When iron and its alloys come into contact with air and water, rust is formed. This chemical process can cause serious damage to mechanical equipment and vehicles with metal parts and other systems. To protect machinery from the harm caused by rust, preventative measures can be taken and one of these is using a dedicated rust protection oil.
In the following sections, we will explore the science behind rust and the kind of damage it can cause to machinery from industrial equipment to your family car. We’ll also look at the preventive oils produced by leading manufacturers like Shell and Houghton to safeguard systems and vehicles from the corrosive properties of rust.
What is rust?
Metal stained with a reddish-brown hue is a common sight in scrapyards and abandoned equipment left outdoors, but how does it occur?
Rust is, in fact, an iron-oxide formed by a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen when water or moisture is present. Rusting is also the common term for what happens when iron and its associated alloys, such as steel, become corroded. While other metals may suffer similar attacks from corrosion, the oxides resulting from the process are not typically referred to as rust.
Imagine that a vehicle with many of its parts, including its chassis made from an iron alloy such as steel, is left outside in the open air for an extended period of time. Its metal parts are exposed to not only the oxygen in the air, but to molecules of moisture contained in it too. Open to the elements, it may experience wet weather increasing the process of rusting. Without appropriate protection, the rust will cause lasting damage, rendering the working parts unable to function properly, if at all.
What damage can be caused by rust?
While prevention treatments can provide a simple and effective solution to rust, the negative impact rust can have on mechanical equipment – not to mention the enterprises that own and operate it – can be catastrophic.
Rust can cause physical damage to equipment. It can create brittleness that leads metal parts to become weakened and break under the pressure of operation. This can not only be harmful to other parts of the machinery when failure occurs, but also become a serious safety risk to users operating equipment, as well as bystanders.
Vehicles operating in wet conditions will often struggle with rust. Water splashed up from puddles can soak the vehicle’s undercarriage and, if it is not properly protected, the metal will react with the air and moisture and rust can set in. Corrosive damage from rust can weaken the vehicle’s structural integrity over time, making it extremely dangerous for drivers and their passengers, particularly if a road accident occurs. Unable to hold together, the metal framework of the vehicle may not be strong enough to perform its task of protecting those onboard.
Economic damage can also be suffered by companies when machine parts become rusted. Repairs due to rust and replacement components required can often be expensive. In more extreme cases, rusted equipment may be rendered entirely unusable, resulting in even greater costs when new vehicles and machines must be purchased.
Protecting vehicles and other machinery from rust
The two most important reasons for safeguarding vehicles and other mechanical equipment from rust are first to protect a financial investment and secondly for safety reasons. Machinery that suffers rust can lead to ineffective operations, which can result in downtime for repairs or parts needing to be replaced. The associated loss in productivity and the resulting costs from expensive repair work or new components needing to be purchased can be mitigated however, by using an effective rust protection oil.
The corrosive nature of rust can reduce the structural integrity of metal, weakening it and making it dangerous. A vehicle’s chassis or other integral machine parts can collapse or break during operation and be harmful to the safety of drivers, users and those working in the vicinity when structural failure occurs.
Whether machinery is in continuous use or being temporarily stored, employing a rust preventative oil will ensure smooth and safe operations and sidestep costs incurred by downtime and repairs. Using an oil that inhibits rust can also add to the longevity of equipment, ensuring owners get the most out of their investment.
How rust protection oil works
Reliable rust protection oil suppliers offer a wide range of solutions to defend vehicles and other metal-based equipment. Machinery and vehicles represent a sizeable investment that requires protecting, so selecting and using a rust preventative to hinder components and parts succumbing to rust is important. A high-quality rust protection oil can assist in prolonging the life of engines and other essential operating systems by ensuring effective performance even following a period of downtime in extended storage.
These specially engineered formulas are developed to offer powerful protection to metal surfaces that might otherwise suffer corrosion, when in use or while stored. The rust-inhibiting oil works by depositing a protective film over surfaces that may suffer rust and safeguarding them from damage incurred by contaminants like fluid containing water, cleaning products and airborne debris.
Typically, rust-preventative lubricants will also possess other beneficial features such as properties for de-emulsification and swift drying times. Most solvent-based product will leave a waxy residue that forms a film capable of repelling water and efficiently reducing the chance of corrosion and rust occurring. The oils are specially engineered for their longevity allowing equipment to be protected effectively whether it is used constantly, frequently, occasionally or kept in storage.
Routine protection applied
Employing a rigid schedule for rust protection is the most effective way to get the most out of machinery like vehicles and mechanical systems. Adequate lubrication should be used on a regular basis to make sure equipment is always operating at optimum. When vehicles and equipment are not in use, applying preventative measures prior to putting them away will ensure they are ready for when you return them to service.