• In the diagram , colour representations : [O - oxygen atoms , red dots - electron ] I will explain rusting of iron due to metallic bonding as I have understood from online. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

enter image description here

In the picture , metallic bonding is happening between Fe and Fe atoms. Electron present then circulates around the different Fe atoms.

After some time , oxygen atoms jump in and the electron of Fe is given to O which forms $Fe_2O_3.$ .Then , what happens is that Fe atoms have formed a new bond.

New molecule I.e $Fe_2O_3.$ formed drifts apart from other atoms. Therefore , there is a loss of Fe atoms. This loss is knows as Rusting.

My questions from this explanation are :

  1. Is my explanation correct ?

  2. Why does rusting take time to happen ? Why doesn’t it happen immediately ?

My answer : It depends on the time taken for Fe to form bond with O atoms.

Please do tell me how can I improve the quality of my question. This way , I can post better questions and grow along this site.

Thank you.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ No clear question, no clear problem $\endgroup$
    – Greg
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 14:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Rust is not Fe2 O3. It is various hydrated oxides and hydroxides with several formula and crystallographic patterns Fe2 O3 develops at elevated temperature ( dry ), and fretting corrosion at room temperature $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ You better remember to use proper punctuation and formatting in the future. Don't waste time on this one. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


Greg is quite correct: no clear question. But sometimes you don't know enough to define a question clearly. The implicit question is: "Is this mechanism helpful or even correct?" The second, clear, question, is why does rusting take time to happen.

I think the answer to the first, implicit, question is that it is a start, but far from helpful and it has some erroneous elements (not the Fe, of course, but the "O" should probably be written as O$_2$). Then, as blacksmith37 points out, rusting as it occurs in nature involves H$_2$O. Other things get involved too, like chloride ion, which accelerates rusting. And pH. It begins to get so complicated that even a knowledgeable chemist would find it difficult to pose a clear question that could be answered in a kiloword or less. The whole anti-corrosion industry continually seeks answers to questions like this.

Answering the second question is a bit easier: everything takes time. Why? Well many reactions of things we deal with in real life have a certain stability, otherwise we wouldn't have them to deal with. For instance, liquid helium has to be protected (insulated) to keep it around, otherwise it vaporizes so rapidly that it goes away in no time at all. Iron, on the other hand, resists air and water for quite a while because those iron atoms in their sea of electrons (the OP got that image fairly well) don't see any better (more energetic) use for those electrons. Now along comes a water molecule, and maybe the iron finds a way to bind to the oxygen and loosen the bond to (one of the hydrogens in the H$_2$O. Maybe. All reorganizations take some energy to move atoms around - break this bond, double that one, then release to another atom, etc. We would call that an activation energy: the greater it is, the less likely the reaction is to occur - or, it just takes more time. Thank goodness - otherwise it would be like making bridges out of sodium. You couldn't get one up before it disappeared from oxidation!

  • $\begingroup$ Hi sir. I have edited my Q. Is there anything I should change ? $\endgroup$
    – S.M.T
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 14:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SrijanM.T: Start with my answer, but realize that many steps, many different reactions, take place. Look at some models and formulas that are already on the internet, e.g., at byjus.com/chemistry/rusting-iron-prevention. Look up some articles on rusting (Wikipedia, and others). Start your investigation by using some description or model that already exists, and build up on that. The model in your question is very elementary; it doesn't allow for a detailed mechanistic explanation. You have begun by asking a simple question; now, keep digging! Keep searching! Mg, Cu, Al, Ti, Ag, Pt... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ Ok @JamesGaidis Thank you. I’ll surely do that. I have a small request that I am not able to ask any Q on this site now. If you see my Q & Ans now. I have improved and got good upvotes as well. If you can give this Q or any other Q an upvote so I can further ask Q. I’d be really grateful. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – S.M.T
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ Be more specific: what question(s) are you proud of? Give me a link. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/a/153055/104564 @JamesGaidis $\endgroup$
    – S.M.T
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 14:12

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