Why does iron even rust?

Image result for iron rusting

If there’s one thing I’m sure has annoyed you, your family or your friends at some point, is when you find out one of your important iron-based materials are have rusted. It happens sometimes, actually it happens all the time since it’s a chemical reaction that’s a part of nature. Has you might know most iron objects are made from the chemical element iron. That iron takes part of a chemical reaction with the oxygen surrounding it and the water from moisture to create rust. Its chemical reactions look like this:

4Fe + 6H2 + O2—->4Fe (OH)3

And 4Fe (OH)3  represents the red brownish rust that start to cover the metal over time.  In fact it’s rare to find pure iron in nature since it so easily reacts with oxygen an creates rust, also know has .

Since rusting is controlled by a chemical reaction with moisture, oxygen and iron, you can control the reaction and slow it down by decreasing the moisture the iron is exposed to. If you wish to speed up the reaction, then increase the iron exposure to moisture and oxygen.

Fun fact this reaction can occur to most metals containing iron, but metals like stainless steel made from multiple metals and elements do not. With the specified example of stainless steel, the other metals, for example chromium, react with oxygen and instead of creating rust it creates a protective field of chromium oxide which acts as a barrier so that iron does not react with oxygen.

Sites used for my and your research if your interested:

https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-some-things-rust/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-doesnt-stainless-stee/

https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=485

https://science.howstuffworks.com/question445.htm

3 réflexions au sujet de “Why does iron even rust?”

  1. Hi Hibak,
    This made me think of blood oxidizing, since blood contains iron in the red blood cells also called hemoglobin, when our blood is exposed to oxygen it tends to deepen its colour from a bright red into a reddish-brown. So, by that definition with the presence of iron and oxygène, why don’t we consider oxidized blood as rusted?

  2. Hey Hibak,
    I liked really think your blog is short and effective. Still, I think something was missing, why do you think oxidation reduces the amount of iron that you have over time. For example, if you have an iron ring that weights 200 g and you leave it on a table for a year, why does the oxidation of the ring reduce its mass after the one year. I had one other question for you; since the chemical equation of the oxidation of iron gives you 4Fe (OH)3, is this compound considered as a base (since there is OH in it). Also, if you write chemical reactions, can you please include the states of each compound next time.

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