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Restoration Rust Control

The Real World

By Bill Irish and Bruce Palmer, Zero-Rust
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Regardless of our own goals, skill level and budgets, there is one thing we all strive for in our restoration efforts and that is to get the best results the first time we do the job!

     Controlling the damaging effects of rust and corrosion in old rigs is key to protecting the time and money investment we all make in our rigs. Zero Rust has been helping in that fight since it's introduction in 1988

     Simply stated, Zero Rust is a single package, direct to metal barrier coat(ing) designed to starve oxygen from steel. Not requiring media blasting of the substrate is one of the key elements to the success of Zero Rust products in the marketplace. There are products available that do a fine job of protecting perfectly prepared steel, as does Zero Rust - however, most are more expensive and require fresh air-supplied breathing apparatus to apply. Many of them require a white metal media blast before use and cannot be considered when you start discussing marginally prepared steel because they are not surface tolerant. See Zero Rust's web site for additional product and contact information.

     While your rig is apart, seal the backsides of everything with Zero Rust. Use whatever paint system you want on the outside, but understand that there are two sides to every piece of sheet metal on the rig and that rust can bite you from the back side too. Get all the nooks and crannies, floor pans, fire walls, inside the doors and body panels, under the dashboard, on the window surrounds, etc. Even if the rig is to be undercoated, seal the steel first; that way if the undercoating cracks and lets go, the steel is not going to rust.

     Once fully cured, which can take two weeks to a month, Zero Rust holds up well to all automotive fluids, including petroleum products (oils and greases). Zero Rust will even stand up to race fuels.

     We will highlight some of the strengths of Zero Rust by expanding on what one of our customers, Howard Jones of Corvallis, OR said about his success with Zero Rust as posted on Len Stuart's web site:

     "After having reviewed the dialogue about ZR, I felt compelled to wade into this discussion. I have been using ZR since about 1992. At that time I used ZR on the frame and drive train parts of a 1946 truck that I was restoring. This application went on over metal that had only been wire brushed and wiped down with lacquer thinner. The frame was very pitted. To date I have had no paint failure. As noted by one of the discussees, there has been some fading from the original finish but that was expected. Since the original application I have fabricated a bed frame for this truck and it was also painted with ZR over new steel. This piece was washed with a water-soluble degreaser and hot water, dried and painted. I have had to touch up this unit twice but both were due to my scratching it up not to paint failure. This unit is stored under a shed roof with only one side, i.e. it only protected from the direct Oregon weather but not the damp air. Since the original application above I have used ZR on two other restorations (frame, undercarriage and engine compartment that had as original a medium gloss black finish) and any number of fabrication projects (trailer, tanks, flatbeds etc.)."

     An excellent resource showing the application of Zero Rust is Kevin Tetz' "Metal Prep & Rust Repair" videotape. Kevin makes clear the prep and follow through needed to make this portion of the project a success. Check out his web site.




     If you'd like to see more on Rust ... be sure to stop by the Paint and Body Shop in the forums. -- Editor


     Isocyanates are highly a reactive chemical typically found in the hardener of two-part paints and primers. Isocyanates are present in two forms, monomer and prepolymer. Frequently, the isocyanate monomer content is indicated in product data information, but this is only a small fraction of the total unreacted isocyanate present in hardeners. Both forms of unreacted isocyanate present a risk to health when they enter the air during paint or primer spraying.
     There is a comprehensive history of illness among workers exposed to Isocyanates. Sickness was noted among workers in Germany in the 1940's and deaths recorded in the 1950's. The major health effect from Isocyanates is associated with the inhalation of unreacted airborne isocyanate. Exposure to these toxic chemicals can cause serious reactions from the extreme of mild irritation to disability to even death. Such exposure can cause coughing, chest tightness, fever, fatigue and sensitization. Sensitization means that further exposure to even very small amounts of Isocyanates will cause distressing asthma-like reactions.
     One exposure to a high airborne concentration or several exposures to lower concentrations may result in sensitization. There is no proven method for predicting whether any particular person will become sensitized due to isocyanate exposure. Isocyanates are probably the principal cause of occupationally induced asthma.
     In May 1984, the Occupational Health and Safety Branch informed autobody shops that air-supplied respirators were required when spraying paints containing Isocyanates. Testing by the Branch has shown that air-supplied respirators (such as our MC pump system) are also necessary when primers containing Isocyanates are sprayed. Even priming jobs of less than 3 minutes duration conducted in the open shop will produce sufficient airborne isocyanate to present a risk of over exposure to the sprayer and other workers in the shop. All types of spray guns used to apply primers have been found to contaminate the open shop if a separately ventilated spray area or spray booth is not used. When spraying paints or primers containing Isocyanates, the sprayer must wear an air-supplied respirator which is approved by the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as Type C constant flow or pressure demand.
     How do Isocyanates cause these sicknesses? Isocyanates, together with related compounds such as cyanogens and cyanamides, are chemicals of the cyanide and nitril class, which contain the CN group. Hydrogen cyanide and its soluble salts are a rapidly acting poison. The cyanide ion released in the human body will inhibit many enzymes. Acute exposure can cause death due to chemical asphyxia at the cellular level. Less exposure will cause temporary or permanent damage. Harming the human body, Isocyanates can essentially damage the plasma and internal cell membranes. For further information, check out a site from down under and a NIOSH web page. I hope this helps you out!

Rebecca Vaughan
Sales Manager

January 20, 2000
(301) 845-2777

Remember: always think safety ...
and with this article,
if you don't think "safety" you may not be able to do any more "thinking" at all ... editor!


v. Jan 05

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