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Rusty nail, SEM

Rusty nail, SEM

T745/0067

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Credit

DR GARY GAUGLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GARY GAUGLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Rusty nail. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the tip of a rusty metal nail. Rusting is an electrolytic process in which iron reacts with water and oxygen to form a hydrated iron oxide. Rust is more brittle, porous and bulky than iron, so it tends to flake off. It is often thought that being injured by a rusty nail causes tetanus (lockjaw). In fact, the disease is caused when a wound is infected by Clostridium tetani bacteria. This is found in soil, not rust, although rusty metal found outdoors may well have been in contact with infected soil. Magnification unknown.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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