Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Iron (Fe)

Last updated: June 14, 2018

What Does Iron (Fe) Mean?

Iron is an abundant metallic element with the chemical symbol Fe and the atomic number of 26. It has a gray color and is found in the Earth’s outer crust and inner core. Iron is available in the form of iron oxide in iron ores and may also be known as a ferrous metal. It is a very reactive metal and prone to corrosion if not protected.


Corrosionpedia Explains Iron (Fe)

Iron is extracted from iron ore, which exists in various colors including dark grey, deep purple, yellow and rusty red. The types of iron ore include:

  • Magnetite – Consists of 72.4% Fe. Formula is Fe3O4
  • Hematite – Consists of 69.9% Fe. Formula is Fe2O3
  • Goethite – Consists of 63 %Fe. Formula is FeO(OH)
  • Limonite – Consists of ~55% Fe. Formula is FeO(OH))·n(H2O)
  • Siderite – Consists of 48.2% Fe. Formula is FeCO3

When any material containing iron comes in contact with oxygen and moisture it undergoes an aggressive chemical reaction to produce rust as the material corrodes.


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