why do metals rust

What is Metal Oxidizing?

Metal oxidation is a process that happens naturally when metal interacts with oxygen in conjunction with moisture and other agents. The metal’s function, durability, and presence can be heavily affected by oxidation. While oxidation and corrosion are similar, oxidation is focused on the exterior of the metal rather than the interior. In this blog post, we will discuss the leading causes of oxidation, the effects that oxidation can have on metal, and ways to prevent this process from happening. 

Main Causes of Metal Oxidation

Two main agents can cause metal oxidation. The first one is oxygen exposure. When a metal interacts with oxygen in the environment, some of the metallic elements in its composition turn into oxides. This means that the metal has formed a thick film over its surface, showing a rusty color. The other main cause of metal oxidation is exposure to moisture. Metal oxide, otherwise known as rust, is formed when it’s exposed to water or humidity. 

What Are The Effects of Metal Oxidation?

There are three prominent effects that metal and steel can have when it’s oxidized. The first one is the metal’s function. The function that the metal provides can be altered. Some examples of this are poor conductivity or having holes that lead to leaks. Another effect is the metal’s durability. As the thick layer of oxide forms, it can weaken the metal and cause problems in infrastructure, for example. Lastly, the presence of the metal is greatly affected. Rust is a bright orange color that can look damaged or dirty. This discoloration can alter the aesthetics of the metal.  

Tips To Prevent Metal Oxidation

There are a few ways to prevent metal oxidation. One method is galvanization. This process is so important because it provides a layer of zinc to protect the metal. Another way to prevent oxidation is to put your metal in proper storage. Keeping metal materials in a cool, dry environment is so curtail to maintaining their health and longevity. Maintenance of the metal is crucial, and you can do this by regularly cleaning your materials. Lastly, protective coatings can provide that extra layer of protection for your metal. We recommend using rubber paint to protect the metal’s chemical structure.

Metal Galvanizing with Markham Metals 

Markham Metals is here to assist you with all your metal galvanizing. Metal oxidation is a natural process; we want you to ensure your metals are maintained and well taken care of. Galvanized steel is a low-cost way to keep your materials looking brand new. To protect your metal, call Markham Metals. Contact us today here today or visit our website to learn more about our galvanized metal and what makes it so unique!

A close up of several brass rods of varying sizes and thickness. The background is completely white.

Which Metal Alloy Is The Most Useful?

You may not be thinking of it, but metal alloys play a lot greater of a role in our daily lives than you might think! A metal alloy refers to a metal that has been combined with one or more elements on the periodic table. They don’t just have to be combined with metals, either! The final product is truly unlike any other. Their flexibility and unique properties make them useful in a variety of areas. But, out of all the metal alloys, which one is the most useful? That question is not an easy one to answer; we break it down for you below!

The Strongest Alloy

A characteristic that’s widely sought after by those that use metal alloys is strength. It’s easy to see why that is; a lot of metal alloys get used in different construction projects, from high rise buildings to household appliances. For the purpose of pure strength, the strongest metal alloy out there is steel. Steel is a combination of iron and carbon, and it’s superior strength makes it useful for things like building construction and vehicle parts. However, base strength isn’t the only desirable quality in a metal alloy!

Best Thermal Conductor

Another desirable property that’s desired by those that seek metal alloys is the ability to conduct heat. This is actually something that steel is the worst at! An alloy that’s exceptionally good at conducting heat is brass. Brass is made from copper, which is already a stellar heat conductor, and zinc. It’s used in a lot of home plumbing pipes and electrical sockets for this purpose. One of the reasons that metal alloys are created is to upgrade the best qualities of the metals used, and brass is an excellent example of this.

Best Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is widely sought after by metal alloy users. After all, you don’t want your metals to break down if you have an important use for them! One of the best metal alloys when it comes to corrosion resistance is stainless steel. Unlike regular steel, stainless steel is made with a little bit of chromium, which is exceptional for this quality. It’s used in a lot of cookware that can’t afford to corrode. So, there is no concrete answer as to which metal alloy is the most useful, but there are some that are most useful for their qualities!

Metalworking at Markham Metals

If you need metal alloys for your next project, Markham Metals is the place to go! We carry a variety of in-house products of different types of steel, cut and shaped for use on your next application. We can also perform a variety of metalworking services to get it to the desired shape and size! To get started on your next project, contact us today.