Corrosion and its prevention


Corrosion is the destruction of materials by chemical reactions with substances in the environment. Rusting is an example of corrosion. Both air and water are necessary for iron to rust.

Corrosion can be prevented by applying a coating that acts as a barrier, such as greasing, painting or electroplating. Aluminium has an oxide coating that protects the metal from further corrosion.

Some coatings are reactive and contain a more reactive metal to provide sacrificial protection, eg zinc is used to galvanise iron.

Students should be able to:

describe experiments and interpret results to show that both air and water are necessary for rusting

explain sacrificial protection in terms of relative reactivity.

WS 2.2 Plan experiments or devise procedures to make observations, produce or characterise a substance, test hypotheses, check data or explore phenomena.

WS 7

WS 3.5Interpreting observations and other data (presented in verbal, diagrammatic, graphical, symbolic or numerical form), including identifying patterns and trends, making inferences and drawing conclusions.