4 Tips To Prevent Your Steel From Corroding

Steel is an extremely popular material and is used widely in construction, infrastructure, and transportation. In fact wherever you look around you, you’re sure to see steel. The one downside of steel, however, is that if it’s not looked after properly it can quickly corrode. As a leading steel fabricator in Brisbane, we’ve got plenty of experience with steel corrosion and its prevention, so we’ve put together 4 tips to help you care for your steel and to protect it from corrosion.

There are 4 main types of steel corrosion:

  • Galvanic

  • Uniform

  • Pitting

  • Crevice

  1. Preventing galvanic corrosion – This type of corrosion occurs when steel comes into contact with another metal that has a lower active electrode potential. The easiest way to protect against galvanic corrosion is to prevent different metals from coming into direct contact with one another, but this is often easier said than done. Other options include electrical insulation of the areas of contact and stopping an electrically conducting path from forming by using a protective coating such as galvanising or anodising.

  1. Preventing uniform attack corrosion – This is when the whole surface corrodes at approximately the same rate. The easiest form of protection against this is to put some form of protective barrier between the metal and the corroding agents. For instance you could use an oil sealant, paint, or an electrochemical solution such as a plastic coating or galvanised zinc. If your steel is below ground then you could consider a form of cathodic protection such as sacrificial anodes.

  1. No more pitting – Pitting takes place when the protective layer comes off small pieces of steel and corrode. This causes a problem since these areas become weakened and can lead to instability within a structure. The best way to handle this problem is to use cathodic protection or regularly reapply protective coatings. If you notice any damage to protective coatings, then it’s always best to repair it as soon as you can to prevent further damage.

  1. Prevent crevice corrosion – This type of corrosion occurs when a gap close to a metal surface is sufficiently wide for fluid to enter but not wide enough to allow it to drain away. In this case the water stagnates and turns corrosive. The best means of prevention is simply to close the gaps so that water can’t get in.

General care tips

As well as the above tips for preventing specific types of corrosion here are a few general care tips:

  • Don’t store steel for prolonged periods in poorly ventilated or damp conditions

  • Try not to expose steel to a pH level below 6 and above 12 for long periods of time

  • Do not use abrasive cleaners on coated steel as this can cause damage to the coating. Instead use non-abrasive cleaning products and rinse off well with cold water.

For more steel solutions and expert advice get in touch with Metro Steel today on 07 3204 1000.

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