We’ve collected the best ways to prevent rust, so you can find a strategy that works best for your equipment or parts. In short, the best way to prevent rust is to prevent moisture from reaching the metal, or by using a material that corrodes more slowly.
However, an oily surface might be problematic for some tools or machines and poses environmental and human health concerns. Zinc corrodes at a much slower rate than iron or steel, so it’s highly effective for slowing rust.
Bluing: This process creates a layer of magnetite over the metal to prevent rust. The metal must be regularly oiled to maintain rust resistance, and it will turn blue or black in the process.
VCI Packaging: Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (VCI) are a type of chemical compound that when infused into various packaging materials, protect metals by emitting rust eradicating vapors into an enclosed airspace to prevent corrosion on a metal surface. However, adding other metals, such as chromium, nickel, manganese and others, will create different types of steel alloys.
The principle here is pretty simple; with a coating of oil, moisture can’t react with the iron in the metal and cause rust. Oil also makes it hard to get a grip on an object, and it can cause parts to slip or come unbalanced.
For metal parts or components that need to stay clean or provide a solid grip, a rust preventative dry coating is ideal. Paints will also create a protective layer over metal objects and prevent moisture from reaching them.
Of course, no barrier can completely stop moisture from getting through, but painting can be a simple and easy way to slow down rust. If there are any weak spots in the painted layer or any crevices not filled, these areas will start to rust.
Since zinc corrodes about 30 times slower than iron, galvanizing can be a cheap and effective way to prevent rust. The coating of zinc won’t stand up to harsh environmental forces like acid rain or salt.
Galvanizing also changes the outward appearance of the metal, and the extra layer can cover up parts of the component, such as the threads on a screw. The process of bluing steel actually creates a new layer that is similar to rust, but much less damaging.
Powder coating is often used to quickly “paint” an object in an assembly line. First, static electricity binds a powdery substance made from acrylic, polyester, epoxy, polyurethane or something else to a metal object.
Powder coating, like painting, covers a metal component in a protective layer. Any weak areas will expose the metal and create an entry for rust.
Vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCI) are a type of chemical compound used to protect ferrous and non-ferrous metals from rust and corrosion that are infused into packaging materials including poly films, paper, emitters, chipboard, desiccants and many other components. The VCI ions form a shield of protection on the surface of metal that displaces moisture and eradicates rust.
Rust is a chemical reaction (oxidation) of iron that occurs over a period of time as the bare metal surface comes in contact with oxygen present in the air or water. Therefore, any maneuver that prevents the direct physical contact of iron with oxygen present in air or water will prevent rust formation.
Oxygen is responsible for the oxidation of iron and therefore forms rust. Use of oil or grease significantly reduces the chances of developing rust in iron.
Basically, grease or oil from a protective layer over iron just as paint does and therefore prevents rust formation. If rusty metals also contain dirt, they may be a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium retain.
He is a physician by profession and earned his doctorate in internal medicine from Chicago Medical School. Rust is unattractive and can affect any metal objects and structures which are exposed to oxygen and moisture.
If untreated rust can completely decimate an entire structure. It occurs when iron combines with the oxygen in the air causing it to corrode.
Although iron and steel structures seem solid to the eye, water molecules are able to penetrate microscopic gaps in the metal. Rust causes the metal to expand, which can place great stress on the structure as a whole.
Exposure to outdoor conditions will increase the risk of rust, especially if the climate is rainy or humid. This allows the formation of a protective film of chromium oxide which acts as a shield against rust.
The alloys form a protective rust patina which reduces the corrosion rate with time. Proper planning during the design stage can minimize water penetration and reduce the risk of rust.
For large structures, adequate access should be enabled to allow for regular maintenance. The process of galvanization involves coating the surface with an external layer of metallic zinc.
The zinc layer prevents corrosive substances from penetrating further into the metal. Bluing is a useful technique which offers limited protection against rust for small steel items.
Bluing is often used in firearms manufacture to provide a degree of corrosion resistance. Bluing is accomplished by immersing the steel parts into a solution of potassium nitrate, sodium hydroxide and water.
Organic coatings such as paint are a cost effective way to protect against rust. Oil based coatings are ideal for preventing penetration of water and oxygen.
There are a wide range of powders available including acrylic, polyester, nylon, vinyl, epoxy and urethane. The object is placed in a hot oven which fuses the particles into a continuous film.
Sure there are some times when choosing the right fastener has a lot to do about whether you have rust or not, but sometimes, you’re stuck with what you’ve got or you want to restore some gorgeous old hardware to its original splendor. I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to help you stop rust and send it running for the hills.
The first thing I always do is give the metal a bath or at least a good coating of Off. Off is a product that is essentially phosphoric acid (I know it sounds scary, but it’s at almost every paint store and hardware shop).
Sadly, it’s got the same phosphoric acid in it that not only fights rust, but also has the added benefit of causing cavities. I avoid most water-based coatings because water and metal are not friends and should be separated like squabbling teenagers.
Wipe a good coating on any tools or hardware and let it dry for about 24-48 hours. The oil forces water out of the surface and eventually dries to a thin soft coating.
This can gum up intricate moving parts especially in heavy applications, so stick with non-moving metal pieces for the best results. It is extremely versatile and works as a great coating for metals to keep them protected from the elements.
Like Blog, it creates a soft protective layer and displaces water. Just wipe a couple coats on and let it dry overnight or 24 hrs and you should be good to go.
I’ve used spray polyurethane, lacquer and a few others but one of my fans right now is called Rust Coat Enamel by Do-it-Best. It’s a Xylene based spray paint, so no water-based materials to cause rust.
Whatever coating you used to protect the metal, there is some maintenance involved, especially if there are moving parts or the items are stored outside.