RUST-PREVENTIVE COMPOUNDS are removable coatings that are used to protect the surfaces of iron, steel, coated or galvanized products, and other alloys. Some compounds also protect nonferrous metals, such as aluminum, brass, and copper. Coatings of these compounds should be considered temporary, because their function is to protect surfaces during storage, handling, shipping, and fabrication. An additional application may be necessary after parts are fabricated. In some instances, the coating may need to be removed before fabrication or assembly.

Rust-preventive compounds are a combination of basic materials, inhibitors, and specialty additives. They vary in physical characteristics, depending on the properties required and the amount of protection needed at corrosion sites. A corrosion cell is like a battery, which has a cathode (-), an anode (+), and an electrolyte (liquid in cells). By coating the corrosion sites (anodes and cathodes) on a surface, rust-preventive compounds prevent contact with electrolytes, such as oxygen and moisture-containing materials.

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