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science concept behind rusting

 
 
DeeCat
 
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2012 07:36 am
Im mature aged and just returned to uni, struggling with this been years since at school
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 1,166 • Replies: 4
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2012 08:03 am
@DeeCat,
It's a state ... a slow acting oxidation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust
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raprap
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2012 08:16 am
@DeeCat,
As Ragman said it is oxidation but it is in cases a special type of oxidation as rusting involves metals. Think of batteries and half cell reactions. There are three ways of preventing rust, of which two are electrical.

The first is coating--protect the metal. The second is anodic protection--impart a slight electrical charge greater than the half cell reaction (oxidation) of the metal you're protecting. The third is sacrificial protection, this is to introduce another metal with a half cell reaction greater that the metal you're trying to protect.

Essentially the second and third method are the same, but the second is considered active protection while the third is considered passive protection.

BTW the 50cent word for rusting is electrodisposition.

Rap
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2012 08:18 am
@raprap,
Rust Never Sleeps
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DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Aug, 2012 08:39 am
@DeeCat,
I'm afraid my chemistry is a little rusty.
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