Home Innovation Insights

Our corrosion testing ensures appropriate materials selection for the service environment.

Deanna Williams Seale, PE
July 1, 2022

#WillItCorrode: Red vs. White Rust

With Independence Day just around the corner, I'm feeling patriotic. So, for this installment of my #willitcorrode series, let's start with three cheers for the Red, White, and RUST!

When most people think of “rust,” they are referring to the reddish, rusty-colored corrosive iron oxide that forms when iron and oxygen react to the presence of water. Once this process has started, it begins to deteriorate the metal itself. But, in addition to this “red rust,” there is also “white rust.” White rust is localized corrosion that forms when zinc, which is used to coat various forms of metal, is exposed to hydrogen and oxygen. It appears as a coating of white, chalky zinc hydroxide. White rust can flake off and leave the base material exposed. Both types of corrosion can result in a reduction of a building component’s life.

Will It Corrode - July - Toy Truck

#WillItCorrode: Diecast Model Truck. After 1 month of exposure of toy truck to salt fog, results document red rust.

Keep on Truckin'

So we covered the red and the white; now for the blue! This cute blue diecast model truck is our latest household item to be put to the test in our salt spray chamber, where we typically test products such as nails, screws, anchor bolts, bollards, stair nosing, gutter clips, ladders, cable, baluster, hand railing, and support systems for curtain walls. These #willitcorrode experiments on more common consumer items are designed to highlight the practicality of corrosion testing. As you can see from the image above, after a month of exposure with a 5% NaCl salt fog concentration, we documented red rust on the blue toy truck.

Don’t Be Blue: Avoid the Red & White (Rust)

Home Innovation offers a full range of corrosion testing in our environmental chambers by simulating an environment based on client specific service conditions. We can also perform standard corrosion tests as defined by ASTM International. Home Innovation provides corrosion testing results that help product designers and manufacturers develop new products, improve existing ones, or respond to regulatory requirements.

Corrosion testing is an important step in material selection of building components to determine the suitability of materials for their intended use. Home Innovation Research Labs can help discover how your product holds up to corrosive forces. Get in touch today to schedule your product’s time in our salt spray chamber.


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