Rusting can be a headache. It makes your belongings look old and rundown, it can cause significant damage to your property, and it’s just generally an eyesore. Understanding how to keep metal from rusting is key to maintaining its integrity and preventing extensive rust damage.
How to Keep Metal From Rusting
The best way to keep metal from rusting is to prevent it from coming into contact with water or oxygen. If you can’t avoid these elements, you can galvanize the metal or coat it with paint or another sealant. This way, if the metal does come into contact with water or oxygen, a protective barrier will prevent the rust from forming.
Water is the enemy of metal, as it’s the main agent that causes rust. It’s important to keep metal surfaces as dry as possible to prevent rusting. If you’re storing metal objects, make sure they’re in a dry environment, such as a storage unit with climate control.
If you’re using metal outdoors, be sure to protect it from the elements as much as possible. For example, if you have metal furniture on your patio, you may want to invest in covers to protect it from rain and snow.
How Does Rust Form?
Rust is the result of a chemical reaction between metal and water. When these two substances come into contact, they create an electrolyte solution that causes the metal to corrode. This process is known as oxidation, and it’s what causes metal to rust.
Oxygen is also necessary for rust to form, as it’s a key component of the oxidation process. However, oxygen alone can’t cause rust; it must be present in combination with water. The equation for rust formation is:
4Fe + 3O2 + 6H2O → 4Fe(OH)3
This equation shows that iron (Fe), oxygen (O2), and water (H2O) are necessary for rust to form. Therefore, you must remove one or more of these elements to prevent rust.
Preventing Metals From Rust
You want to take steps to prevent rust before it has a chance to form and cause damage to your property. They say prevention is the key to avoiding rust, and that’s certainly true in this case. The following are some of the best ways to prevent rust from forming on metal surfaces:
Keep Metal Clean
The first step in preventing rust is to keep your metal surfaces clean. This is because dirt and debris can provide a place for water and oxygen to adhere to the metal, which will speed up the rusting process.
Be sure to clean your metal surfaces regularly, using soap and water. If soap and water isn’t enough, you can turn to degreasers to help you in keeping your metal clean. You may also need to use a brush to remove stubborn dirt and debris. For heavily soiled surfaces, you may need to use a pressure washer. You can also use QC Industrial Parts Cleaning Solution, as it has built-in rust inhibitors and perfect for metal surfaces.
Once you’ve cleaned the surface, be sure to dry it completely. If water is allowed to sit on the metal, it will cause rust.
Apply a Protective Barrier
Another way to prevent rust is to apply a protective barrier between the metal and the elements. This can be done in many ways, including painting and powder coating.
Paint is one of the most common protective barriers used to prevent rust. It works by creating a barrier between the metal and oxygen, preventing the oxidation process.
Powder coating is another popular option for preventing rust. It’s a type of paint that’s applied in powder form and then cured under heat. This creates a hard, durable finish that’s resistant to rust.
Galvanizing is another effective way to prevent rust. This process involves coating the metal with zinc, which creates a barrier between the metal and oxygen. This barrier prevents the oxidation process from taking place, and as a result, the metal does not rust.
Galvanizing is often used on iron and steel products, such as fences, gates, and pipes. Most hardware stores sell galvanized products.
Use Rust Converter
Rust converter is a chemical that’s used to treat rust. It works by converting the iron oxide (rust) into a different compound, which is more resistant to oxidation.
Rust converter is available in aerosols and can be found at most hardware stores. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully when using this product, as it can be dangerous if used improperly.
This process requires potassium nitrate, water, and sodium peroxide. These solutions are mixed to form a blue solution, which is then applied to the metal. The goal is to form a blue film on the surface of the metal, which will act as a barrier against oxygen.
This method is often used on guns and knives, as it creates a durable, rust-resistant finish. It also has the added benefit of making the metal look more aesthetically pleasing.
Use Stainless Steel
Materials made of stainless steel such as parts washer are less likely to rust than other metals. Stainless steel contains chromium, which forms a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the metal. You can trust that your parts washer is built to last, as stainless steel’s oxide layer prevents further rust by forming a barrier that blocks oxygen and water from reaching the underlying steel.
There are several grades of stainless steel, each with a different composition. The higher the chromium content, the more corrosion-resistant the metal will be. You can also add nickel, molybdenum, and other metals to stainless steel to increase its resistance to rust.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Easiest Way to Remove Rust From Metal?
The easiest way to remove rust is to use a chemical rust remover. For instance, you can use vinegar, lime juice, or citric acid. You can also use a commercial rust remover such as Rust-Oleum Rust Remover, WD-40 Rust Remover or the MOA Advanced Gun Cleaning Solution for gun products.
How Do You Remove Rust From Metal Without Chemicals?
You can use a wire brush, sandpaper, or a steel wool pad. You can also use electrolysis to remove rust from metal. It is a process where an electrical current is used to remove rust from metal.
There are many ways to keep metal from rusting. The best way to prevent rust is to take care of the metal and keep it clean. Preventing rusting will save you from having to replace the metal and will keep your belongings looking new.