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Does picking at rust make it grow faster or slower?

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Anonymous Poster

Sep 1, 2007, 2:21 PM

Post #1 of 2 (3111 views)
Does picking at rust make it grow faster or slower? Sign In

I was picking away at a rust spot and pealing the loose paint away thinking that doing that alone will slow it down because that stuff traps moisture but someone else thinks doing so makes it grow faster. Who's right?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 2, 2007, 4:01 AM

Post #2 of 2 (3107 views)
Re: Does picking at rust make it grow faster or slower? Sign In

Rust is oxidization which is adding material till it falls off. The only correction is to kill the virus like growth of it which can be done with some effectiveness. There are products that claim to stop it and do if perfectly applied. I believe removing lose rust slows down the process. Moisture aggrevates the problem. Steel submersed in water will rust slower than when it's wet and then allowed to dry repeatedly. This is evidenced by steel ships and metals that are in tide water which is ever changing. The submersed steel and the steel above lasts far longer than the area that cycles between wet and dry.

The regualr salt in oceans and used on road surfaces for snow and ice removal (sodium chloride) seems to be the worst for aggrevating the problem. Other salts are slower to cause problems. Take a peice of steel and put it in salt and it perserved it!?!?!? Machinery used in salt mines don't rust badly!?!?! Salt just put on paper in a humid environment will extract moisture out of the air and make it wet - try it.

Sacrificial paints and coating like galvanizing seem to work best. Stainless steel has nickle in it which helps a lot but can still rust.

Rust has been the demise of almost every vehicle I have ever known short of collisions. It's a tough nut!


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