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Difference Between Rusting and Corrosion for JEE Main 2024

Last updated date: 09th Apr 2024
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Rusting and corrosion both are oxidation reactions. Corrosion occurs over a wide range of objects while rusting is limited as it occurs only on iron. We can say rusting is a type of corrosion or the most common example of corrosion as rusting of iron objects is very commonly found.

Rusting v/s Corrosion

Rusting and Corrosion are often used indistinguishably. As corrosion and rust are both a result of oxidation reactions. Then also there are some differences between them which make them different from each other.

Furthermore to understand the difference between Rusting and Corrosion; let’s first look at the concept of Rusting and Corrosion. Also, the students who want to get knowledge about Rusting v/s Corrosion can join an online Vedantu class.

What is Rusting? 

Rusting is the oxidation of iron or iron objects. It takes place in the presence of air and moisture. It is a slow process. Due to rusting, rust is formed on iron objects. It is a red-orange coloured iron oxide that is formed by the oxidation of iron in presence of oxygen and moisture or water.

Reactions involved can be written as follows –

4Fe + 3O2 🡪 2Fe2O3

2Fe2O3 + xH2O 🡪 Fe2O3.xH2O


What is Corrosion? 

Corrosion is the oxidation of metals and non-metals which results in destruction and unintentional degradation of materials by its environment. It forms oxides, hydroxides, and sulphides of the elements present in the material. 

The most common example of corrosion is rusting. Here, the colour and the quality of the steel are changed.

Difference between Corrosion and Rusting 



Corrosion is the process of deterioration of metals and non-metals by oxidation. 

Rusting is the oxidation of iron (or steel) in presence of air and moisture. 

Corrosion can occur on both metals and nonmetals. It may occur on skin and wood as well. 

Rusting occurs on metals only such as iron and steel.

Corrosion includes rusting. 

Rusting is a type of corrosion. 

It requires exposure to air or chemicals on the surface. 

It requires air and moisture both. 

It may require corrosive chemicals such as HCl, H2SO4, and other strong acids and bases. 

It doesn’t require any chemicals. 

The compound (or a layer) formed by corrosion can of different colors such as blue, green, etc. 

Rusting forms rust which is red-orange. 

What is Rancidity?

Generally, students get confused between corrosion and rancidity. Rancidity is different from corrosion although it is also an oxidation reaction. Rancidity is the oxidation of fats and oils present in food materials due to which the smell and taste of the food material change.

We can prevent it by adding antioxidants and keeping food in airtight containers.

Prevention from Corrosion, Rusting, and Rancidity 

  • Prevention from Corrosion – Following methods can be used to prevent corrosion –

    • By putting barrier coatings such as paint, plastics, etc. on the surface of the materials. 

    • The hot-dip galvanization process can be used. 

    • We can form alloys to prevent them from corrosion. 

    • Cathodic protection can be used. 

  • Prevention from Rusting – Following methods can be used to prevent rusting –

    • Keep steel and iron objects clean and dry and away from moisture, air. 

    • By applying a protective coating.

    • By using alloys of iron instead of pure iron. 

    • By galvanization. 

    • By forming a layer of ferric oxide using potassium nitrate and sodium hydroxide. 

  • Prevention from Rancidity – Following methods can be used to prevent rancidity 

    • By using inert gases in packaging. 

    • By using oxygen scavengers. 

    • By refrigeration of food materials. 

    • By storing food materials in a hot-dip dark place. 

    • By using airtight containers. 

    • By using vacuum packaging.

    • By using anti-oxidants.

We hope it will help you to understand the difference between corrosion and rancidity. Still, if you have any doubt don’t hesitate to join the doubting class on Vedantu. You can also register yourself on Vedantu or download the Vedantu learning app for Class 6-10, IITJEE and NEET to get access to free PDFs of NCERT Solutions, Study materials, and much more.

FAQs on Difference Between Rusting and Corrosion for JEE Main 2024

1. How to prevent Rusting and Corrosion?

Following are methods pointed to prevent any material from Rusting and Corrosion:

Preventing Rusting:

  • By applying a protective coating.

  • By galvanization. 

Preventing Corrosion:

  • The hot-dip galvanization process can be used. 

  • Cathodic protection can be used. 

2. How is Corrosion different from Rusting?

The major differences between them are as follows:

  • Corrosion leads to the formation of the oxides of metal or salts.

  • During rusting, only iron oxide is formed.

  • Rust occurs only on metals.

  • Rust can be brownish

  • Corrosion can be observed as burns etc.

3. What is the process of Rusting and Corrosion?

Generally, corrosion occurs when most or all of the atoms on the same metal surface are oxidized. Whereas; Rust forms when iron and oxygen react in the presence of water or moisture in the air. The process of rusting is also known as a combustion reaction. 

4. Why is studying the topic Rusting and Corrosion important?

Rusting can be dangerous; it has caused bridges to collapse. Rusting parts in a car or ship or hot-hip airplane is never a good sign as they show the weakness of the parts.  If left unchecked it can ultimately cause a malfunction in the working of the parts which in turn can lead to accidents. Apart from this rusting causes economic losses also. Goods that get rusted, cannot be sold or used and they lose all their value.

It is also bad for human health. So it is always important to remember to be careful around rusted objects. Besides this Corrosion, all affect the working of industries as it damages materials, usually metals, by chemical reactions if it gets in contact with the atmosphere. That’s the reason it is important to study the concept of Rusting and Corrosion.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Rusting and Corrosion?

The rusting has more of a disadvantage than an advantage. Rusting forms an iron oxide which is more brittle than iron. It is less resistant to environmental degradation and porous by water and air, therefore cannot be used for coating. Whereas, surface corrosion forms an oxide layer.