Rust and its prevention

Essay by richardemo1Junior High, 8th gradeA-, May 2008

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Nowadays, rust is a bad environmental issue. Every year, millions of dollars worth of damage is made, making it a problem for everyone. However, ways of preventing rust are found, so now, it isn't as common to see rust, though it is still happening every now and then.

Rust is scientifically called oxidation, a common term for corrosion, which occurs when oxygen reacts with certain metals during a long period of time (the term rusting is only used for metals such as iron and steel). After long-term contact with oxygen, the metal forms a new compound, called an oxide, which irritates the metal. Since the metal is iron, the rust is identified as iron oxide, because the common term is oxide. Copper irons create copper oxides, and so on for the other metals.

When rusting occurs, we have to take action as soon as possible, or it might be too serious later.

Some effects of rust make the surface of structures look ugly and bad to look at, and sometimes, rust could be dangerous too! For example, if rust isn't removed from cars and other vehicles, it could cause hidden dangers and hazards if the engine corrodes. This could end up in fatal accidents. Also, rust can cause things like electrical connections to break and it may cause electrical hazards and errors.

In Hong Kong, problems are doubly worst. As we are near to the sea, the salty air causes rusting to be much quicker. Salt itself has not much effect, but when salt and oxygen comes in contact, the process of rusting is enhanced. Salt has the natural ability of absorbing water, so the increased moisture causes rust to be a lot quicker. This is one of the reasons why iron or steel tends to corrode much more...