As time goes by, things deteriorate. It happens when we use a device ever so often, or when we don’t use it at all. Corrosion happens when the metals oxidize or come in contact with moisture. It is a natural phenomenon and here are the things that we need to know about it.
Why is there rust?
Rust is the common term for the substance or coating that we often see on our old devices when iron reacts with water and oxygen. Humidity and moisture also cause rust to metals when they come in contact with them. We are more familiar with rust as the reddish-brown substance or coating. But it can come out as black, blue, yellow, gray, or brown – depending on which chemicals the metal interacts with.
Risks of Rust
Rust might not impose direct harm to our health but it affects the ordinary objects that we might be using.
As metals oxidize, they lose their durability. Pipelines and metal foundations of buildings collapse when they are already covered with rust. If foundations and pipelines collapse, then it becomes a threat to the people.
Makes Things Stick.
Moving parts stop moving when they rust. Nuts, bolts, and engine parts become useless once they are covered with rust already.
Lessens Magnetic Properties.
One reason why metals are used is because of their magnetic properties. However, once rust spread on the metal, it loses its magnetism.
Impedes Electric Conductivity.
Metals are good conductors. When metals are already corrosive, electricity can’t properly flow on them.
Harbors Clostridium Tetani.
Contact with rust will not pose any harm or risk. But what can pose a health risk to you is the bacteria that the rusty metal can harbor. It can harbor the clostridium tetani, the bacteria that causes the infection tetanus. The bacteria can enter your body through open wounds and can cause painful muscle stiffness all over the body, seizures, fever, jaw cramping, headaches and sudden change in blood pressure, and increasing heart rate. Tetanus bacteria grow in rusty objects but they are also present in the soil, dust, and human and animal fecal matter. However, rust and infection have no causative relationship.
How to clean your rusty devices?
Even if your device is all rusty, you can still use them. All you have to do is to clean them. There are rust-proof coatings that you can buy in hardware. But home remedies work too. Using acid and any abrasive material can remove rust. The first common household product that can work for this is vinegar. Submerge the rusty device in white vinegar for 30 minutes and scrub it after. Secondly, you can mix lemon juice and baking soda. Soak the tool in the lemon juice and baking soda paste. Let it sit for 30 minutes and scrub away the rust. Lastly, you can use potatoes! Yes, potato! Never thought of using it right? Instead of making french fries out of it, use it with baking soda to remove that rust! Potatoes have oxalic acid which is a cleaning agent.
Just take note that although the cleaning agents mentioned above are household products, you have to be careful while cleaning your rusty devices. Stay away from children and clean it in an open space without any obstruction.
How to prevent the rusting of your devices?
Rusting may be a natural process but there are ways to prevent your device from rusting. The use of non-metallic materials can help prevent or delay corrosion. Here are 9 ways to stop the deterioration of your metal devices.
Alloy is the mixture of substances consisting of one metal component. It has many combinations that can cater to your need – hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, magnetizability, and ductility.
Oil allows the metal to move with less friction and it also lubricates the metal. Moisture can’t react with oil. However, the downside to using this technique is you might have a hard time handling the metal because it is already slippery. Use the right amount that you need so you can still get a grip on the metal.
Apply a dry coating.
The same principle in oil application works for dry coating as well. However, the use of dry coating will still enable you to work with the rusty tool because it is easy to grip.
Painting the Metal.
The paint will act as a barrier that prevents moisture from coming in contact with the metal. With this said, the paint that you will use needs to be compatible with the metal. It has to adhere properly to serve its purpose as a protective layer.
Simply store your tool away from moisture. But you must remember that the regular air contains moisture through humidity.
Galvanizing is coating the metal in zinc because zinc corrodes 30 times slower than iron. There are limitations to this technique like it changes the physical appearance of the metal and the zinc can’t stand up to harsh environments or conditions.
Blueing is creating a similar layer to rust but it is less damaging. It creates a layer of magnetite and gives metals a black or blue appearance. This technique is used to prevent firearms from rusting. It works best with metals that are regularly oiled.
As static electricity binds the powdery substance made from acrylic or polyurethane to a metal object and is heated – it creates a solid protective layer.
Vapor corrosion inhibitors, also known as VCI packaging are a dry and clean packaging option for metals. It is a type of chemical compound used in packaging materials like desiccants, chipboards, paper, and more.
Should you use rusty tools?
Yes! You can still use your rusty tools but you have to clean them. But if the rust can’t be removed anymore, you might consider buying your tools at Powerplus. They have a lot of tools to offer at a very affordable price. Visit them here.