3 tips to upgrade your anti-rust coating approach

Corrosion. An unavoidable industrial challenge, costing up to €2 trillion worldwide. Rust, one of its many manifestations, is a challenge that every maintenance team struggles with. But how can you boost your anti-rust coating approach, and reduce costs and risks?


Whether it’s manufacturing, construction, warehousing or transportation, there is practically no industry that doesn’t face the threat of corrosion. According to NACE International, the global cost of corrosion amounts to about €2 trillion or 3.4% of global GDP. They also calculated that 15 to 35% of this cost, between €300 and €700 billion, could be saved by using corrosion control practices.



Rust is never harmless

Rust is one of the many types of corrosion, specifically of elemental iron and its alloys. Its appearance is undesirable but looks are the least of your worries. Hidden crevices or other damages can cause malfunctions, eventual infrastructural damage or system downtime. The consequences can range from small production issues to expensive shutdowns or even accidents with material and environmental impact, not to mention human injuries and losses. We all know that every now and then plants actually explode, bridges actually collapse, pipelines and silos containing hazardous goods actually leak and trains actually derail.



What can you do to improve rust prevention?

Preventing and controlling rust is probably part of every maintenance manager’s corrosion mitigation list, but are you aware of the importance of staying ahead of all those iron oxide patches appearing around your plant, installations or equipment?

1. Get your corrosion priorities straight


Emphasising prevention is stating the obvious. But, when budgets are tight and you’re short of staff, prevention might end up at the bottom of the list. As boring as it sounds, there is only one solution: get your priorities straight and put prevention systematically at the top of that list. You cannot plan for or ignore calamities, but you can reduce the chance of them happening by boosting corrosion mitigation and smartening up your anti-rust prevention approach. Time and effort invested now will save you time and money later.


2. Make anti-rust as long-lasting as you can


Make a smart and detailed inventory of all the rusty locations and sensitive rusty areas on your plant and carefully look into what kind of anti-rust protection is needed when and where.

  • Not every rust patch is the same. Even with a smarter anti-rust scheme, you will still have to protect metal surfaces from rusting and patch them up from time to time. But there are different ways to increase the durability of your efforts, so you need to critically look at the products you choose for metal protection. Start from the inventory of the areas that need anti-rust protection. Look into the nature of the metal, its location, how the protective coating can be applied, and what colour finish you need. Look for the conditions these places are exposed to, such as temperature and weather.
  • Screen the market for the best anti-rust coating solutions. Hard-to-reach places might need spraying instead of brushing; coatings needing only one layer and no primer are applied in half the time; you need a product in the right shade; and, last but not least, you need one that offers high coverage and guarantees protection for a long time. Look into product specifications and talk to experts who can advise you on the best solution for any specific challenge. It goes without saying that top quality products that can be easily applied and last a long time are the way to go.


3. Use more eco-friendly products


As well as preventing rust in itself, you should consider preventing health, safety and environmental issues in a broader sense. Eco-proof anti-rust metal protection, e.g. water-based or with non-zinc anti-corrosive additives, does exist, and offers the same performance and durability as classic solvent-based counterparts. Meanwhile, your operators will be less exposed to harmful components, and less hazardous compounds are spread to the immediate and wider environment.



People, profit, planet: check!

An industrial plant without rust patches is not a realistic goal. But considering the time, cost and risks involved, it pays to look critically at your rust maintenance management plan and boost your anti-rust coating approach. Whether you focus on time, money, health and safety or the environment, it all boils down to the same thing. In both the short and long term, you will be able to spend time and money on other challenges, reduce your operators’ and others’ exposure to health and safety risks, and reduce the climate impact. Or in other words: People: check! Profit: check! Planet: check!

CombiColor metal coating is the trusted industry standard for anti-rust treatment. Easily applied and needing only one coat, it protects against rust for up to 10 years. CombiColor has developed advanced eco-friendly versions in CombiColor Aqua and CombiColor Non-Zinc, setting a new bar for ecological and innovative anti-rust metal protection – with the same level of performance as the original CombiColor solution.


Discover our anti-rust metal coating solutions