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What causes rust?

Posted by on 09 Jan 2014 under Rust Removal

While all metals, except precious metals such as gold, will oxidize when exposed to oxygen and an electrolyte such as water in the air, rust most commonly refers to iron and steel oxidization. This oxidization is also known as corrosion and is a chemical reaction that causes some of the exposed metal to oxidize and form a metal oxide on the outer layer of the metal.

The most commonly seen corrosion is iron and copper oxide. Iron oxide is the red flakey pieces that forms on exposed iron or incorrectly protected steel products. This rust expands and then flakes off, revealing more exposed metal underneath continuing the rusting process. Copper oxide does not cause flaking, but results in the green tinge that surrounds most copper items that are exposed to air.

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