It’s very lightweight, but it doesn’t lack durability. However, aluminum corrosion is often more subtle. Aluminum is rust-resistant, meaning it doesn’t degrade due to oxidation caused by iron and oxygen. Dedicated 60’ Tube & Structural-Shape Lasering, AMF Stainless Fabrication and Welding Is Best In State…, Custom Stainless Steel Fabrication Fits Us Like Hand In Glove. Fortunately, you can use the following five suggestions to prevent your aluminum from corroding: As you can see, there are plenty of ways to prevent your aluminum belongings from corroding. Lime and calcium can form as well, both of which cause the color and integrity of aluminum to become dull. You can then scuff up the paint a little and do recoats as needed to keep it looking good. Used in construction, sports, and a wide variety of other applications, aluminum continues to be used regularly. Aluminum is one of the best materials for a variety of applications, but corrosion can make any metal significantly less useful. The resulting aluminum oxide is a thin, hard layer that actually protects the metal from further corrosion. Aluminum alloys contain almost no iron and without iron, the metal can’t actually rust, but it does oxidize. You also get water condensing on aluminum that leads to water staining, Any other particles floating about in the air can also condense on this aluminum. Aluminum oxide appears as a powdery white or dull gray coating. One has to remove all of these stains along with the aluminum oxide layer to truly clean aluminum prior to coating with paint, or other. I’m a general contractor working in historic restoration, a #1 Amazon best selling author, and I’m here to show you how you can do-it-yourself! Always wipe away moisture from the surface of the aluminum. I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Aluminum as a metal is lighter and doesn't rust. Yes, pure aluminum will form an oxide layer when exposed to oxygen. Rust causes metal to change in color and consistency, making it easy to spot. The resulting aluminum oxide is a thin, hard layer that actually protects the metal from further corrosion. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to However, aluminum corrosion is aluminum oxide, a very hard material that actually protects the aluminum from further corrosion. That being said, the corrosion that happens with old aluminum can have similar effects. These particles are just about anything from fats & oils in the kitchen that spread throughout the house to almost anything floating about like smoke. Aluminum 5052, for example, is sometimes called The Hulk of aluminum alloys due to its durability and excellent corrosion resistance. The only danger is having water sitting on the object for an extended time or very high humidity that can cause paint to peel or not stick. You can use special coatings and other materials to prevent corrosion, though. Aluminum oxidation occurs at different rates depending on the type of aluminum, the finish, and the environment surrounding the aluminum. Rust usually only forms on steel and iron, but aluminum won’t. Common Questions About Aluminum Corrosion, What is Rust & The Most Common Types of Rust, What Causes and How to Fix Rust in a Microwave, Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer vs. Rust Reformer, Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover Review, How you can protect aluminum from corroding. Not only does it permanently remove the oxide layer on the surface (making it susceptible to further corrosion), but it also makes the material powdery, flakey, and weak. Unlike rust, which has a flaky, reddish appearance, aluminum oxidation cannot be easily chipped off the metal surface. Say within a half mile from the coastline. You already know that aluminum can last outside for decades, but what you want to know is does aluminum rust, right? When exposed to oxygen, it forms aluminum oxide, just like steel forms iron oxide, but the difference lies in the chemical makeup of these two oxides. If you’re worried about your aluminum rusting or corroding, then remember that it’s not inevitable; You can take preventative steps so it never oxidizes or starts to deteriorate. Steel, for example, is susceptible to rust because it contains iron. However, fears of rusting metal seem to steer many people away from using it for DIY projects. The aluminum corrosion process is actually halted by oxidation – the metal won’t continue to deteriorate unless the aluminum oxide is removed. Aluminum oxide corrosion also looks a lot more like aluminum (dull gray to powdery white in color), so it isn't as easy to notice as rusted iron. It just rusts in a different way than steel and iron rust. It’s a valid question and one that a lot of folks think they have the answer to, but you may be surprised by what I have to tell you about aluminum and its ability to stand up to corrosion. You can use special coatings and other materials to prevent corrosion, though. Make sure to find a metal primer specifically designed for aluminum surfaces as well, since most basic primers and paints are not designed for this application. It just rusts in a different way than steel and iron rust. While it definitely looks aesthetically pleasing, exposing aluminum to too much corrosion can be hazardous. Aluminum oxide appears as a powdery white or dull gray coating. Aluminum corrodes but it does not rust. Aluminum corrosion does occor though, here are the reasons why corrosion occurs and some tips on how to prevent or correct corrosion if it does occur in your next metal fabrication project. The terms rust and corrosion are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same. What I would think that most people are referring to are the brown or black stains on aluminum. Paints serves as a protective coating to pretty much everything, including water and moisture. Aluminum can last several decades with proper maintenance. This is not rust in the true sense of the word but close enough. Also make sure there’s no existing rust on the metal. Scientists have long known that aluminum oxide does not corrode rapidly in water, but they have been unable to fully explain why. Aluminum cannot rust as it contains no iron particles. The short answer is, yes, aluminum does rust. You can use anti-corrosion spray or paint to prevent corrosion. If you prime it and paint it that will help extend the life of the paint. Aluminum is actually very prone to corrosion. As oxidation occurs, it hardens and creates a protective layer over the newly exposed areas of corroded aluminum. Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance. That aluminum rust can protect bare aluminum indefinitely, but what if you want to paint the aluminum? Aluminum is seen as a rockstar of corrosion resistance and is one of the few metals, along with stainless steel, that can hold up to exterior and coastal exposures over long periods of time. However, it is susceptible to corrosion in the presence of oxygen that is readily available in the surrounding air. It starts to corrode within days if it’s not taken care of. Note: According to this site, some people intentionally corrode aluminum by using sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and sawdust. In fact, aluminum is more likely to corrode than steel is to rust. So you now know that aluminum doesn’t rust, but corrosion is just as much of a problem. Aluminum 3003, the most widely used of aluminum alloys, is also particularly good at resisting corrosion, but less favorable to anodizing, a factory process that mimics the natural process of oxidation to create a more durable metal with a corrosion-resistant aluminum finish. No aluminum doesn’t rust, but it can corrode. View Metal Products at IMS So, does aluminum rust? The initial signs are often hard to see since it usually just appears as a white-light grey color. Corrosion is a broad reference to the wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction. if kept indoors in a more or less climate controlled environment which occasionally receives outside coastal air. Couple that with the fact that it is a grayish color very similar to aluminum, and you may never even notice your aluminum’s rust. Learn how your comment data is processed. Aluminum doesn’t contain iron or steel so it doesn’t rust – but it is prone to corrosion when exposed to weathering and atmospheric oxygen. These stains are from the screws and other iron based materials that are allowed to come in contact with the aluminum. You can intentionally corrode aluminum for a cosmetic change. Humidity, temperature, and pH can impact the presence of corrosion on aluminum. Corroding aluminum looks similar to rust or calcification. If it’s metal you’re painting, don’t use water based paint.