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Understanding oxidation

Corten-steel rusts due to a well-known chemical reaction known as redox (reduction-oxidation). Rusting is produced because of the oxygen's action in contact with steel's surface. In redox processes, the reductant transfers electrons to the oxidant. Thus, in the reaction, the reductant or reducing agent loses electrons and is oxidized, and the oxidant or oxidizing agent gains electrons and is reduced.

Material + Oxygen = Oxide +/- energy

Surface rusts slower or faster depending on the temperature. Formed rust leaves over the surface covering completely. That causes a rusting process deceleration, because it acts like an insulator in front of the oxygen. Anyway, that won't stop rusting process completely.

Iron oxide formula: