Getting Rid of Pesky Surface Rust
How do you get rid of rust that’s plaguing your project’s metal surface? Removing rust is often the first box you’ll need to check off before continuing renovation or repurposing on your metal project.
Projects with a significant amount of rust or an expansive surface area will require more than just a fair amount of elbow grease or a handheld power tool. Rather, professional abrasive blasting equipment is warranted.
Sandblasting is a popular abrasive blasting technique selected when heavy rust removal is in order. Sandblasting is a type of abrasive blasting that applies a powerful stream of rough media in combination with either air or water (known as dry sandblasting and wet sandblasting, respectively).
This technique requires the selection of an abrasive media to add to its pressure stream of air or water. There are many types of abrasive media that can be used with sandblasting, like aluminum oxide grit and glass beads (both of which are particularly good choices for rust removal). Just be sure that your abrasive media isn’t too hard, as it could damage the integrity of the metal’s surface.
Sandblasters can come in both in portable and cabinet styles. Abrasive blasting equipment can be used on projects with large surface areas, or it can remove rust from batches of small parts at the same time. You can find both heavy-duty and economical systems available in automatic, semi-automatic, and manual operating styles. There’s no shortage of variety when it comes to abrasive sandblasting equipment for rust removal.
There are many tactics for getting rid of surface rust, ranging from the simple to the more involved. When attempting to remove rust from a smaller tool or part, you can start by determining if basic store-bought materials will do the trick. For example, try applying a coating of salt, followed by lime juice. Let the lime juice and salt mixture set for two hours, and then scrub off. You can also try soaking your object in white vinegar. If you need to scrub off the rust, you can soak aluminum foil in vinegar as well.
For rust that won’t come off with store-bought materials, abrasive tools may also be warranted, like a steel wool brush or an electric sander. Both handheld tools can serve as a good intermediate rust removal solutions, especially when the surface area to be cleared is still relatively small. It might be a prudent idea to finish a surface with fine grain sandpaper to even out any marks these tools made on the surface. You should start using the hardest abrasive to initially break up the rust, then progress on to a media that’s a little finer to polish out the surface.
Explore all the rust removal options to determine which is best for your project needs with the professional guidance of Kramer Industries!