Difference WikiChemistry

Difference Between Corrosion and Rusting

Main Difference

The main difference between Corrosion and Rusting is that Corrosion can occur due to various chemicals, whereas Rusting does not occur because of chemicals though it can be started by some chemicals.

Corrosion vs. Rusting

The process of weakening of a substance because of electrochemical, chemicals, and many other reactions that occur on the surface of that substance is known as corrosion; on the other hand, the layer that produces on the surface of iron when open to air and moisture is known as rusting. Corrosion can form on many different substances, e.g., wood, metals, skin, etc.; on the contrary, rusting arises on the surfaces of iron and steel.

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The causes for corrosion can happen because of exposure to air or the spread of different chemicals on the surface; on the flip side, rusting can occur because of exposure to air and moisture. Corrosion can be chased by air, acid, etc.; conversely, rusting is formed by the reaction between water and iron.

The color of corrosion can be any, but mostly it’s either black or white, while the color of rust is normally deep brown or orange color. Corrosion is considered as the oxidation of the upper surface, whereas rusting is considered as the continuous of rusting of the metal occurs until the complete metal is destroyed. Corrosion usually results in the production of oxides of metals or salts; on the other hand, when rusting occurs, only iron oxides are formed.

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Corrosion mainly occurs in metals such as ceramics and polymers, and this type of corrosion is known as degradation; on the flip side, the rusting of iron can only affect iron and its different compounds. The example of corrosion is that corrosion can be seen as a wood surface destruction, skin burns, or rusting; on the contrary, the example of rusting is that rusting can be seen as an orange or red coating on the surface of metals and irons.

Comparison Chart

CorrosionRusting
The oxidation of the upper surface of metals is known as corrosion.The oxide doesn’t stick on, but it damages the upper surface of the metal; thus, opening the inner layer into the air is known as rusting.
Process
The process of weakening of a substance because of electrochemical, chemicals, and many other reactions that occur on the surface of that substanceIt is the process in which red or orange layer that produces on the surface of iron when open to air and moisture
Form on Surface
Can form on many different substances, e.g., wood, metals, skin, etcSpecifically occurs on iron and steel surfaces
Causes
Can happen because of exposure to air or spread of different chemicals on the surfaceCan occur because of exposure to air and moisture
Formed By
Can be chased by air, acid, etcFormed by the reaction between water and iron
Color
The color can be any, but mostly it’s either black or whiteNormally deep brown or orange color
Considered As
Considered as the oxidation of the upper surfaceConsidered as the continuous of rusting of the metal occurs until the complete metal is destroyed
Results
Usually results in the production of oxides of metals or saltsWhen rusting occurs, only iron oxides are formed
Occurrence
Mainly occurs in metals such as ceramics, and polymers and this type of corrosion is known as degradationCan only affect iron and its different compounds
Example
Corrosion can be seen as a wood surface destruction, skin burn or rustingRusting can be seen as an orange or red coating on the surface of metals and irons
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What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is defined as the method of the decline of a particular substance because of chemicals, electrochemical, and many other reactions that happen on the surface of that particular substance. The structure of the metal surface is affected by the corrosion of the material.

Rusting is considered as the most common example of corrosion in which the quality and color of the steel are changed. The process of corrosion can also occur on the nonmetallic exteriors like skin and tabletops.

The decline of a nonmetal surface is started when corrosive chemicals are dropped on their surfaces. The corrosive chemicals are strong acids, and strong bases such as strong acids are HCl and H2SO4, while bases are KOH and NaOH. The specific chemicals that can cause corrosion are known as corrosive chemicals and these corrosive chemicals can cause the visible breakdown of surfaces that are many times considered as permanent damages, which can be the surface of the eye, metals, skin, wood, etc.

Methods for Prevention of Corrosion

  • Painting the Surface: By applying the coats of paint, varnish, lacquer can protect the surface of the metals from corrosion.
  • Galvanization: It is the method in which the coating of zinc is applied to the steel and iron to prevent them from corrosion. Hot-dip galvanization is the most common method of galvanization.
  • Handle with Care: It is always important to remember to be careful around the rusted objects because they can cause infections when getting cut, and when getting hurt, then immediately tell your parents or consult with the physician.

What is Rusting?

When the surface of iron becomes red or orange when exposed to air and moisture, this is known as rusting. Rusting is considered as the utmost common form of corrosion. Rusting is produced by reacting chemically among the outside of the metal, the humidity, and oxygen in the atmosphere.

Iron and steel are the furthermost common substances that go through rusting. The process of rusting does not occur because of chemical falls; however, some chemicals can start the process of rusting by maximizing the electrical action between the iron and oxygen.

Methods for Prevention of Rusting

  • Environmental Modifications: the change in weather can play a role in rusting.
  • Galvanization: The layer of Zinc can stop metal from rusting or oxidizing by acting as an expiatory anode or conductor.
  • Electroplating: A thin layer of metals such as Nickel and Chromium is deposited on the surface.

Key Differences

  1. The oxidation occurs on the upper surface of the metal is known as corrosion; on the other hand, the continuous rusting on the surface of the metal until the complete metal is destroyed is known as rusting.
  2. The process of corrosion occurs on different surfaces such as wood, metals, skin, etc.; on the contrary, the process of rusting occurs mainly on the surfaces of steel and iron.
  3. Some examples of corrosion are wood surface destruction, skin burn, and rusting; on the flip side, the main examples of rusting are seen as the red or orange surface of a metal.
  4. Due to the exposure of air or because of the spread of chemicals, the process of corrosion can be started, whereas because of exposure to air and moisture, the process of rusting is started.
  5. The production of oxides of metals or salts is resulted in the process of corrosion, while only oxides are formed as a result of rusting.
  6. The corrosion mostly happens in metals such as ceramics, and polymers; conversely, rusting only effects iron and its different alloys.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the Corrosion is generally a type of oxidation while Rusting is normally a type of corrosion. The difference between them is that Corrosion can occur due to many chemicals, whereas Rusting cannot occur because of chemicals, but many chemicals can accelerate the rusting process.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss