We at EonCoat understand the importance of corrosion prevention. Rust and other corrosion forms can lead to safety issues and ruin the integrity of your equipment and supplies. Even routine maintenance to remove and repair corrosion can drive up costs. Fortunately, there are a variety of measures you can take to minimize corrosion. Here we’ll highlight four of these methods based on cost and effectiveness.
1. Barrier Coatings
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to prevent corrosion is to use barrier coatings like paint, plastic, or powder. Powders, including epoxy, nylon, and urethane, are heated to the metal surface to create a thin film. Plastic and waxes are often sprayed onto metal surfaces. Paint acts as a coating to protect the metal surface from the electrochemical charge that comes from corrosive compounds. Today’s paint systems are actually a combination of different paint layers that serve different functions. The primer coat acts as an inhibitor, the intermediate coat adds to the paint’s overall thickness, and the finish coat provides resistance to environmental factors.
The biggest drawback with coatings is that they often need to be stripped and reapplied. Coatings that aren’t applied properly can quickly fail and lead to increased levels of corrosion. Coatings may also contain volatile organic compounds, which can make them vulnerable to corrosion.
2. Hot-Dip Galvanization
This corrosion prevention method involves dipping steel into molten zinc. The iron in the steel reacts with the zinc to create a tightly bonded alloy coating which serves as protection. The process has been around for more than 250 years and has been used for corrosion protection of things like artistic sculptures and playground equipment. Compared to other corrosion prevention methods, galvanization is known for lower initial costs, sustainability, and versatility.
Unfortunately, galvanization can’t be done on-site, meaning companies have to pull equipment out of work to be treated. Some equipment may simply be too large for the process, forcing companies to abandon the idea altogether. In addition, if the process isn’t done properly, the zinc can chip or peel. And high exposure to environmental elements can speed up the process of zinc wear, leading to increased maintenance check-ups. Lastly, the zinc fumes that release from the galvanizing process are toxic.
3. Alloyed Steel (Stainless)
Alloyed steel is one of the most effective corrosion prevention methods around, combining the properties of various metals to provide added strength and resistance to the resulting product. Corrosion-resistant nickel, for example, combined with oxidation-resistant chromium results in an alloy that can be used in oxidized and reduced chemical environments. Different alloys provide resistance to different conditions, giving companies greater flexibility.
Despite its effectiveness, alloyed steel is very expensive. Companies with limited financial resources will likely have to turn to other methods. Monitoring surface conditions are critical, as cracks or scratches can result in an increase in corrosion. Companies also need to make sure the agents used in maintenance don’t include corrosion properties.
4. Cathodic Protection
Cathodic protection protects against galvanic corrosion, which occurs when two different metals are put together and exposed to a corrosive electrolyte. To prevent this, the active sites on the metal surface need to be converted to passive sites by providing electrons from another source, typically with galvanic anodes attached on or near the surface. Metals used for anodes include aluminum, magnesium, or zinc.
While cathodic protection is highly effective, anodes need to be checked often which can drive up costs of maintenance. They also increase the weight on the attached structure and aren’t always effective in high-resistivity environments. Finally, anodes lead to increased water flow on ships and other underwater equipment.
Choosing the right corrosion prevention for your equipment isn’t easy. Each of the above methods has its pros and cons, which is where EonCoat comes in. Compared to the cost-effective, maintenance-free, and on-site ability of EonCoat, other methods can’t compete. EonCoat uses no toxic chemicals and is environmentally friendly. Our 30-year warranty ensures your equipment stays protected for longer. We’ve made it a point to provide the best corrosion protection method available to help companies like yours moving along with as little hassle as possible. There’s no reason not to take advantage of EonCoat’s power today.