How to Prevent Steel Corrosion

steel corrosion

The number one enemy of custom steel fabrication has always been steel corrosion. It damages structures made from steel, disrupts fabrication and installation of steel products, causes costly maintenance, and can lead to potential power failures and the closure of facilities.

This is the reason that steel fabricators like Metro Steel ensure that materials and metal components in every project are of the highest quality and fit for purpose.

Custom steel fabrication

Custom steel fabrication is at the heart of the fabrication industry – processing, manufacturing, and constructing to transform metal into products that millions of people use daily globally.

What is steel corrosion?

Corrosion or rust is when the metal starts to disintegrate as a result of the environment. Typically it happens where there is moisture, an oxidising agent, and exposure to a metallic surface.

Metal, in particular, rusts when it reacts with substances like hydrogen, oxygen and electron acceptor.

So how can we prevent corrosion of steel?

Here are a few tips for you to take on board:

  • So you don’t have to worry too much about corrosion choose metals that are fairly resistant to rust such as stainless steel and aluminium
  • Keep the area surrounding the metal surface dry
  • When trying to achieve a rust-free material use products and dry agents that will lock in moisture, acting as a barrier to prevent wet substances from penetrating your metal
  • Use layers of backfill when pipes are placed underground

Choose the right type of metal

You can help prevent steel corrosion with a careful choice of metal. It needs to be rust-resistant like aluminium or stainless steel.

Sacrificial metals such as zinc and magnesium act like armour and protect the internal steel from corrosion. When these are placed in direct contact or cover steel it’s the external metals i.e. zinc or magnesium that will corrode first. In other words, they are sacrificed so that the steel inside remains rust-free.


There are several coatings that will help protect your metal. These include:

Paint – This is a cost-effective solution and works by blocking moisture and other corrosion causing substances by stopping the electrochemical charge from being transferred directly to the metal.

Carbon fibre coating – This also helps prevent steel corrosion. The metal is covered by sheets of carbon fibre to protect and strengthen the quality of the material, thereby making it less vulnerable to unexpected leaks and cracks.

Powder coating is also helpful. This is a powder that is applied to the surface of a metal, heated and smoothed. Polyester, acrylic, urethane and nylon are all examples are this type of coating.

Epoxy coatings can withstand industrial settings and gloss or colour isn’t too much of a problem either. Typically spraying is recommended for this type of application.

External environment

Try to lower the risk of your metal being exposed to seawater or rain. A more advanced method is by controlling and monitoring the levels of oxygen, sulphur and chlorine present around the metal.

Custom metal fabrication design

The way to go is to modify metal designs and fabricate them to improve quality, longevity and durability. Designs that are strategically manufactured will make it easier for regular maintenance to occur.

This includes providing metals with the necessary coatings etc. to lower the risk of further steel corrosion and deterioration.

Custom steel fabrication at Metro Steel

Knowing how to prevent corrosion is vital for your fabrication projects. At Metro Steel, we offer advice and guidance on the best type of metal to choose for your project and are happy to answer all your metal fabrication questions to ensure you have a positive experience. If you’re interested they why not give the experts at Metro Steel a call on  07 3204 1000 or drop by our facility in Deception Bay.

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