July, 2016
FAQs on Rust, Answered

wear-resistant coatingsIndustrial metal coatings and abrasion resistant coatings accounted for $6.8 billion in revenue in 2014. In fact, automotive refinish coatings are the largest segment of the paint industry, just ahead of industrial maintenance coatings, with a revenue of $2 billion in 2014. For those battling rust or looking for wear-resistant coatings, here are some common questions to consider.

What causes rust on metal?
Rust on metal is caused by surface metal atoms and molecules forming metal oxides in the presence of oxygen and water. Originally, rust was simply a synonym for ion oxides. Now, it is used as a general term to describe metal corrosion.

Metal can rust at certain rates depending on its surface area and environment. The environments that cause the most rust are those with lots of moisture in the air. Salt water can expedite the rust process as well.

Does Coke really remove rust?
Yes, soda does remove rust from metal, because it contains phosphoric acid — the ingredient in some commercial rust-removal formulas. It is commonly used on objects such as nuts, bolts, and corroded battery terminals.

What accelerates the rusting process?
The rusting process can be expedited when acids or oxidants are introduced to metal. Furthermore, vinegar and muriatic acid are great for speeding up the rusting process.

When in contact with just air or pure water, iron is not affected by rust. An electro-chemical reaction must happen in order to degrade the metal.

Does zinc rust?
Only iron is capable of rusting. Zinc does not rust and is resistant to other forms of corrosion, as well. In many cases, it is used as wear-resistant coatings on iron and steel surfaces.

How can rust be prevented?
One common way to prevent rust is to place steel adjacent to a dissimilar metal. Zinc, for example, protects steel from corrosion when placed in direct contact. Zinc and magnesium are used as sacrificial metals that protect areas of immediate contact and beyond the metal.

Now that you know more about rust, its causes, and how to prevent it, you are in a better position to protect the metals you use often in mass production. Use coating equipment to make wear-resistant coatings and prevent corrosion on the metals you manufacture. Once you experience the benefit of industrial coatings, you won’t protect your metal any other way.