The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

How Fast Can Rust Spread

James Lee
• Friday, 04 December, 2020
• 10 min read

Rust is one of the most common problems professionals in the automotive repair industry encounter. It can quickly spread on the metal parts of your car and leave unsightly marks.

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Rust will become visible on the metal surface within a few minutes to several years, depending on environmental and metallurgical factors. Rustcanspread quickly, provided it is exposed to water, salt, and oxygen in the environment.

If it is not addressed early, rust can weaken the metal and destroy the integrity and functionality of a vehicle. To reduce the cost of production, automobile companies prefer working with alloy metals.

Since alloy metal is prone to rust, there are several ways to treat and protect it from corrosion. Rust is a chemical process that occurs when metal, water, and oxygen mix.

Iron, a popular raw material for vehicle assembly, is highly vulnerable to rusting compared to other metals. However, a pure alloy is less tensile, flexible, and easy to mold when manufacturing vehicles.

Manufacturers combine the ore with other metals to form an alloy to make iron flexible for automobile production. Automobile companies prefer coating metal with a chemical that slows down rusting.

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Surface rusting forms when the protective layer that coats metal is compromised. Vehicle companies use chromium and nickel to make car parts because of their slow rate of corrosion.

Repeated heating of steel alloy refines the metal but also makes it more prone to scale rusting. Penetrative rusting happens when metal is exposed to corrosive elements for a prolonged period.

At this point, the damage on the car is irreversible and total metal replacement is required. As a solution, vehicle manufacturers are opting to mix aluminum and magnesium with iron.

Magnesium and aluminum are ideal for vehicle assembly because they are more resistant to penetrative rusting. Cars are built with a protective layer on the chassis to prevent the spread of rust or corrosion.

However, the protective coating is compromised when salt and road grime accumulates on tires. Always wash under your car thoroughly, including the tires to stop rust from spreading into the interior of the vehicle.

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Check the drain holes on the doors and rocker panel to ensure water does not accumulate in them. Waxing your car adds a protective layer to the paint, which minimizes the chances of rusting.

First, mask the area you are working on with poly sheeting to protect the rest of the car from paint spills. In addition, sand around the affected area to create more space for feathering edges.

Apply an epoxy primer to create a firm bonding surface on metal. Apply two or three layers of lacquer filler primer and leave the surface to dry.

For a full guide on how to remove surface rust from a car check this article. The bubbles of rust have flaked away at this stage, leaving behind gaping holes on the metal.

Alternatively, you may weld patch panels on the affected areas to stop rusting and restore the car’s aesthetics. If you do not trust your DIY fixing skills, then take your vehicle to a repair shop.

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Vehicle repair shops have advanced equipment for testing the integrity of the car after fixing rusted metal. | Eastwood Blog Posted: November 21, 2018, By: Matt In the automotive restoration world we refer to rust like it is a “cancer” or infection that spreads in metal.

Rust ALWAYS starts when bare metal is exposed to oxygen and water. On most vehicles it is a design flaw in which a part is constantly exposed to water or corrosive materials and it breaks down the factory paint or coating.

Once the coating is compromised moisture and oxygen can get in and start the rust process. This means even something as small as a rip in seam sealer or a water drain being clogged in a car door can expedite the rusting process.

The metal needs to be exposed to water and oxygen, so you can have an area that is extremely rusty and an inch next to it is completely fine because the paint or coating wasn’t sacrificed. Stainless steel has added nickel and chromium which bind to the iron atoms and keep them from oxidizing.

2) The iron can be painted or coated with oil, preventing oxygen and water from coming into contact. This is one reason why mufflers and exhaust manifolds in cars get rusty very quickly (unless they are coated or made out of non-rusting materials).

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6) The rate of rusting or corrosion in water can be affected by the electrical environment. Current flows, and the energy comes from the corrosion of the metals.

7) Some questioners on this site have found that rusting rates in iron submerged in water are affected by dissolved impurities. Fresh iron exposed to a hot atmosphere with plenty of oxygen and water will form a thin layer of rust immediately (although if you look at a very short time after exposing the iron surface, you will have a very small amount of rust).

I just thought I’d add that to what Tom said before Beth- Beth Melbourne Victoria Australia In different steels vary a lot, and so does the uniformity of the mixing of the different elements.

I just wanted to add that contact with other metals will contaminate the Stainless at almost any grade. I see lots of stainless tubes where some pipe-fitter leaves the chain-fall lead laying on it and the next morning there is a rust layer on the s.s. surface.

You know more about this than we do. I wonder if there's a connection with the effect by which when two metals are in electrical contact, one will corrode much faster than the other. Ships use this to protect the hull by attaching a more easily dissolved metal.

Thanks- Mark Johnson (age 35)woodland, ca, USA I'd assume that higher oxygen pressure would increase the rate of oxidation, i.e. rusting.

Reading Casey's thread, then posts from the “similar threads” section has got me paranoid. It looks like my skimmer is leaking, I was able with a scrub brush, toothbrush and some lime away to remove 98% of what I could see. I'm thinking about draining the water down, removing the skimmer, scrub the rust away reinstall, see if leaking stopped.

He will help but I want to make sure I'm not in what he likes to call “full-blown panic” for nothing. When we removed the liner and skimmer, the rust was so bad, part of the wall was eaten away.

We had to cut out a new piece of sheet metal and bolt it to the wall. A lot of work, but we had to do it if we still wanted to salvage the pool wall. I think doing it now before the season gets well underway is better than waiting 5 months.

And the rust you can see in the pic is only a rusty water stain running down the wall. You can 't see the real rust under the skimmer that's causing the rusty water.

I've gone ahead and ordered a new gasket, mine is only a few years old (used it on the Index before this pool) but I figure it can 't hurt. A couple of the screws in the face plate are definitely not good quality stainless steel and have rusted, so I will replace all those also.

Gasket is due to arrive next Saturday, but hopefully Amazon is under promising and will over deliver. How far down should I drain? Right now the pool could stand to have a few inches added to the water, but I think I'm going to take the solar cover off during the day and have evaporation help my cause.

What fixing supplies should I have available next week when I do pull the skimmer? It's an overlap liner, I am NOT planning on taking off the top part, etc.

I guess it's worth noting that this pool has only been up since July of last year. I've told the grumpy SO that I will be fixing the leaking skimmer next weekend and if he is available to help I would accept graciously This gives him a week to get used to the idea.

A couple of the screws in the face plate are definitely not good quality stainless steel and have rusted, How far down should I drain? But I will add LC, brush and run my rover Jr.

I guess it's worth noting that this pool has only been up since July of last year. Since the pool has only been up one year, it sounds promising! You will know for sure once you pull part of the liner away if going 2" below the plate is enough.

What fixing supplies should I have available next week when I do pull the skimmer? It's an overlap liner, I am NOT planning on taking off the top part, etc.

Worse case is sheet metal to rebuild the wall. Dough boy rep gave great advice when we were rehabbing our pool in 2018.

Skimmer gasket was scheduled to arrive on Saturday the 9th and it just was delivered. I guess I will get the sump pump out and head to Ace Hardware at lunch for some stainless steel screws.

Trusty (but also rusty) pump is a powerhouse and water is being drained down I was only able to get 11 new screws today, so I picked out the 7 best original and scrubbed them China.

Curious, do you have salt in your pool or are you just using bleach as your chlorine source? I do have salt, but I also had terribly high PH & TA for a year that I didn't control.

I'm thought it was a bunch of things: Used pool, so the skimmer holes in the wall probably lost some of their coating with the multiple times being set up. Hard well water, salt and poor chemistry / CSI. I will be watching the area obsessively and for sure will be posting here if it comes back.

I am also most likely going to get a new liner next year, so I will be able to see if rust ended up in any other part of the pool. Keeping an eye on it is a great plan. I wish I had taken before, during and after pictures of our rust repair.

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