Metals that rust in different conditions
The process of metal or metal alloys combining with oxygen atoms to give off an oxide is called rust. In some metals, it can be observed as tarnish. In gold, platinum, and silver, rusting can occur but at a slower pace, producing various colours of varnish, while other metals rust at different rates.
Gold and platinum oxides come rarely as they will take many years to form and that the amount will be very insignificant. But to all metals that rust, there are processes and metal compounds that will resist corrosion and slow down the process of oxidation.
Here are some of the most common metals that rust in different conditions.
Compared to other metals, iron gets corroded very quickly. Brown rust can develop in just a few hours if exposed to air or allowed to get wet. Iron oxide is the natural state of this element. And the removal of oxygen for the production of pure iron is part of the process called smelting.
If exposed to intense heat, iron will also rust fast. What the heat does is that it alters the chemical makeup of the metal making it susceptible to recombining with oxygen that is readily present in the air. Let’s say, an empty iron skillet. If it is allowed to overheat on a stove, it will produce a brown tinge of rust over the surface of the metal.
Generally, aluminium is mined out of the ground as bauxite which is an oxidised compound. For aluminium oxide to smelt or release oxygen content, it requires a tremendous amount of energy. For this reason, this metal was considered a precious metal until the 20th century.
Once the oxide is smelted and converted to produce pure aluminium, the metal will slowly get corroded when exposed to heat and air. To aluminium automobile parts, aluminium oxides can be seen as white dust. Wiping it away will only cause the metal to be exposed again.
When it gets corroded, copper changes colour from metallic natural brown shade to a bright green tone. With regard to rusted copper, it may be tarnished, but the process is just the same as the metal recombines with available oxygen in the air.
Most practical applications allow copper to rust to get a thick green coat called patina. This green copper rust can work as a sealing material that helps protect the untarnished metal underneath. It can also serve as a cosmetic, roofing, or structural building material that is expected to age and turn green as time passes by. The unexposed metal will remain strong with its integrity retained as long as the patina protects it.
However, as the patina fades due to weathering, the copper will eventually get corroded and must be replaced.
One of the many rust prevention ways is through the use of coating or sealing products such as Unituff. It can form a tough coating that can be easily peeled when protection is no longer required. Contact us today to get to know more about the product.
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