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PRESS RELEASE: Back to the Basics of Rust Removal for Easy Asset Restoration!

Rust has a way of making its mark just about anywhere—from the fanciest cars to the most critical spares at a power plant. As corrosion eats away at metal assets, making them unsightly and unusable, their values decline simultaneously. While some metals have rusted beyond recovery, the good news is that many rusty industrial assets are not a total loss thanks to Cortec’s rust removal basics!

Who Needs Rust Removal?

Everyone encounters rust, but the cost of corrosion is especially noticeable in industry. Auto part suppliers may be responsible to replace or restore items that have rusted in shipment. Refinery personnel may rush to get a backup valve only to find that it is too rusty to install safely. Maintenance crews may come across rusty structures, tools, or equipment that need to be reclaimed in the course of everyday work. In short, almost everyone can benefit from a basic knowledge of rust removal.

Choosing a Rust Remover

There are many different rust removers to choose from. It is important to ask these questions when deciding which one to use:
• What type of metal is the corroded component made of?
• Can the part be dipped in a liquid, or is a gel product needed for vertical surfaces?
• Is speed of rust removal more important, or the use of a biobased product?
• Are there any special requirements for incidental food contact?

Cortec® offers a range of options to meet specific needs. Its most popular rust removers work on both ferrous and yellow metals. Custom products are available for removing rust from aluminum or galvanized steel. Several USDA Certified Biobased Products provide options with high renewable content. For applications where speed is the priority, VpCI®-426 is a stronger chemistry that is not USDA certified biobased but works faster for end users facing time constraints. Those with rust removal needs in the food industry can turn to VpCI®-422, an NSF A3 registered product acceptable for use as an acid cleaner in and around food processing areas where its use is not intended for direct food contact.

Rust Removal Process

Once the rust remover has been selected and received, rust removal can proceed. Users of liquid rust removers should find a dip tank large enough to fit the rusty component being cleaned. For small items, a simple pail or tub is sufficient. In some facilities, large dip tanks are available to fit items that are so large and heavy they require a hoist to raise and lower them into the tank. Workers should fully immerse the rusty part in rust remover and leave it to sit as long as needed. Generally, very light corrosion may be removed in 15 minutes, moderate corrosion in 30 minutes. Heavy corrosion may require an hour or longer depending on the degree of rust and product concentration. Heating the liquid slightly (no more than 120 °F [50 °C] with good ventilation) and agitating the solution can help accelerate the rust removal process. Light scrubbing with a scour pad or stiff bristled brush can help remove particles that have already loosened and just need to be brushed off.

Vertical surfaces or parts that cannot be dipped should be coated with a VpCI®-423 or VpCI®-426 gel product. It is important not to let the gel dry. Covering the treated component with plastic wrap can keep this from happening. It also discourages the gel from dripping off the surface. For gel products, it is best to check rust removal progress in 15- 30 minutes and reapply the gel as needed.

After treatment, rinsing the component with a solution of VpCI®-41x Series cleaner is typically recommended for two purposes: (1) It neutralizes the acid. (2) It provides a day or two of flash corrosion protection in sheltered environments until long-term preservation can be completed.

Getting the Most Out of Rust Removers

If desired, users that are not under a strict time schedule can dilute their liquid rust removers down to a 20% concentration to make them last longer if desired (although full concentration provides the fastest results). In some cases, dip tanks full of VpCI®-422, VpCI®-426, or another liquid rust remover can be reused multiple times for greater economy. When doing so, it is important to regularly filter out any oxides or other solids in the tank and periodically check pH to verify it remains in the range of rust removal effectiveness.

Don’t Let Rust Hold You Back!

Rust removal is much easier than many realize. With the right product, it is often as simple as dipping, waiting, and rinsing the component. Sometimes this is all that is needed to solve a customer’s rust problem or reclaim thousands of dollars’ worth of spare assets that have been deteriorating in a warehouse. Don’t let rust hold you back or eat up your component value any longer. Reclaim your assets with basic rust removal. Contact Cortec for assistance:

Keywords: rust removal, basics of rust removal, easy asset restoration, Cortec, rust remover, biobased rust remover, VpCI, critical spares, reclaim assets, rust removal basics

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