All stainless steel will rust if exposed to adverse conditions such as chlorides (in swimming pools and marine environment) and other corrosive materials. However, proper maintenance procedures can prevent occurrence of damaging rust and correct rusting problems if it does occur.
Maintenance to prevent rusting and corrosion:
When a corrosive environment is present, stainless steel can be maintained to prevent rusting of the surface. The first and most important procedure is to make sure that the surface is passivated prior to installation of the equipment. This removes any free iron that may have been on the surface from machining, welding etc. Remember, stainless steel is around 70-80% Iron. After passivation a rust resistant chromium oxide layer forms on the surface over time, once protected by chromium stainless is considered to be ‘passive’ and requires little care.
After installation of stainless steel in a chloride or other corrosive environment (all swimming pools), procedures must be put in place to maintain stainless. Without care, all stainless in the pool air envelope will show surface rust. This tarnish & rust is due to chlorides reacting with oxygen & iron on surface of & in the inter-granular structure of stainless. Daily rinsing with clean water is the best way to maintain the surface. This removes any chlorides that may have been splashed onto the surface in normal use. In addition if ANY rust is visible it needs to be removed immediately, using a passivation product (Spectra-Clean System 1). This will remove the rust and re- passivated the surface. All areas passivated also require treatment with SPECTRA SHIELD to ensure salts do find a way into the structure of the steel.