Difference Between Rust and Corrosion

Rusting and corrosion are two chemical processes, which results in disintegration of materials especially metals. Besides, we all must have come across these phenomena at some point in our lives. In fact, it is a common sight in factories, shipyards, wrecked buildings, abandoned vehicles etc. However, against such backdrop, many of us tend to get confused about the terms rusting and corrosion. While these words are two terms expressing the same idea and they are sometimes used interchangeably, there are some major differences between the two. It is important to learn and know them.

Difference Between Rust and Corrosion

To understand the difference between rust and corrosion first we have to know what these processes are. In simple terms, corrosion is a type of oxidation whereas rusting is a part of corrosion. The main difference though between corrosion and rust is that corrosion occurs as a result of chemical influence and it affects a lot of materials whereas rusting is only accelerated by certain chemicals and usually affects iron substances.

Difference Between Rust and Corrosion



Corrosion is the process of deterioration of materials as a result of chemical, electrochemical or other reactions.

Rusting is a part of corrosion and is a chemical process which results in the formation of red or orange coating on the surface of metals.

Corrosion can occur on different surfaces such as skin, wood, metals, etc.

Rusting usually occurs on surfaces of iron and its alloys.

Corrosion can occur when the substance is exposed to air or some chemicals.

Rusting mainly occurs when a metal is exposed to air and moisture.

Corrosion results in the formation of the oxides of metal or salts.

Only iron oxide is formed when rusting takes place.

Corrosion can occur in materials like polymers and ceramics and this type is known as degradation.

Rust or rusting can affect only iron and its alloys.

These are some of the differences between rust and corrosion. To know more about important differences between other chemistry topics you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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Chemical equilibrium is dynamic in nature because