Steel is a very popular material which is used in everything from household appliances to transport to construction. Strong, durable, and recyclable, the only downside is that if not cared for properly it can corrode. Here at Metro Steel we have years of experience working with this metal and as a result have put together a few tips to help you care for your steel in the correct manner.
There are 4 main types of corrosion that can affect steel and these are pitting, galvanic, crevice and uniform. So let’s take a look at how you can avoid each type of corrosion.
Pitting tends to take place when the protective coating comes away from small areas of steel and consequently start to corrode. This can be problematic since this weakens those areas and can cause instability within the structure. The best course of action is to regularly apply protective coatings or use cathodic protection. It’s important to take action the minute you see any signs of damage to the protective coating.
This type of corrosion typically occurs when steel is in contact with another metal which has a less active electrode potential. Although not always possible, the simplest way to deal with this problem is not to let different metals come into contact with each other. Other options include using a protective coating such as galvanisation or anodising to prevent an electrically conducting path from forming. It also works if you insulate the areas of contact with electricity.
Crevice corrosion takes place when there’s a gap (or crevice) near the metal surface which is wide enough to let fluid enter but too narrow to let it drain away with ease. This means that any water entering the crevice stagnates and becomes corrosive. The best solution to prevent this from happening is to close these caps or allow for circulation.
Uniform corrosion refers to surface area which all corrodes at practically the same rate. In essence this means that any solution has to be applied to the entire surface to provide protection. The easiest way to protect against uniform corrosion to to place a protective barrier between the metal and the corroding agents. We’d suggest using paint or an oil sealant, or alternatively you could use an electrochemical solution such as a plastic coating or galvanised zinc. In the event that your steel is immersed in liquid or underground then a good choice is a catholic protection such as sacrificial anodes.
The general care of steel
As well as the specific methods of corrosion prevention listed above, we’ve listed a few general tiops for the care of steel
Never clean coated steel with an abrasive cleaner as this can damage the coating. Instead use non abrasive products and rinse off well with water.
Avoid storing steel for prolonged periods of time in areas which are damp or poorly ventilated.
Avoid exposing steel to a PH level of more than 12 or below 6 for long periods of time.
For steel solutions and expert advice get in touch with the team at Metro Steel by calling us on 07 3204 1000 or call into our purpose built facility at Kabi Circuit, Deception Bay. We look forward to meeting you.