How can we prevent common corrosion?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Corrosion is the non-scientific word for oxidation, slow oxidation.  For example, rust is iron oxide.  Several factors promote oxidation of metallic surfaces—what the layman calls “weathering.”  Foremost among these is moisture, notably water, standing or rainwater, or simply a moist atmosphere.  Secondly, wind, heat, and other natural phenomena can physically and chemically promote rapid oxidation.  The prevention of common corrosion, then, begins with protecting metallic surface from “exposure” to these elements, basically keeping oxygen from reacting with the metal.  Oil lubrication, either carbon-based products such as lubricating oil, or vegetable oil (olive oil) or mineral oil, when applied thoroughly and in all crevices, is the most effective for metals that must stay outside (gates, fences, etc.), but indoor storage, with a good cleaning and a light application of oil, is best for such items as tools, blades, shovels, etc. Moving parts that are not moved for long periods of time will corrode eventually, but simple occasional use will prevent most of the corroding.   Some purists will say that corrosion can only be slowed, not prevented. 


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