetic (attracted to but not maintaining magnetism). How is this different from the iron oxide used in magnetic recording media?
  36. R

    How do I get galvanized steel to rust?

    I have some galvanized metal roof panels that I want to get rusty very quickly for cosmetic reasons. How do I go about it getting them to get rusty? They are brand new right now.
  37. S

    Causes of Rust on a Laptop Processor: Moisture or Heat?

    I have a laptop which has never been exposed to water or liquids. But somehow I have rust where my processor's fan blows out the extremley hot air prior to over heating. Does any know why there would be rust. Does it have to be from a moisture. Can it be from over heating of materials...
  38. J

    Iron-oxide (rust) making question

    Well I am trying this electrosys method and this is how I have it set up: The battery is connected to the salt water via two wires, the negitive wire leading and attached to the steel wool, and the postive wire is just in the water, not touching the other things. After awhile it separates...
  39. R

    Rust Filtration Q: Best Way to Remove Rust?

    hey, I am new to these forums, i have read a bunch of **** regarding the vinegar/bleach rust-making solution(yes i know about the chlorine) anyways i have a batch going at the moment and i was wondering what would be the best way to get the rust out of the solution?
  40. wasteofo2

    Why does rust not dissociate in water?

    From my rhudimentary Chemistry education, I've been led to believe that any bond between a metal and a non-metal is an ionic bond, and that ionic bonds will dissociate in water. Rust is certainly a combination of a metal and a non-metal, and unless I'm horribly mistaken, it is also ionic. And...
  41. T

    How can I speed up the electrolytic rust removal process?

    is there any way to speed up the rust removal process.right now ther is a basic base in the water aka sodium bicarbonate. i need some way of speeding up the current flowing through by lowering the resistance.
  42. C

    I with determaning the age of something by rust

    I need some one that can look at the rusting of a knife and determine about how old the knife is, because I have a knife that is from Pune city India, and determine how old it is might help extend the range of how old the city is. The knife is more of a dagger and they haven’t used the term...
  43. D

    Benefits of Oxidizing Gold: Rust Prevention & More

    What are the benefits of oxidizing gold? I suppose that prevents it from rusting, but are there any other benefits?
  44. M

    Making Rust Quickly: 4 Methods I've Tried

    Hello, I want to make some rust (iron oxide, Fe2O3), and I know there are many ways of going about this, but I would like to be able to get a significant quantity and be able to use it within a short period of time. Here are the 4 methods I have tried: -electrolysis, putting a piece of iron...
  45. M

    Fuel Cell Rust: Myth or Reality? A Guide to Maintaining Your Fuel Cell

    [SOLVED] Can my fuel cell rust I just bought the THames and Kosmos Fuel Cell car and experiment kit. I used it to day and their is still a small amount of water left in the fuel cell. will this make it rust. here's a link to the car http://www.thamesandkosmos.com/store/fuelcell1.html...