What are you painting them with? Perhaps it's time to get a professional to do the work for you, using more powerful coatings. It may even be possible to get them professionally powder-coated, as long as they can be removed and transported to the powder coating facility.
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Thanks jeff-o. I've been thinking of hot dip zinc (Galvanizing) but the problem of stripping or cutting the aviaries into manageable sections is quite daunting. It would be OK for the boat trailers which I could dismantle as necessary at the processing facility. I could also load and lash the gates onto the trailer. I have seen a product on the net called "Rust Bullet", which, if I can find it in South Africa, might be the answer. I think it might be too late to try powder coating. To remove every trace of rust first would be impossible.
Hi There, Rust Bullet is going to solve your problems - it is easy to use and is patented by the USPTO to stop Rust - you can paint it over rust or prepare the surface properly to a st2. A cured Rust Bullet coating is rock hard and extremely tough. You can check out our website www.rustbulletsa.co.za.
Well that is tricky... I suspect that any coating you apply will require the rust to be removed first. I'm not sure what else to suggest...
Why don't you try and see if your local "Dura-Liner" (truck-bed coating) dealer can coat it for you, after a thorough iron-grit blasting? You won't be able to get everything, but for the most part, the main structural components could be coated with some sacrifice for parts that simply cannot retain a coating, such as your trailer's suspension components.
The only real solution is to start with the right components at the beginning. There comes a point where some things are not worth saving. Rebuild or replace with aluminum or stainless-steel (as suggested earlier) as needed until you eventually replace the whole structures with better materials. For your gate, I suspect it's wrought iron, and you've been wire-brushing the rust away and repainting. Try using "exhaust-manifold enamel", and use a lot of it next time you de-rust. Ensure you have gotten ALL rust out, and then apply a liberal set of coats to it....Not a few heavy coats, but several light coats, as the thinner layers will be stronger than heavy coats that are twice as thick overall.
As a last resort, you can mix-up in very small batches a compound called "J-B Weld" (a metal epoxy), and little-by-little, coat the entire gate with it like paint (you'll want small batches as it cures quickly....DO NOT apply with a brush). If you can finish this before rust starts again, and you leave no area exposed, it can never rust again, however this will be very expensive on time and money, but you will get the results you desire. Keep all moving parts well-greased, re-greasing liberally every 3-6 months if you live near salt-water (which considering your problem with rust, you likely do). Try to rain-guard hinges to help keep water from directly displacing grease.
At the end of the day, it is how well you cured the disease, not the symptom. The smart buy is nickel-plated gates for your driveway, and properly-treated boat-trailers. Spend more now, save more later. "You'll replace a $20 kitchen-sink every year, but a $200 kitchen sink will last you 100 years", if you can do the math. For the aviary, you may have to progressively convert to nylon//PVC netting instead of galvanized steel if rust is as persistent as you imply.
Thanks Prometheus for that advice. I see you understand the problems and you hit the nail on the head. I admit that I made a big mistake when I built the trailer by not having it fully galvanized. To do it now means having to first strip off all the wiring, lights, nylon rollers, reflective strips etc. We learn by (and pay for) our mistakes. I have to do it though, as I have no desire to rebuild the trailer again. I thought at the time that if I used open "C" section girder instead of closed box steel (which it was previously) then I would always be able to see the rust and attack it quickly and easily. This is pure folly because when it has a cabin cruiser on top of it you can't reach much of the structure anyway and to remove the trailer from under the vessel is real mission! For my gates, aviaries and other outside structures I will be trying out Duram Paints anti-rust metal coatings. This comprises a rust convertor followed by an anti-rust coating Zinc Phosphate primer and then a topcoat. I'll just see how long that lasts.
Oh yes....don't forget to replace fasteners and such, and double-check the trailer's structural integrity. Rust likes to eat away at the critical points first, like some kind of parasite. Paint/coat post-assembly, with emphasis on fasteners and joints, or anywhere there may be a gap between parts.
I used to live in hawaii, where the heat and beachfront property can turn a brand-new brake-rotor into a deeply-rusted facsimile in just 8 hours. You can literally watch the steel rust right before your eyes.
Just make sure you get every last bit of rust out, or the process will continue beneath any paint.
The only other method that could work is using electrolysis, though to do that you need a tank large enough and a power supply big enough. There is an instructable that tells you how to do it.
No that's not feasable due to the large dimensions. Great though to have a smaller setup especially for smaller metal parts like brackets, hinges, gate catches etc. One day someone will come up with a lasting solution (and maybe get rich in the process) but in the meantime rust will remain a headache. I have more or less decided to use thick coatings of Red Lead paint, just like the ship builders use. I don't care anymore about appearances, just determined to get longer lasting results.
use rust-proof components- like stainless steel
Wish I could afford it. Everything is home made with welded steel. I have tried all the the usual etch-primers with various top coats such as Hammerite but nothing lasts. New rust breaks through within a year. I remember reading in Popular Mechanics about guys painting the underside of their cars with ordinary roof paint to stop the de-icing salt attacking their vehicles. I'm desperate enough to try that out! Thanks Keyboardisbroken