Give an example of element or substance that does not corrode.

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium and nickel, and therefore it is rust-resistant.


Corrosion is the process of decay on a material caused by a chemical reaction with its environment. Corrosion of metal occurs when an exposed surface comes in contact with a gas or liquid, and the process is accelerated by exposure to warm temperature, acids, and salts. Corrosion can also happen when metals like steel are placed under too much stress causing the material to crack.

  • The most common type of iron corrosion occurs when it is exposed to oxygen and the presence of water, which creates a red iron oxide commonly called rust.
  • The rusting of iron can also occur when iron reacts with chloride in an oxygen-deprived environment, while green rust, which is another type of corrosion, can be formed directly from metallic iron or iron hydroxide.

Prevention of corrosion

There are several cost-effective ways to prevent corrosion including:

  • Use non-corrosive metals, such as stainless steel or aluminium
  • Metal surfaces should be kept clean and dry always
  • Use drying agents
  • Use a coating or barrier product such as grease, oil, paint or carbon fibre coating
  • Lay a layer of backfill, for example, limestone, with underground piping
  • Use a sacrificial anode to provide a cathodic protection system

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