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Q & A: Rust Prevention

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Most recent answer: 09/15/2008
do you have info about rust prevention?
- sarrah allison davis (age 11)
desert vally, glendal,az,
What we call rust is iron oxide. It happens when iron reacts with the oxygen in the air, or even better, with the oxygen in water that sits on it. Rust happens naturally without any real help from us. Iron is a very common material for making strong objects, and steel is made mostly of iron. Most kinds of steel will rust.

There are a couple ways of preventing rust. You can try to keep metal dry so that the water doesn’t accelerate the rusting process. You can purchase things that are made from metals that are designed not to rust (eg. stainless steel). And you can also purchase a rust protectant from most hardware stores. These work by adding an extra coat of a material over the iron so that the oxygen cannot get in. That way, there is no oxygen to form the iron oxide.


(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-Up #1: iron and magnets

why isn't iron attracted to a magnet?
- justin (age 12)
Iron is attracted to magnets. You can find an iron nail and a magnet and test it yourself.

Mike W.

(published on 09/15/2008)

Follow-up on this answer.