(Words and Photos: Matt M., Eastwood Company, December 2013 - Edited by Frost Restoration)
Rust is something we all must deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it's maintaining your daily driver, restoring a classic, or just around the house, rust is a type of corrosion that never sleeps and is always attacking metal. Below are the common ways to prevent, remove and stop rust in its tracks.
Mechanical Rust Removal
Angle Grinder - An Angle Grinder is one of the most common ways to remove rust mechanically. You can attach a number of different sanding or stripping discs to the grinder depending on how heavy the rust or corrosion is.
Metal Wire Brush - This is the most basic and possibly the most common way to remove rust from metal. A wire brush is made up of fine strands of metal that make up the bristles of the brush. When these are rubbed against the metal it abrades and removes rust, paint and corrosion. Wire brushes come in the standard steel hand brush format or we also offer cylindrical wire brushes that save time and can be used in a drill to get into tight areas.
We also have:
- Stainless Steel Wire Wheel for cleaning up aluminium work
- Twist Knot Brushes are perfect for heavier cleaning jobs, removing paint, rust, scale, carbon and adhsvie,etc.
Media Blasting - Removing rust, corrosion and old paint couldn't be quicker or easier than with this method. A media blaster uses compressed air and a crushed or ground abrasive media to shoot the media at a high velocity to clean metal. This method does require a dedicated air source such as an air compressor. We offer a number of different media blasters from single to dual blasters which you can easily switch between soda and abrasive medias. We also have a good selection of blast medias ranging from delicate soda blast media to more aggressive aluminium oxide. Choosing the correct grit media to match the job is equally as important as the correct blaster. For recycling abrasive media, you should clean the media by pouring it through this 11-inch diameter sifter screen. The Sifter Screen works like a 'filter' to remove large, unwanted debris, reducing the chance of clogged nozzle in your blast cabinets or pressure blaster.
Chemical Rust Removal
Eastwood Fast Etch - This chemical is a fast acting, powerful solvent that dissolves light surface rust to medium rust and leaves a zinc phosphate coating to stop any further corrosion and also etch clean metal. Use Fast Etch on fresh metal with light surface rust or on metal that has pits or crevices that mechanical removal can't touch. Simply wipe the treated area clean with PRE painting prep and you're ready to prime and topcoat.
POR15 Metal Prep - Using a similar method as Eastwood Fast Etch, POR15 Metal Prep not only dissolves away the rust but also etch primes the clean surface and leaves a Zinc Phosphate coating to prevent further rusting. Non-toxic, non-flammable and non-corrosive - It also ensures perfect paint adhesion and gives better welding conductivity.
Eastwood Rust Dissolver - If removing rust mechanically isn't your thing and you want a gentle solution that will dissolve medium to heavy rust; then you may want to try Eastwood Rust Dissolver. It can be brushed on or parts can be submerged into the dissolver to remove rust chemically. This solution requires the rusty metal to stay "wet" with the rust dissolver until the surface is turned to fresh, clean metal. One tip is to cover larger parts in plastic wrap or circulate the dissolver over the part with a small pump. Surfaces that have been treated with rust dissolver need to be immediately cleaned and sealed with a primer, Fast Etch / Metal Prep, or Eastwood After Blast to keep the fresh, vulnerable metal from flash rusting.
Evapo-Rust Rust Remover - Again, another gentle solution to remove medium to heavy rust . Easy to use, Evapo Rust is environmentally safe water based product which is suitable for both industrial and household uses. You will have to immerse the rusted object into the Evapo-Rust solution to remove rust, but it can be sprayed on unrusted steel as a rust preventative. To prevent rust from coming back, use Rust Bandit water based rust inhibitor after de-rusting. This can protect parts up to 12 months depending on dilution.
Chemical Rust Treatment
Eastwood Rust Encapsulator - Encapsulator treats, seals and stops rust from spreading on metal. It chemically encapsulates the surface and leaves a surface ready for primer or topcoat. Rust Encapsulator is fast curing and can be exposed to UV rays (some other products cannot). We suggest using Rust Encapsulator on any area that has light to heavy rust. It's also acceptable on surfaces that are mixed between clean metal and rusty metal (such as hard to reach areas or pitted metal). Offered in a number of colours as well as rubberised and textured finishes, this spray-able or brush-able coating is the toughest, most versatile chemical rust treatment product you'll use!
Rust Converter - Areas that have medium to heavy-duty rust are perfect candidates for Eastwood Rust Converter. This solution requires substantial rust to be present to chemically activate (flash rust is not enough!). After curing and converting the rust, it leaves an inert surface that is ready for a primer or topcoat. We do suggest mechanically removing any loose, flaky rust (but not to bare metal) before applying the converter. Since it is a one-part formula it is easy to spray or brush-on to convert the rust, but it does need to be sealed with a primer or topcoat.
- Dinitrol Rust Converter: RC900 Aerosol or RC800 (1L)
- Granville Heavy Duty Rust Converter
POR15 - Want a rust product that encapsulates the rust and leaves a rock hard finish? Then POR-15 paints are up your alley. POR15 works on areas that have mild to heavy rust. The surface does need to be correctly prepped with POR 15 Cleaner Degreaser and Metal Prep before applying the final treatment, but many rust fighters prefer the finish. It seals the rust from further moisture exposure, but it does require a top coat if you plan to apply it to areas that are exposed to UV rays.
4 Steps to Stop Rust with POR15:
- Cleaner Degreaser
- Metal Prep
- Rust Preventive Paint
- Top Coat
Chemical Rust Prevention
Dinitrol HS 3125 - A specially formulated wax which penetrates rust and dirt preventing further corrosion. Dinitrol HS 3125 is designed for application mainly as a cavity protection and a thin underbody coating. Main objects to be treated are used vehicles with some corrosion present.
Zinga Cold Galvanising System - If you want to galvanise a car body or chassis and give it a great many years of protection against rust in any form, you have a winner! Zinga is not paint; it is a pure Zinc coating which contains a minimum of 96% zinc in the dry film. Its unique formula provides environmentally safe cathodic protection to steel comparable with hot-dip galvanising, with the added advantage that it can be applied as though it were a paint.
Internal Frame/Chassis Coating - An Eastwood developed and exclusive product. This solution is meant for hidden areas that are either susceptible to rust or already have light to heavy rust present. The extension wand included with the Internal Chassis Coating aerosol cans have a conical spray pattern that coats 360 degrees in hidden areas. This product is an "all in one" type product that converts, encapsulates, and seals the surface with a phosphoric finish that will outlast any other coating. Eastwood Internal Frame / Chassis Coating is also low viscosity and will "creep" into small crevices and cracks for superior coverage. Although the name suggest this is for chassises of vehicles, this product is good for use in ANY hidden or inaccessible area.
Rubberised Undercoating - Rubber is soft and repels (to a point) things thrown at it. This idea was used when making rubberised undercoating. Use this product on areas you've treated with above rust chemicals or even on fresh metal to seal it from the harsh conditions seen by the undercarriage of a vehicle. Avoid cheap, asphalt-based products and stick with Quality Rubberised Undercoating for long term protection.
If you keep these methods and products in mind when dealing with rusty metal you can make your life easier and also ensure anything metal you own will last longer!