Can something made of zinc or zinc based be rusted?

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  • 7 months ago

    Rust is FeO(OH) and contains iron....

    What we call "rust" occurs when iron metal oxidizes in the presence of water.

    4Fe(s) + 3O2(g) + 2H2O(l) --> 4FeO(OH)(s)

    In nature, FeO(OH) is the mineral goethite.

    Iron can burn in oxygen to make Fe2O3.

    4Fe(s) + 3O2(g) --> 2Fe2O3(s) ........... but that is not the formation of "rust."

    Zinc can also oxidize and easily forms a passivating layer of ZnO on the surface of zinc metal. But ZnO is not called "rust."

    Zinc is used as a sacrificial anode to keep iron from rusting. The two metals are electrically connect (even in direct contact). The more active metal (zinc) gives up its electrons to iron, keeping iron in the reduced state, that is metallic iron.

    Cathodic protection:

    Zn(s) + FeO(OH)(s) + H2O --> Zn2+ + OH- + Fe(s) ......... unbalanced

    3(Zn(s) --> Zn2+ + 2e-)

    2(FeO(OH)(s) + H2O + 3e- --> Fe(s) + 3OH-)

    ------------------------ ------------------- ----------------------------

    3Zn(s) + 2FeO(OH) + 2H2O --> 3Zn(OH)2(s) + 2Fe(s)

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  • 7 months ago

    The word "rust" applies only to iron.

    Zinc can corrode or oxidize, but it does not rust.

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  • Tom S
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Zinc can oxidize, but it would not technically be "rust".

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  • 7 months ago

    Zinc is a coating that will eventually break down in most cases.

    • Tom S
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      Zinc is a metallic element, not always a coating, in fact current US "pennies" are zinc coated with copper.

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  • 7 months ago

    no, rust applies only to iron (and it's alloys), as rust is iron oxide.

    Or course the iron in an iron zinc alloy (if there is such a thing) can rust, as can iron or steel that is plated with zinc, although the zinc does inhibit the rust process.

    However, there is a tendency to apply (incorrectly) the term "rust" to any metal corrosion.

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