What can I spray on metal to prevent rust?

Corrosion refers to the natural breakdown of a metal in reaction to elements such as water, oxygen, moisture and humidity in the atmosphere. It is a chemical process through which these elements slowly oxidise the metal, rendering it useless in any industrial process. Rust is the type of corrosion that leads to the formation of a reddish brown layer on irons. Since corrosion and rust are so harmful for metals, there are certain products in the manufacturing industry that are specifically designed to prevent rust. These products are corrosion inhibitors or rust preventive oils, and they essentially form a barrier between the surface of the metal and the atmosphere, which prevents any corroding chemical reaction from taking place. These rust preventives can be sprayed on or rubbed or painted over metal surfaces, depending on the circumstance, and thus the possibility of rusting can be reduced to a large extent.

What are the ways to prevent rust?

There are a lot of ways to prevent rust from occurring in the first place, some of which are easily doable and some which require special products and care. Firstly, the best way to prevent rust is to control the environment in which a metal is placed. The correct temperature, and lack of water or humidity around the metal can keep it safe from rust to a large extent. In situations where the metal would be exposed to such elements, it is important to package the metal safely to ensure that there are barriers between the surface and the atmosphere. In such situations, substances like oils, rust preventives, paint, acrylic, vinyl, epoxy, etc. are applied to the surface of the metal to create a barrier that protects the metal. Similarly, chemical compounds like vapour corrosion inhibitors (VCI) are infused in packing materials and reducing vapours in enclosed air spaces. 

How do you seal outdoor metal?

If a metal is placed outside, it is constantly exposed to water and humidity, which can increase the chances of corrosion. This is especially true in the construction industry, where construction of structures in humid weather or monsoons can lead to corrosion of equipment and raw materials. Furthermore, metal structures like bridges are also in constant danger of getting rusted. There are various ways in which such outdoor metal can be sealed to ensure that there is no corrosion. Oil based paint, with a rust preventive mixed in it, is a common way of protecting metals that are exposed to the elements. A dry coat of rust preventive can be used when a metal needs protection without any residue or change in its physical appearance. Similarly, powder coating is a common method to protect metal. In this process, powders made of materials like acrylic, polyester, epoxy or polyurethane are fused with the metal in the assembly line itself, which then gets binded to it, without need for any separate application or liquid.

How do you treat rust on steel?

Household items like repairing tools or gardening equipment can often fall prey to rust due to exposure to water and humidity. However, there are a few easy ways to remove rust from such items using some household products. For items with minimal rust, you can mix water and baking soda to form a paste that can then be applied to the affected area. Leave the paste on for some time and then use a wire brush to get the rust off. You can also cover the affected area in salt and then squeeze some lemon juice over it to remove the rust. Similarly, rubbing a potato covered with dish soap can also be extremely effective. If the rust is quite extensive, then the effective item should be soaked in vinegar overnight. The next day, you can use steel wool or a wire brush to scrub the rust off and then clean and dry the item well.