Best Methods To Protect Stainless Steel From Rust

Best Methods To Protect Stainless Steel From Rust
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    If you work in the automotive industry, with jewelry, or use any stainless steel in your line of work, you know the ever-present danger that hangs heavy; that is, rust.

    Although incredibly sturdy and long-lasting, steel has its kryptonite in the form of water and oxygen.

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The ever-present possibility of your steel products rusting is certainly stressful; however, you do not have to feel doomed. Whether your piece is developing rust, or you want some tips to avoid it, here are the best methods to protect your stainless steel from rust.

Check Water

When working with stainless steel, it will inevitably come into contact with water, especially if you use a tumbler to polish your jewelry. For the most part, stainless steel won’t rust when in most water conditions, but there are exceptions.

The biggest threat to stainless steel is hard water, as it is high in magnesium, iron, and calcium which creates a perfect environment for corrosion. As such, it is good practice to check if your water is hard and what’s more – it is also quite easy to check.

Grab a container with a top, fill it with water, add some liquid soap and give it a good shake. If there are very few suds or bubbles and the water looks cloudy or milky, your water is likely hard.

You may either treat your water or use distilled water when working with steel to remedy this. You can eliminate a potential aspect attributing to your product’s rusting when you are aware of your water quality.

The Right Tools

When you are cutting, grinding, or polishing, there are some aspects you should keep in mind that will help protect your stainless steel from rust. When cutting your stainless steel, it is best that you do not use high speeds.

Moreover, when you are grinding or polishing your stainless steel, stay away from dull abrasives and do not apply heavy pressures. High rates, heavy forces, and dull abrasives can cause your stainless steel to burn, overheat, and discolor.

As a result, these areas become much more prone to rust.

Removing Rust

Whether in a machinery part or product piece, rust is inevitable even when you take all the proper precautions. If you work with steel, you likely already use a vibratory tumbler to remove sharp edges and burrs from your metal.

But what’s more, a vibratory tumbler is excellent at removing rust from your industrial components. Your tumbler will slowly detach the rust from your piece through its subtle vibrations.

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Tumbling Media

To ensure you remove the rust properly, you must use the most efficient tumbling media for the job. If the piece you want to remove rust from is small to medium-sized, then it is best to use an abrasive pyramid-shaped plastic media. However, remember that since steel is much rougher than plastic, you should expect your tumbling media to degrade significantly.

So, when you open your tumbler, you might see plastic powder rather than pyramid media. Moreover, keep in mind that it may take a couple of tumbling rounds to remove the rust from your component altogether.

Image Credit: best methods to protect stainless steel from rust by Adobe Stock Image #:112597842

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