Steel, Corrosion and How to Prevent Rust Issues, Part 2

steel corrosion prevent rust
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Steel, Corrosion and How to Prevent Rust Issues, Part 2

steel corrosion prevent rust

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on steel rust, how it forms, and some basic prevention methods. Rust can create several major issues for steel structures if not properly addressed, but the right use of alloys and other methods for rust prevention will render this a non-issue for your project.

At Wasatch Steel, we’re here to help with rust prevention for any of our steel products, from steel sheet to steel pipe and many others. In today’s part two, we’ll detail some of the various processes you can consider for preventing rust in your steel, whether or not you’ve utilized rust-resistant alloys that were detailed in part one.

Organic Vs. Powder Coating

There are a few forms of coating that are often used to cover and protect steel surfaces from rust risks. Two common forms are known as organic and powder coating:

  • Organic coating: These are simple coatings using common materials like paint or other oil-based alternatives. They’re both affordable and effective for forming a basic barrier against oxygen and corrosion, especially when used with an oil base. Most organic coatings will be between 15 and 25 micrometers in thickness.
  • Powder coating: For a stronger covering, a powder made from acrylic, polyester, nylon, vinyl, epoxy or even urethane might be used. This powder will first be applied to the steel surface, then the steel will be heated, turning the powder into a protective film. This film will be between 25 and 125 micrometers in thickness.


Another coating-related area is called galvanization, one where the surface of the metal will be covered with a layer of metallic zinc. This zinc will be added either through a hot dip process or through electroplating. Once applied, the zinc will block certain corrosive materials from penetrating the metal, plus will actually sacrifice itself and absorb rust in certain situations, stopping the rust from reaching the protected metal.


Bluing is a process of sinking steel parts into a solution made from sodium hydroxide, potassium nitrate and water. This solution is mostly used for small steel items, offering limited protection against corrosion. A common application of bluing is in the fine clock industry, or other high-quality metal work.

Basic Steel Maintenance

Finally, performing standard manual maintenance on steel structures is a great way to both stop rust formation and note any areas that require further treatment using one of the above processes. In many cases, you can remove rust yourself using a small razor blade, or using warm water and soap for larger surfaces.

For more on preventing rust from forming or damaging your steel surfaces, or to learn about any of our steel products or services, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.