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Iron(III) oxide facts for kids

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Iron(III) oxide

Iron(III) oxide, also known as rust, is a reddish substance, an iron oxide. It has a chemical formula of Fe2O3.

It is made by the reaction of iron with oxygen.

It is found naturally in the ground. It is a major ore of iron (iron comes from this mineral)haematite. It is the main source of iron for the steel industry.


Calamine lotion
Iron(III) oxide is an ingredient in Calamine lotion

Iron industry

The production of iron, steel, and many alloys is the biggest use of iron.


A very fine powder of ferric oxide is known as "jeweler's rouge", "red rouge", or simply rouge. It is used to put the final polish on metallic jewelry and lenses, and historically as a cosmetic.


Iron(III) oxide is also used as a pigment for use in cosmetics. Iron oxides are used as pigments in dental composites too.

Hematite is the characteristic component of the Swedish paint color Falu red.

Magnetic recording

Iron(III) oxide was the most common magnetic particle used in all types of magnetic storage and recording media, including magnetic disks (for data storage) and magnetic tape (used in audio and video recording as well as data storage). Its use in computer disks was superseded by cobalt alloy, enabling thinner magnetic films with higher storage density.


Calamine lotion, used to treat mild itchiness uses zinc oxide. The red color of iron(III) oxide is also mainly responsible for the lotion's widely familiar pink color.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Óxido de hierro(III) para niños

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