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topic 17577

Rusting prevention


I would like to know how to prevent rusting? This question is meant in a scientifical manor.


Victoria W
- Abbots, Langley, Hertfordshire, England


Scientificalodgingly speaking, Victoria, the way to prevent rusting is to keep the metal from oxidizing by preventing oxygen ions from reaching it in some fashion or other. There are a number of ways to do this, applying paints and coatings is probably the most universal approach. Good luck!

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


Dear Victoria,

'Rust prevention' alone is a wide scope in surface treatment that most of the time could be written in whole books. However, ways to prevent rust can be done are : protective metal/non-metal plating, rust inhibition passivation, oiling etc etc. You can refer to for details of each rust-prevention method.

Good luck!

chee hong lee
Chee Hong, Lee
- Singapore


Hi Victoria,

I guess that you have learnt a new word in the rich English language called scientificalodgingly. Use it often. Add on an 'expiallidocious' (but am unsure of the spelling) to give it more meat.

As Ted said, rusting occurs in the presence of oxygen AND also where there is moisture ... which is why oxygen bottles are made of steel because they contain no moisture.

Another absolutely SUPERLATIVE way to prevent rusting is not to use metals but to use plastics. They cannot rust.

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [dec.]
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


Hello Victoria,

There are a few metals that don't oxidise quickly, perhaps the better known one is Au, maybe you could plate this onto the piece you are trying to protect.


Tony Johnston
- Melbourne, Australia


I've realized that preventing rust is a very tricky business. To start with; try vaseline-it's a great way of stopping rust and prevents the allorgorical, if not yet, recundable atmosphere from reaching the innermost germain of the rust.

Katy Young
- Paris, France


Rust can be prevented by blasting it with high pressurized water, the water will blast the rust away from the surface, leaving it clean.

James Morgan
- Hong Kong


Rust can be prevented if you rub the metal with sandpaper or 0000 steel wool [affil. link to Rockler] often.

Connie Wong
- Taiwan



I know of two ways to prevent rusting.
The first, as some have already mentioned is galvanization, coating the metal in zinc.

The second is to place a zinc block somewhere on your truck, boat or whatever it is you want to prevent from rusting. This gives the oxygen in the air the decision to bond with iron or zinc and because zinc is more reactive the oxygen molecules should bond with the zinc block.

Joel T. Ansett
- Spokane,WA United States


Well, Joel, your first idea will work, and your second idea will work in some cases but not in others. Zinc anodes will protect a ship and many other things, but not a truck, because that approach only works if the zinc and the steel are submerged.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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