Research estimates that every year, around $2.5 trillion is lost because of corrosion. That's thrice the global GDP. However, metal corrosion doesn't only affect finances, but it also poses health and safety risks. Corrosion ruins structures containing metal and may affect people within its vicinity.

Cases of collapsed bridges, leaking pipes, corroded buildings, and medical implants poisoning many people aren't new. Ultimately, nothing good comes from corrosion. That's why you need to find ways of slowing or preventing it. This article highlights some ways that you can use to prevent metal parts from corroding.

Use Alloys

Most outdoor structures like bridges should be made using alloys to minimize the effects of corrosion. All metals corrode but at different rates. However, when you combine two or more different metals and use them to form an alloy coating, you'll minimize corrosion chances. Some metal types that contain alloy include steel. Adding other metals like nickel, chromium, and manganese can also help to create stronger alloys.

However, when developing different alloys for your metals, you need to remember that it'll change their conductivity, toughness, appearance, and many other qualities. Therefore, as you work to develop an alloy that can prevent corrosion, ensure that the metal is also suitable for its intended use. Furthermore, you should also consider the welding strategies you'll use and the surrounding environment because they'll also increase the corrosion rate.

Apply Oil

Gun owners know the essence of keeping their firearms properly oiled, even when they're not using the weapons. They do this because oil lubricates the metal parts and enables them to move without much friction. Besides that, it also protects them against corrosion. A coating of oil inhibits the interaction of moisture and iron that causes rust.

Though using oil is a simple and effective way of preventing corrosion, it isn't perfect. Oil can make it very difficult to grip a metallic object and cause them to slip. It may also be unpleasant to work with. Additionally, because oiling needs to be done frequently, it requires energy and time. That's why most people prefer applying dry coatings because they make work easier.

Paint The Metals

Paint, just like oil, inhibits the interaction of moisture and the metal. Though no barrier can prevent moisture from eventually penetrating the metal, painting can slow down corrosion. The more you paint your metals, the more layers will be formed, and the less moisture will penetrate.

However, you need to select the right paint for your metals because not every paint is suitable for metals. Others are for buildings, while others are best used on wood. Oil-based paint that's not water-soluble is the best for metals. During painting, ensure you pay close attention to welded bolts and joints. Any area that's not filled with paint, whether crevices or weak spots, will initiate corrosion.

Proper Storage

Storing your metals in a conducive environment is the best way of keeping them from corrosion. Water is the greatest enemy of metals. Therefore, if you keep your metals in a moisture-free area, they'll take longer to corrode. While storing your metals, remember to keep them away from the air because it contains moisture. The best storage equipment for metals is one with a water-tight and air-tight seal. However, using such equipment is only ideal during shipping and not during storage.

Some people also prefer using VCI packaging to prevent their metals from corroding. These are chemical compounds meant to inhibit vapor from infiltrating the metal and are infused in packaging materials like chipboards, emitters, poly films, desiccants, papers, and other compounds. When you use VCI products to store your metal, they'll shield the metal surfaces from corrosion. Using VCIs are a cleaner way of keeping metals away from corrosion.

Galvanize The Metals

Galvanizing is the application of a protective zinc coating over steel or iron. Because zinc corrodes around thirty times slower than iron, using it to galvanize iron can prevent corrosion. However, like other coating methods, galvanization also has its disadvantages. The zinc coating can't withstand harsh weather conditions like salt or acidic rain for long. Besides, it can also change the metal's appearance and cover metal components like screws and threads.

Apply Dry Coatings

Dry coatings are products made to prevent corrosion, and they use the same principles as other coating methods like oil. They create a protective barrier over metal that makes it difficult to interact with air. You can use them if you want to keep your metal parts clean. This type of coating is applied through spraying, washing, or dipping.

Once the layer dries, the barrier will protect the metal from corroding. The advantage of using this type of coating is that it doesn't affect the metal conductivity. Additionally, you can also use it over other coating methods like paint or powder to beef up the protection.

Keep Metals From Harsh Environmental Conditions

Metal corrosion often results because of harsh environmental factors. Fortunately, you can prevent them from corroding by cleaning, drying, and storing them in a dry place when not in use. If you intend to store them for long, control the oxygen, chlorine, and sulfur levels in their storage room. Additionally, you should also keep them away from moisture or seawater exposure.


Try Metal Plating

Metal plating involves applying a thin layer of metal over another metal to protect it from corrosion. Apart from inhibiting corrosion, the metal layer can also give an aesthetic finish. There are four types of metal plating, including;

Hot-dipping

This involves immersing the metal in a protective metal molten bath, forming a thin layer.

Mechanical Plating

In this method, metal powder is cold-welded onto another substrate metal. The most commonly used types of metal are zinc and cadmium.

Electroplating

Electroplating is the depositing of thin layers of metal onto a substrate metal.

Conclusion

Every person who uses metal must know how to prevent corrosion because it's inevitable. Having this knowledge can help to lay up strategies for stopping or slowing it. Additionally, some simple techniques, such as keeping exposed metal surfaces from moist environments, can save you greatly.