The alloy steel containing chromium to resist rusting is known as stainless steel. What role is / are played by Chromium in stainless steel?
1. Chromium does not rust, so it works as protecting cover
2. Chromium reacts with Iron to make a compound that is not affected by Oxygen
Select the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [D] Neither 1 nor 2

What happens is this: Chromium basically works like a sacrificial metal. It rusts first but the rusting chromium doesn’t crumble apart. Rather, it would form an invisibly thin layer that protects the iron underneath.

On the other hand, the nickel in stainless steel helps hold this protective layer of chromium  rust in place.

We also note here that the chromium and nickel are present throughout stainless steel, not just on the surface. Because of this, the microscopic layer will form itself anew, even when the steel is cut or scratched.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module