If your life is being made a misery by rust, take heart. There are some products around that could change your life, forever. Rust treatment products fall into two broad categories, chemicals that actually remove the rust and chemicals that convert it into a corrosion resistant layer. It is important to understand the difference and how they work so that you can be sure to use the right weapons in your own personal war on corrosion.
Unlike aluminium or copper, where natural oxidation in the atmosphere creates a tightly bonded layer that prevents the underlying metal from further oxidation, the oxide of iron actually occupies more space than the original iron and so, flakes off allowing further oxidation (rusting) to occur. We are all familiar with the distorted and misshapen remains of old horseshoes and anchors, where the swollen encrustations have changed the shape of the original object.
Of the two treatments, a rust remover is the weapon of choice if the area you are treating is only lightly affected. Anything heavily encrusted would, firstly, take a long time to treat and once all the rust was removed, scars would remain where the iron had been eaten away. Rust removers use a dilute acid, typically oxalic acid, which converts the iron oxide (the rust) into a water soluble salt.
First, remove any loose and flaking rust with a wire brush, then apply the remover product, working it into the rust with a brush - gradually the liquid will react with the rust, loosening it, so that it can be wiped off, leaving a fresh, metal surface. But be sure to prime or paint the bare metal immediately as bare iron or steel will start to rust immediately.
If the item you are treating is heavily affected, the solution is to use a chemical which converts the rust into a resistant layer that sticks tight to the underlying iron. These products, containing tannic and phosphoric acid react chemically with the layer of rust to convert it into a layer that adheres tightly to the underlying iron or steel. The addition of an organic polymer results in a protective surface which is immediately ready for painting.
Once again, good preparation is important and any loose or flaking rust must be removed first with a wire brush or hammer. But, take care not to remove all the rust at this stage, as rust converters rely on rust being present to create the new protective layer.
Rust doesn't have to be the swan song of your favourite bicycle, car or garden ornament. Thanks to rust removers
and rust converters, a potential disaster can be an object of beauty once more.
Jenolite Rust Converter
is a safe to use rust treatment which transforms rust into a stable hydrophobic complex. It is suitable for over coating with most traditional paints. Removes all traces of rust. Jenolite Rust Remover is easy to apply and there is no need to rinse off. Just wipe the surface after application. You will see that the rust has disappeared to leave a stable surface ready for priming and painting.