The simple definition of corrosion is a degradation of material resulting from a reaction to the material’s environment. NASA’s Corrosion Technology Laboratory estimates that corrosion costs businesses as much as $276 billion every year! Along with metal, materials like plastics, ceramics, and composites can suffer from the effects of corrosion as well. Smart business owners know that preventing this type of degradation is far better than engaging with a welding repair professional to fix problems once they occur.
How Rust & Corrosion Lead to Problems
Rust and corrosion are more than just an unsightly problem. They can also pose a hazard in the workplace and to guests and customers. For example, simple steel fasteners on a ladder could fail after continuous exposure to the elements leading to a dangerous fall. Moving parts in engines or other parts of equipment can seize.
Corroded metal can also lose its magnetism. This is a serious problem for those in the automotive or recycling industries as well as one cause of electronics failures. Plus, rust on metal will hinder electrical conductivity and can result in a number of dangerous situations.
Preventing Rust & Corrosion
One study found that the massive cost of corrosion in the US could be reduced by up to 30 percent by implementing preventive measures. From accidents and injuries to equipment repair and replacement, it’s easy to see how the costs add up quickly. Fortunately, preventing rust and corrosion is usually a straightforward task.
The first thing to remember is that water and oxygen are what causes rust and corrosion. Keeping your equipment as dry as possible will go a long way toward preventing rust and corrosion damage. For long-term storage, that means ensuring that the area is low in humidity. It also means keeping equipment clean and removing mud and other dirt that can hold water.
The most common solution for most equipment is the application of a high-performance, oxide-resistant coating for surfaces. Paints and sprays can work as a water barrier, and heavy equipment can be protected with commercial anti-rust coatings as well.
Routine Inspections Make the Difference
Even the best protective coatings will eventually break down. Plus, small areas of damage such as dents and scratches can provide the opening rust needs to start setting in. A quick daily inspection should be part of every employee’s routine. That way, small problems can be detected while they are still easy to repair.
Heavy equipment should be thoroughly inspected on a periodic basis to look for rust, corrosion, and other signs of damage. Methods such as ultrasonic testing can be used to get accurate rust measurements of large items.
Repairing Rust and Corrosion
If your equipment has suffered from rust and corrosion damage and it’s time for repairs, we can help. Our metal fabrication and welding repair services are available in our shop. Or, we can deploy the mobile welder for onsite repairs. To learn more about protecting your equipment from damage or to schedule a repair, contact us today.