10 Ways to Prevent Metal Corrosion

Posted on November 17, 2010

"Metal Corrosion"

Metal Corrosion happens when metals are exposed to moisture in the air. This is because most metals react with oxygen which creates rust and eventually leads to corrosion. The end result of corrosion on various appliances, vehicles and other items that include metal components.

What is Metal corrosion?

Technically, metal corrosion is the process that happens when properties within a particular material start to deteriorate, after exposure to the elements that occur within the environment. Metal Corrosion can be concentrated locally to form a pit or crack, or it can even extend across a large area more or less corroding the surface. Usually metal corrosion occurs on areas exposed to the elements.

Why metals corrode?

Metals corrode because they are used in environments where they are chemically unstable. Only copper and precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum are found in nature in their metallic state. All other metals, including the most commonly used which is iron, are processed from minerals or ores into metals and are inherently unstable in their environments.

Metal corrosion can cause extensive problems, but thankfully, there are ways to prevent this by increasing the durability and wear of a product with metal parts. Below are 10 ways on how you can aim to prevent corrosion.

Tips on how to Prevent Metal Corrosion:

  1. Choose products that are made of non-corrosive metals like stainless steel and aluminum.
  2. Metal Corrosion can be best controlled by maintaining a dry environment using suitable moisture barriers and drying agents.
  3. Make sure that your electrical connections are clean.
  4. To prevent metal corrosion on a car or truck, apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly after you clean the terminal.
  5. Always clean and dry the blades of garden tools after every use as this eliminates moisture. Also wash away soil from shovels, hoes and rakes before storing them in a cool and dry place. In addition, wash your garden tools with soap and water, dry them and rub motor oil on the metal parts before you put them away for winter season.
  6. Coat metals with oil, paint, grease or varnish because it can prevent corrosion.
  7. Utilize cleaning agents like soaps, solvents, emulsion compounds and chemicals to efficiently get rid of oil, grease, dirt and other unwanted foreign deposits and follow the correct procedures in applying them.
  8. Metal Corrosion that has already formed on car batteries can be removed by using a mix of cola and baking soda to create a paste. The paste will eat at the corrosion.
  9. To prevent soil corrosion, install correctly copper or copper alloy plumbing underground. The main reasons that lead to corrosion of copper pipelines are poor drainage and moisture. A loose layer of backfill such as limestone or pea level must be put down in the trench before laying copper pipes.
  10. Galvanizing also provides metal corrosion protection. This is the process of giving a thin coating of zinc or steel material by immersing the object in a bath primarily composed of molten zinc. Galvanizing is an efficient way to protect steel because even if the surface is scratched, the zinc still protects the underlying layer. This process is widely used by the automotive industry.

  11. There are many elements that affect the type, speed, cause and seriousness of metal corrosion. Corrosion contributes to the failure of any metal that it starts to consume. Therefore, proper and enough protection of metals from corrosion help the equipment and structures to last longer and look better. As prevention is always better than cure, it is the owner’s responsibility to observe and take the necessary actions to maintain the appearance and quality of your belongings – be it appliances, automobiles, outdoor equipment, etc… But if you are not certain what method to use, it is best to consult an expert. Remember, incorrect methods in treating metal corrosion can damage your things and might even cost you more.

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