Karnataka SSLC Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board

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Effects of Oxidation Reactions in Everyday Life - Corrosion

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Corrosion is a process where the metal corrodes. Corrosion is a natural process and in the presence of a moist atmosphere, chemically active metals get corroded. Contrary to popular belief, rusting and corrosion are not the same.  

Rusting is the process where iron corrodes due to exposure to the atmosphere. Corrosion is a process where the water or the moisture on the surface of the metal oxidizes with the atmospheric oxygen, it is an oxidation reaction. The main circumstance of corrosion occurs with iron because it is a structural material in construction, bridges, buildings, rail transport, ships, etc.

with a reddish brown powder when left for some time. This process is commonly known as rusting of iron. Some other metals also get tarnished in this manner.

Covering the surface of the metal with enamel and lacquers helps to protect the metal against corrosion, parts of machines that move can be protected by coating layers of water repellent oil or grease. Another way of protecting iron and steel is by painting on them as it creates a barrier between the surface of the metal and moist air or water. Whereas, the other methods of protecting a metal are alloying, galvanizing, electroplating, etc.


An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. Alloying is a process where metals like iron or steel are mixed with a less reactive metal like chromium, magnesium, etc for protection against corrosion and to create non-rusting alloys. For e.g. Brass is an alloy which consists of copper is a cheap and non – reactive alloy. Another example of a non-rusting alloy is stainless steel, a mixture of iron and carbon.


Coating iron or steel with Zinc to prevent corrosion is known as galvanizing. Dipping iron or steel in a liquid form of zinc and using it as the negative cathode zinc is coated on it, the layer is produced by electrolytic deposition. Zinc oxides or corrodes to create a zinc oxide layer that does not flake off like iron oxide rust.


Electroplating is a process where a metal is coated by electrolytic deposition with chromium, silver, or another metal. This process is generally held at room temperature from aqueous electrolytes. It is one of the most popular and common methods to prevent corrosion.

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