What is the difference between corrosion and erosion?

1 Answer
Mar 5, 2017


Corrosion is a chemical change and erosion is just a physical one.


Corrosion is an electrochemical process by which certain materials (eg iron) undergo a change in their oxidation state and combine with some compound present in the environment. In the case of iron and other metals, the most typical corrosion process is its oxidation in the presence of atmospheric oxygen:

#M (s) + O_2 (g) rarr M_xO_y (s)#.

Corrosion, therefore, is a chemical-like phenomenon that modifies the nature of the material that corrodes, changing its chemical composition.

Erosion, on the other hand, is a physical phenomenon which consists in the fact that certain natural phenomena (wind, rain, movement of glaciers ...) modify the shape of the materials by mere dragging of the soft materials of their surface (in the case Erosion due to movement) or dissolution in the water of others.