Sunday, October 24, 2021

What to Know About Metal Corrosion & How to Protect Your Metal

 

large rusty pipes

While metals like red brass alloys, naval brass, and sintered bronze may be highly resistant, many metals still find corrosion to be an ever-present issue they face. And that means machinery, buildings, equipment, and more will encounter the possibility of corrosion every year. Since so many things - and people - rely on the durability and long-lasting use of metals, having an understanding of what causes metal corrosion and how to keep it from happening can be incredibly beneficial. 

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is what happens when oxidation occurs. It is a chemical reaction. In other words, when

metals come in contact with certain oxidizing agents in their environment, corrosion can occur. With

the well-known oxidizing agents being air and water, metals are almost always vulnerable. Some of

the most common metals - bronze, brass, and copper - begin to corrode with continuous exposure to

these elements in their environment. 

It is important to keep in mind that all metals are different. They have different properties that become affected in different environments. For instance, some metals may be less bothered by air and water and more affected by things like saltwater, excessive heat, sulfur, acidic compounds, or ammonia. 

When metals begin to corrode, their protective outer layer has been breached. Those that contain iron will rust. But in those that are free of iron, oxidation often develop a colorful layer of greens, browns, blacks, blues, and reds. This beautiful layer is called a patina coating. And while it may appear as though the metal is ruined, it is really just a protected covering. With a little attention, you can return your metal back to its original state. 

Protecting Your Metal 

To protect your metal from corrosion, you need to keep it safe from the elements that can cause it,

such as air and water. By removing these elements or blocking them from reaching your metal, you

can easily protect it. The method in which you do this will vary greatly based on where your metal is

being used. For instance, there are some metals that are used in water -- so you can’t remove the

water, but you can protect the metal better with, say, a strong sealant. 

Below are a few tips for protecting your metal. 

Seal Your Metal. Sometimes, the easiest thing you can do is make sure your metal has a sealed

coating that offers protection. This layer keeps air and moisture, as well as other oxidizing agents,

from ever reaching the metal. Note that this barrier will wear down with use and needs to be replaced

regularly. 

Keep Your Metal Clean. Dust and debris can hold in moisture. When there is a buildup on the pipes, this sitting moisture can lead to corrosion rather quickly. Keep your metal clean by wiping it down regularly. You may want to avoid using any harsh or abrasive cleaners. 

Reduce Moisture. If you store your metal tools or equipment in a certain area, consider adding a dehumidifier to the room. This will help to remove the moisture present and lessen the chance of corrosion. After all, moisture in the air can be just as corrosive over time as running water. 

Atlas Bronze For All Your Metal Needs

When it comes to understanding how to care for and protect your metals, Atlas Bronze has you covered. It’s what we do. So, whether you have questions about a specific metal or you just would like to discuss metals in general, contact Atlas Bronze today.

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