Iron is one of today’s most popular metals for a variety of reasons. The metal is durable and resilient and helps to create beautiful designs used in architectural components. But while iron is beautiful and touts numerous benefits, over time the material is subject to rusting and will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can protect your iron goods.
What Causes Rust?
Many people don’t realize that rust (also known as iron oxide) is actually a chemical reaction. A type of corrosion, rust occurs when iron, water, and oxygen combine to create hydrated iron oxide. The result? The crumbly, reddish-orange eyesore that we call “rust.” When rust occurs, it is actually the normal electrochemical process of metals returning to their natural unrefined state.
4 Ways You Can Protect Iron From Rust
Although iron is susceptible to rust, there are many ways you can protect your iron surfaces from damage, including these methods:
1. Active Metal Protection
To prevent rust, you can cover your iron surface with an active metal—think zinc, magnesium, and aluminum—to protect the top layer from damage. The active topcoat will undergo oxidation and protect the iron layer underneath.
2. Barrier Film
This method utilizes a barrier film between the iron, oxygen, and moisture in the atmosphere. This barrier can be applied in many ways, including paints, oil, or grease coatings, as well as electroplating the iron with non-corrosive metals like nickel, copper, or chromium.
3. Anti-Rust Solutions
There are many anti-rust solutions on the market today. Most contain an alkaline phosphate and chromate solution, which halts rust buildup.
4. Tin Plating
Tin is resistant to corrosion caused by water and air so it is a great option to help protect against rust. Tin plating can be adhered to iron surfaces by dipping the iron in a bath of molten tin, which will create a lasting and protective barrier.
Your One Stop Shop for Steel & Supplies
At Tampa Steel & Supply, we are proud to stock an extensive list of steel and steel supplies. Whether you’re looking to purchase supplies for a big construction project or want to add an ornamental touch to your home, we have whatever you need. Even better, Tampa Steel & Supply can help you protect your metals for years to come. View our extensive list of products, or contact us today if you have any questions.