World-leading lubrication manufacturers like Millers Oils and Houghton produce specific solutions designed to inhibit rust forming on mechanical parts made from certain metals. Built-for purpose rust preventative oils can offer powerful protection against rust and other forms of corrosion. In the next sections, we’ll take a close look at how and why rust occurs, and what qualities a protective oil must possess to be effective.
How do you define rust?
If you’ve ever visited an auto scrap yard or seen metal equipment or vehicles left unused for long periods of time outside, there’s a good chance you’ve already come across rust. You may also have seen outdoor fixtures like hinges or padlocks succumb to this process. Visually, rust is very easy to spot, as it colours metal a shade of reddish-brown with a matt finish.
Heavy rust will flake off if touched, as the metal becomes brittle and weakens overtime, reducing its structural integrity. Rusting is caused by a chemical reaction involving iron – or its alloys, like steel – water and air. When these elements combine, iron-oxide is produced, and the metal starts to break down. You’ll find that corrosion can impact a wide range of different metal classes, but rust is specific to iron-related metals.
Stationary equipment like the various types used in the agricultural sector must often work outdoors, as do the vehicles employed by multiple industries carrying loads between sites. It’s understood that outdoor equipment and vehicles are likely to experience wet weather, and combined with air, their steel parts can be vulnerable to rust. In certain industrial processes, such as paper production, water contamination is also a risk to the machinery used in indoor environments. As a result, a rust preventative oil is an essential part of every maintenance schedule.
Attributes of an effective rust preventative oil
What makes a good rust preventative comes down to a product’s ability to inhibit corrosive forces taking root, along with any additional features it may contain to support this vital process. An effective rust preventative oil must efficiently seal off all parts with a thin but robust coating. The best protective oils will ensure that a film will remain in place whether a vehicle or item of equipment is in active use or has been stored until required. This protective seal ensures that no water-bearing fluids, atmospheric moisture, cleaning products or debris in the air can harm the oiled parts of machinery.
Modern rust preventatives are often imbued with useful additives that offer advanced assistance against iron oxide. For example, products that are solvent-based may form a waxy residue on components that can repel water, while others offer rapid drying times and de-emulsification.
Rust preventative business benefits
The advantages of employing a good rust preventative oil are manifold. Operations employing them enjoy less repairs and equipment downtime, as well as a longer lifespan for their machinery overall. The productivity of a piece of equipment that is not hampered by rust will also be higher than those affected, leading to real-time financial gains.