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Whether it’s rust or another type of corrosion in commercial and industrial structures, an ounce of prevention from the NACE-certified professionals at Painters USA is worth a pound of cure. This is especially important in certain industries like food processing, or in settings that are routinely subject to chemicals and moisture.
Rusting is a chemical reaction that happens when iron and iron alloys like steel are exposed to oxygen and water. While other metals and substrates are subject to corrosion, they do not rust. Rust stains spotted in concrete are generally caused by moisture penetration that reaches underlying rebar or other materials with iron. If left unchecked, rust can lead to serious maintenance issues and structural degradation.
Stages of rust formation
Unless your iron and steel surfaces are in dry, airtight locations, you can expect them to rust. Even in the absence of water, air contains enough hydrogen and oxygen atoms to bond to iron and begin the gradual, ongoing process of oxidation. This overview of rust formation stages can help you assess your situation and tackle issues early, before they become costly problems.
Surface Coating is not compromised and there are no traces of rust. Remove corrosive agents and contaminants as they accumulate and maintain a clean surface.
Red, black, or white deposits become noticeable as the surface becomes spottier and less uniform. On painted surfaces, the surface is bubbly or bubbles have broken. In stainless steel, it’s the protective film starting to fail.
Stage 2 is the beginning of degradation to the metal. As scale begins to form, it may be uneven and start causing pitting or etching, but the metal is still relatively sound. Immediate care is needed if it involves equipment that requires a critical thickness.
A powdered or granular state forms and scaling continues, which can lead to the rusting powder to loosen and fall off, landing on floors and any equipment or product below. Immediate corrective action should be taken.
ROI of coating protection and performance
Today, coating manufacturers like Sherwin Williams, PPG, Benjamin Moore, PIP, and Carboline offer a wide range of high-performance commercial and industrial paints and coatings. These products target specific surfaces and operational demands with problem-solving and added-value functionality. They can be more expensive, but they deliver longer life and reduced maintenance. Painters USA has product knowledge and an ethical, transparent approach to match the best coating options to your needs.
Eight forms of corrosion
The coatings industry still relies on the work of Fontana and Greene and their identification of eight kinds of corrosion:
- Uniform or general attack, the most common form of corrosion, proceeds uniformly over the entire exposed surface or area.
- Galvanic or two-metal corrosion happens when two dissimilar metals are in contact, producing electron flow between them that leads to electrochemical corrosion.
- Crevice corrosion (also called deposit or gasket corrosion) occurs within cracks, seams, and shielded areas on metal surfaces exposed to corrosives.
- Pitting is localized, starting with small cavities or holes that can go undetected for some time. It can cause equipment to fail because of perforation.
- Intergranular corrosion can happen under certain conditions where grain interfaces are highly reactive. The alloy disintegrates (grains fall out) and loses its strength.
- Selective leaching is the removal of one element from a solid alloy by corrosion processes, most common in the selective removal of zinc in brass alloys.
- Erosion corrosion is caused by movement of a corrosive fluid on a metal surface, characterized by patterns of grooves, gullies, waves, rounded holes, and valleys.
- Stress-corrosion cracking refers to cracking caused by the simultaneous presence of tensile stress and a specific corrosive medium.
Understanding these forms can better help you assess the corrosion forms you may be dealing with. Painters USA’s NACE-certified inspectors have the expert eye to spot and correct even small signs of corrosion, along with any other substrate or old coating issues. We address small issues before they turn into a bigger, more damaging problem that would be more expensive and time-consuming to repair.
Before and After Rust Encapsulation
Rust removal options
Commercial and industrial property owners and managers have a number of options to prevent and remediate rust. Following are some solutions that Painters USA can perform:
Rust prevention options
As a common material in commercial and industrial facilities, a variety of specialized steel options have been developed over the years that offer enhanced rust-resistance, such as galvanized steel, stainless steel, and weathered steel or Corten®, which develops a rust-resistant coating that actually resembles rust for a controlled rustic and weathered look.
For most commercial and industrial settings, the best way and sometimes the only way to prevent and mitigate rust and corrosion is through specialized coatings and/or paint that create a protective barrier. A variety of specialized formulations have been developed to handle a wide range of commercial or industrial operating environments.
We’ll keep you audit and inspection ready
Nearly every commercial or industrial enterprise we work with is accountable to multiple regulatory agencies or business stakeholders. And perhaps no industry is as highly regulated as the food industry. From agriculture commodities to food and beverage processing to food service, the food safety chain has many links and many inspectors—USDA, FDA, third party audits. It’s a tangled and complex web, and if you’re part of it, you don’t have the time to work with clueless, inexperienced suppliers. Choose Painters USA for our food industry experience, knowledge of food safe coatings and sanitary facilities, and understanding of regulatory compliance. We’ll help you keep your facilities ready for any inspections.
Coating expertise and experience
The most important variables that will determine the effectiveness and longevity of industrial and commercial coatings are inspection, surface prep, and application:
- Identify early issues and vulnerabilities to nip them in the bud.
- Properly clean and prepare metal surfaces and adjacent areas.
- Properly apply the best coating technology for any requirements.
If rust and other forms of corrosion are an ongoing issue in your facility, working with a commercial / industrial contractor like Painters USA is important. We have both decades of experience and expertise validated by coating industry certifications from NACE and SPCC, now together as the Association for Materials Protection and Performance or AMPP.