Steel is in use all around the world in a wide variety of industries thanks to its durability, affordability, and ease of use. The material itself has many advantages, and its popularity is evidence of its benefits. However, steel can be tricky when it comes to rust and corrosion. A great product can quickly go in ruins by even a small amount of rust, so prevention during the manufacturing process and the shipping procedure is crucial.
Use these rust prevention tips to make sure the steel you’re working with remains in perfect condition.
1. Wrap with care
Even if you take great care with your choice of machinery and the way you work with your steel, rust can still occur during shipping if the product isn’t in effective wraps. Many welders and manufacturers find it helpful to coat the steel in thick grease or oil and then use a tight stretch wrap during the packing process. By the time the product arrives at its destination, it should be free from any sign of rust or corrosion.
2. Be aware of your materials during the work process
When working with stainless steel, be aware of what other materials are around the work area. Keep the grinding discs separated, and don’t allow grinding discs or sanding paper that are in use with mild steel to come into contact with your stainless steel. This can even occur when welding on a table that has previously been used for mild steel work – even small specks of other products could fuse and form into rust. Contamination can cause rust or damage to your steel that’s difficult to reverse, adding unnecessary costs to the manufacturing process.
3. Clean welds wisely
Avoid using a wire brush to clean your welds. Use pickling paste and specialist cleaning tools instead, as the wire brush could contain an easily rusting form of metal that could damage your steel. The pickling paste has the correct acid components to clean your welds – just remember to work in a well-ventilated area with the correct safety gear to protect yourself from the acid while cleaning.
4. Use corrosion protection
When mild steel is involved in your product, galvanization is the best tool available to protect the material from rust and corrosion. This process applies zinc coating to the steel, covering the entirety of the metal structure in a protective barrier against rust. Mild steel can also be in paint coating, which could make your product look better while protecting the steel from moisture that may set in and lead to rust.
5. Use a beveling machine before galvanizing
It’s important to ensure that the edges of the metal structure are beveled properly before sending the steel for galvanizing. Round edges ensure a stronger and more durable product, and allow the steel to be completely in coating with zinc during galvanizing. Sharp edges, on the other hand, can cause problems in the future, leading to easier rusting and damage. Avoid this problem by using a grinder or beveling machine to round off the edges beforehand.
6. Keep moisture away at all costs
Ultimately, any time that water and oxygen meet in contact with most forms of metal, rust forms. Do everything you can to keep moisture away from your steel to keep the product in tip-top condition.