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What is Rust? How to Prevent it?

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Rusted metal

Rust- An Age Old Problem

In industries, specifically manufacturing, marine, public transit industry and many of the others, rust is one of the biggest evil.  Rust leads to many challenges for different components, machines equipment, structures, etc.

Table Of Contents

What is Rust?
Types of Rust
Cost of Rust & Corrosion
Challenges faced due to rust on the surface
Points to be considered while selecting Rust Preventive
Mosil’s Rust Preventive Solution

Frequently Asked Questions- Rust Preventives

Rust is iron oxide. Usually a reddish brown oxide formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture.

Metal corrodes when it reacts with another substance such as oxygen, hydrogen, an electrical current or even dirt and bacteria. Corrosion can also happen when metals like steel are placed under too much stress causing the material to crack.
It can severely affect the metals and makes them weaker. It can cause the metal parts to get stuck when they are supposed to slide over each other. This will affect the structural integrity of components. Similarly it will affects the machine life and aesthetics.

There are several cost effective ways to prevent rust including:
1.Keep your metal surface Clean and Dry
2.Prevent Scratches
3.Use a coating or barrier product such as grease, oil, paint.
4.Use Galvanized Metal
5.Regular Maintenance

Rust prevention coating acts as a barrier between the metal surface and corrosive elements, and helps prevent the degradation of metal.

Rust is difficult to deal since it stains and creates an unpleasant appearance, and at the same time, it compromises the structural integrity of components.Considering this point, Rust prevention is very important aspect of machine components to increase it appearance aesthetically and longevity.

Rust preventive coatings provide following benefits:
-Extended product life
-Improved operating cost
-Lower maintenance
-Reduced service expense

Coatings are used to cover the exterior of the metal surface to protect from external environmental conditions including air, water, and other corrosion agents. And on other hand it helps to slow down the rate of corrosion, since it possesses chemical compounds that stop moisture and oxygen from corroding the surface of metal .

There are various factors influencing the selection of rust preventive coating such as the atmosphere to which the metal surface is exposed, the material surface preparation, application process service environment and many more.

Rust preventive coatings have vast application in various industries such as storage of finished components, protection of structures from getting degraded. Whether the components are used in harsh off-shore, industrial, or chemical environments, the rust prevention protects the components against humidity, saltwater, and chemicals.

What is Rust?

In simple words, rust is oxidation. 

Any film formed on the metal surface due to oxidation is rust. 

The orange or red colour coating formed on the surface when exposed to air and moisture is rust. Rust is an electrochemical reaction hence an irreversible process.

Rusting process explanation (Chemical reaction))

Types Of Rust?

Light Rust: The metal surface is clear and only small quantities of rust can be observed. It does not damage the surface and it gets cleaned off easily

Image of metal sheet with Light Rust
Image of metal sheet with Medium Rust

Medium Rust: The rust is all over the metal and we can hardly see the metal surface and rust as well adheres to the surface. It does damage the surface once cleaned it cleans with slight scrubbing

Heavy Rust: The rust is all over the metal and rust loosely adhered it comes by chipping of the material surface. It damages the surface and it is advisable to use a rust converter on the surface than using rust cleaner

Image of metal sheet with HeavyRust

Cost of Rust & Corrosion

Corrosion costs are equivalent to about 3%–4% of each nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Using a 3.4% of global GDP (2013), the global cost of corrosion can then be estimated to be US$2.5 trillion.

Pie chart showing cost of rust & corrosion in various industry categories

Losses of hundreds of billions per year due to corrosion )

  • Loss of $276 billion annually in the United States (about 3.1% of GDP)
  • India losses 1.52 lakh crore annually (about 2.4% of GDP)

By using corrosion control measurements and practices, it is estimated that savings of between 15% and 35% of the cost of corrosion could be achieved i.e., between US$375 and $875 billion annually on a global basis.
The cost of rust & corrosion has reduced significantly all thanks to evolving solutions in the industry. We now have a number of rust preventive solutions for all types of industrial needs.

Before moving onto rust preventive chemical solutions we need to understand rust and its types, causes and, prevention towards the same.

Challenges faced due to rust on the surface

Rust causes many problems associated with the surface of the metal for structures, equipments and components etc.

Economic & Safety issue
An industry can face major losses such as economic and physical damage due to rusted structures. Once structure gets rusted it becomes brittle endangering the safety of users.

Reduction in the lifespan of a product
The major impact of rust is on the lifespan of the product, as it may lead to damage parts and will have to be repaired or replaced depending if the rust turned out more severe.
These issues majorly cover the problems faced by many industries. It has turned out to be major concern especially in the areas where moisture presence is high. (The moisture acts as a catalyst for the oxidation process.)

  • Economic cost related to rust
  • Loss of production/downtime
  • Product contamination
  • Loss of products
  • Accidents
  • Increased capita cost – over design
  • Environment clean-up and worker health
  • Effective solution for rust prevention

There are a number of solutions available for rust prevention and cleaning of rust such as rust preventive oil, coating, cleaners for rust prevention oil and water-based rust preventive, de-watering rust preventive etc. Depending upon one’s requirement measures are taken for rust prevention.

Major points to be considered while selecting rust preventive:

  • Where the part to be protected is stored?
  • Period of protection?
  • Type of film?
  • Type of metal on which it is to be applied?
  • Is there high humidity in the environment?

Considering the above points once can select rust preventive. One can also go for rust cleaner and then apply rust preventive. The solution available to protect is by shielding the metal for a specific period.
Mosil provides a wide range of rust preventives and cleaner as per requirement for the component to be cleaned or coated. One can select the product based on the requirement.

Few products are listed below which provides an effective solution.

Mosil's Rust Preventive Solution

DW – 79: It is a specially formulated wax type corrosion protection coating that leaves a waxy film capable of withstanding severe moisture and humidity etc

Mosil Rust Preventive- DW 79


NTKOR-4823: 
It is a Water Displacing type, solvent deposited rust preventive that leaves a very soft low viscosity film. The soft film has good rust preventive characteristics.

Mosil Rust Preventive- NTKOR 4823

RPH-3840: It is a specially formulated peelable corrosion protection coating for medium-term indoor and outdoor protection of components etc. It leaves a peelable film capable of withstanding severe moisture and humidity etc. providing protection against rust and corrosion up to 24 to 30 months.

Mosil Rust Preventive- RPH 3840


NTKOR- Rust Clean:
It is a multipurpose lubricant that works as a penetrant cum cleaner apart from its function as a lubricant. It is a must for any maintenance personnel and has diversified applications.

Mosil Rust Preventive- NTKOR Rust Clean

And there are many more. One can select based on their requirement as well as with the help of Mosil (Rust Preventive Oil Manufacturerteam one can select the optimized solution for their parts to be protected or cleaned.

What is Rust and it's types [Infographic]

Infographic post on What is Rust and its types

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