Without paint - Protect Steel from Weather + Rust

Sometimes I'd like to protect steel from moisture without paint.  Partly this is a practical matter. Figure I'll weld somethin else on sooner or later, and would rather not deal with burning paint.

Partly it's an aesthetic. Not long ago, saw a 50s pickup that someone was in process of restorin.  Just gorgeous while it was stripped of all paint.

So... Linseed oil?  Wax?
Or option C thru Z?

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johnyradio2 years ago

- Use marine paint for metal exposed to water.

- protective water-insoluble lubricants to moving metal parts.

- Use a galvanization process. "This process involves handling industrial chemicals, some of which are hazardous at room temperature, at extremely hot temperatures and thus should not be attempted by anyone other than trained professionals."

- Use a sacrificial anode.

- Use anodization. anodizing uses an electric current to give the metal a protective coating.

http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Metals-from-Corroding

gmoon2 years ago

Most people think of it as a lubricant, but WD-40 was formulated to displace water and prevent corrosion.

GarrettH22 years ago

You could consider 3M Paint Defender spray film. It's clear and provides a protective barrier.

Kiteman2 years ago

You could try using a "rust converter" compound. It will change the colour of the metal to a blue/black shade, but retain the texture and general "look" of old metal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_converter

Downunder35m Kiteman2 years ago

Those only work if you already have iron oxide present.

The phosporic acid will turn the rust into a phosphate compound the won't rust again but steel parts that are still clean won't be protected.

And you need quite large amounts of acid for bigger parts that need to be cleaned off with water before dry as otherwise the metal will get a white tarnish that is very hard to remove.

Also it will be next to impossible to weld through the layer of phospate.

It depends on what you plan to do with it and how good the protection needs to be.

Linseed oil can be a fire hazard and once totally dry is not that easy to get off - plus it is not really suited for constant water protection.

Spray wax is a good option for sensitive parts but can be a pain to clean off prior to welding.

Best option is still dry storage.

One option I could think off for smaller parts is to vacuum seal them.

You could try a zink or magnesium anode for bigger parts if you have an option to screw them on.

It depends on what you plan to do with it and how good the protection needs to be.

Linseed oil can be a fire hazard and once totally dry is not that easy to get off - plus it is not really suited for constant water protection.

Spray wax is a good option for sensitive parts but can be a pain to clean off prior to welding.

Best option is still dry storage.

One option I could think off for smaller parts is to vacuum seal them.

You could try a zink or magnesium anode for bigger parts if you have an option to screw them on.