Aquatest – Renders water completely non-corrosive

Protect tanks, pipework, HVAC and sprinkler systems from the corrosive effects of water.

Corrosion FAQs

What is corrosion?

Corrosion is what happens when metal reacts with its environment and forms corrosion compounds, like rust, which over time damage the integrity of the metal. Unwanted effects from corrosion can begin with cosmetic discolouration or change in surface texture but can progress to damage the integrity of the metal causing fatigue, stress fractures, thinning, holes and, eventually, catastrophic failure.

What causes corrosion?

Environmental causes of corrosion are generally unavoidable.  Air and humidity, are enough to cause rusting of unprotected iron and steel.  This process is hastened by the presence of salt, pollution, industrial chemicals, agricultural chemicals, soil, water, sea water, changes in temperature and even sunlight.

Packing cases, used to protect and transport metal products, can add to corrosion issues as wood emits acetic acid and other chemicals which can cause corrosion.

After casting or machining metal, pinprick rust can set in within a few hours if no protective action is taken.

What are the costs of corrosion?

Corrosion is thought to cost approx. 4% of GDP in industrialised countries.  This cost arises from a combination of the cost of corrosion prevention activities plus remedial action and replacement of corroded and failed equipment.  As with most problems, prevention is significantly better than cure. Building in corrosion resistance at the point of manufacture then implementing a plan for prevention and management of corrosion throughout the lifetime of the product gives enormous cost savings.

What about products which need to be made from bare metal?

There are many products manufactured from metal which cannot be coated without affecting performance.  Think of threaded parts like screws and bolts or toothed gears.  Any coating would be quickly removed once the part is in use.  The internal components of engines and gearboxes need to be resilient and, in use, are usually protected by the oil lubricating the system, however they are at risk of corrosion from the time the first cut is made to machine each component until the engine is put into use or the construction assembled and painted. 

How can metal be protected to ensure corrosion doesn’t have a chance to set in before it is put into use?

This is where Vapor-Tek’s range of corrosion preventatives comes in!  During manufacture, a metal component may go through several stages of machining with periods of storage in between.  It will then need to be packaged up and shipped and may be stored for a considerable time before being unpacked and assembled into the finished item.  Simply keeping storage conditions warm and dry is not always enough to ensure that it will not have a chance to corrode.

The Steelgard range of contact corrosion inhibitors is designed for use during the manufacturing process, as part of packaging and will continue to protect indefinitely during shipping and storage.  A precision engineer may spray or dip components after each machining process and before packing up securely, ready to ship.  Usually the component will not need to be cleaned before being put into use however, if it is to be coated at a later stage, the Steelgard can easily be removed with a solvent wash.

What about complex assemblies or parts with hard to reach areas?

It isn’t always possible to physically coat every surface once an engine or other machine has been put together, and products with voids like pumps, valves and tanks are often painted or powder coated on the outside, leaving the inner surfaces unprotected. 

To address these issues, we formulated Vaporol, a Vapour Phase Inhibitor (VPI) also known as a Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI).  This wonder substance can be poured or sprayed into any enclosed system and its inhibitor vapours will build up and protect all surfaces from corrosion, even in unseen and hard to reach areas.  Complex machinery and convoluted pipework can be easily protected.  Where a system is designed to hold water, Aquavap may be more suitable – it does the same job but in an aqueous formula which can be rinsed away if required.

This problem with unseen surfaces left unprotected is exacerbated in systems designed to carry liquids which are tested for leaks or hydrostatic pressure after manufacture by being filled with water, then drained.  It is impossible to remove every drop of water, some will usually drain down and pool in the system and, even when well drained, the atmosphere inside will remain humid and lead to condensation.  To combat this problem we created Aquatest, an additive which renders water completely non-corrosive.  Equally effective when added to water in filled systems like sprinklers or HVAC, it ensures that water doesn’t get a chance to affect the integrity of pipework, tanks, valves and pumps before or during use.

How can I prevent corrosion in my vehicle between uses?

Many vehicles are not used daily.  Classic cars, vintage motorcycles and heritage aircraft may only be used a handful of times a year or, in the case of defence or emergency vehicles, may be laid up on standby for months or years at a time, ready to be deployed at short notice.  After a period of time without use, the oil can drain away from engine parts leaving them prone to corrosion which can cause seizing and even failure.

We recommend using Vaporol in engines which are out of use.  For long term storage e.g. overwintering boats or racing vehicles in storage during the off season, it is best to drain the oil and pour in the correct amount of Vaporol.  This will ensure all parts are protected from corrosion until needed.  When it is time to recommission the vehicle, simply drain out the Vaporol from the sump, top up with oil and it is ready to go. 

For moving parts, electronics, locks and handles, a quick spray of Steelgard will keep them protected and ready to open smoothly.  Battery contacts, hinges and sensitive parts exposed to the elements may benefit from a dab of Steelgard RP Grease, our heaviest duty protectant designed to prevent rust, repel water and lubricate.

How can I protect my mountain bike or motorbike after cleaning?

Riding through puddles, mud and dirt can leave bike wheels, chains and gears in a sticky mess.  Dust and dirt combine with oil making it sticky and hard to remove.  The best method is to get the hosepipe or pressure washer out as soon as you get home and blast the muck off, usually with a liberal spray of detergent to leave everything clean and shiny again…

Unfortunately the detergent and water also work well to remove the protective coating of oil from all the metal parts.  As every bike owner knows, even stainless steel parts can start to rust over time and leaving your bike to dry before applying oil can allow corrosion to set in while oiling damp parts seals in moisture and does more harm than good.

Steelgard 5in1 aerosols are the perfect solution.  A powerful water displacer, it can be sprayed straight after washing and will remove and repel water, leaving an ultra-thin lubricating film which inhibits corrosion and keeps everything moving smoothly.  Compatible with most fuels and lubricants so you can spray directly onto engine parts or add oil to your chain with no concerns.  It even shines up paintwork with a pleasing finish.