No matter where you live rust will find its way onto any of your metal objects if not cleaned and managed diligently. Sometimes despite your best attempts, it will surface and slowly eat away at all manner of things particularly when they are constantly exposed to the elements such as bike tires. The chemistry behind it all is as follows; Iron turns to iron oxide with water as the electrolyte, creating electricity in the process. And salt water rusts metal faster than fresh water as it allows for the ions to move more easily as it is a better electrolyte. In laymen’s terms, water (particularly salt water) will form rust.
For those that live away from the ocean, unfortunately, salt is carried within the atmosphere, and although your steel tools and bike tires may not rust as quickly as coastal areas, they will rust eventually. The damage caused by rust costs governments an obscene amount of dollars in damage, particularly on infrastructure such as bridges which costs the US government 76 Billion dollars each year!
In some instances, rust can be used as an architectural feature with many architects and builders opting to use weathering steel or COR-TENsteel as a feature on the exteriors and interiors of buildings. The steel itself is developed using a group of steel alloys that eliminate the need for painting maintaining a stable rust-like appearance. This can look fantastic for creating a ‘bush architecture’ look with the colouration of rust being a textural element that is prevalent and abundant within the Australian outback. A great example of this is the Glenburn House by Sean Godsell, who uses a rusted mesh as an exterior skin to the building which is set within a quintessentially Australian landscape.
But for those looking to remove the ‘bad rust’ then there is a whole range of ways that this can be achieved through painstaking means. For an easy and incredibly effective way to remove surface rust, however, I recommend using Ranex by Bondall. It converts rust from a detrimental oxide to a beneficial phosphate of iron eliminating rust spots in the process. This is particularly successful when looking to remove rust before you paint items, such as cast iron benches and chairs and can also be used to polish stainless steel, chrome, brass & copper.