Does Aluminum Rust?

Is aluminun the best metal to use? Does aluminum rust? It makes sense that aluminum is one of the most commonly used metals throughout a lot of products in our society because it accounts for about 8 percent of the Earth’s crust. During your everyday life, you can see aluminum in your day-to-day life in automobiles, airplanes, the roof of your home, kitchen appliances, and so, so much more. Because it is a preferred metal in a lot of industries, you can see aluminum everywhere.

The reason aluminum is the preferred metal for the industry is its wonderful combination of strength, resistance to rust, ductility, and weight. However, this does not mean that aluminum is absolutely perfect. There are some things you need to be cautious of when investing in aluminum products. 

Does Aluminum Rust? Does It Corrode? 

One of the best things about aluminum is that it is rust-resistant. What this means is that aluminum does not degrade due to oxidation that is caused by iron and oxygen. So, how come aluminum doesn’t rust? Well, rusting only occurs within the iron and that means only metals with iron in them will rust. This means metals such as steel (which contains iron) are susceptible to rusting over time. Because aluminum does not contain iron, it is naturally protected from developing the copper flakes that are known as rust. 

While it does not rust, this does not mean that aluminum is completely free from the risk of corrosion. There are some people who believe wrongly that rusting and corroding are the same thing, and that being rust-resistant means something is corrosion-resistant, but this is not necessarily the case. 

Corrosion is the chemical reaction that results in a degeneration of a metal thanks to environmental elements. Whereas rust is the specific chemical reaction that happens when the iron is exposed to oxygen and thus oxidizes. So, while aluminum cannot rust, it certainly can corrode over time. 

Protecting Your Aluminum From Corrosion

Like rusting on other metals, corrosion can eat away at aluminum, weakening it over time. This process does not happen in a snap. It can take weeks, months, and even years for aluminum to fully corrode. However, corrosion can cause holes over time, and ruin your aluminum products. This means that it is vital that you take the time and steps needed to protect your aluminum from corrosion issues. 

The best way to protect your aluminum is not always the easiest way: This is to store your aluminum in a climate-controlled environment. Because corrosion is caused by environmental factors that kick off a chemical reaction, controlling these factors is key in limiting the reactions. Keeping your aluminum away from being exposed to rain, humidity, and other environmental factors is key to extending its life. 

Another great way to help protect your aluminum from corrosion over time is to give it a clear coat of protection. Clear coating your aluminum is the process of applying a protective layer across the surface of your aluminum which is meant to help protect it from the environmental factors that react with the metal and cause corrosion. There are some aluminum products that come with a clear coating already. 

The Last Word

Yes, it is true that aluminum does not rust. However, that does not mean that your aluminum products are free of risk from any environmental impacts. Chemically triggered corrosion can still result in the long-term degeneration of your aluminum if you do not take the time and effort to protect it.

In order to best protect your aluminum from corrosion, you need to make sure it is treated with a clear coating, and then kept protected from environmental factors, or kept in a climate-controlled environment. Contact us today for aluminum pool screens, carports, and new aluminum gutters.

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