Coating to Replace Liquid Rust Preventative

Question: I am the plant manager of a specialty steel manufacturing shop.


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I am the plant manager of a specialty steel manufacturing shop. One of our products is elevator guide rails, which are shipped directly to job sites. The machined surfaces of the rails are held to a tolerance of ±0.002 inch and must be protected from rust prior to and during construction. We currently use a thixotropic liquid rust preventative, which works well. The problem is it is messy to handle the rails with this coating and it must be removed before the elevator is put into service. This is difficult to do at the job site. We are presently searching for a dry rust preventative that would eliminate these problems. I realize this is not the usual type of coating you are associated with but from your vantage point, you may be aware of what is available. R. H.


You are correct, dry lubricants are not paints. I am familiar with the type of products you are using and they are messy. However, there is another approach to consider. Strippable coatings are a perfect solution for your problem. They have been used for many years to protect machined surfaces from corrosion and mechanical damage during shipping and handling. They have been used even longer to protect military hardware from environmental damage (for example, the acres of “mothballed” aircraft stored after WWII). The beauty of this product is it can be applied in your plant and then stripped at the job site, when desired and the residue is dry and non-messy. Suppliers of strippable coatings are listed under Coatings, strippable-plastic on page 287 and under Spray booth coatings on pages 413 and 414 of the Products Finishing 2005 Directory and Technology Guide (www.pfonline.com/suppliers.html).


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