Why the heck is stuff rusting in my garage?
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    t2timmy's Avatar
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    Why the heck is stuff rusting in my garage?

    I live in mid-western CT and this is the first time in my 40yrs ive ever seen this happen. Some of my tools and the Stainless steel Fridge we have in the garage are rusting!? Even the drill Chuck ends of my drills are rusting. It was really humid and hot out last week for like 5-7 days. But even before that the fridge was starting to rust... its stainless steel!!!?? My tool box is also stainless and its starting to rust some.. The garage is a 2 car attached to my house on 2 sides. And theres a playroom above it, accesible from inside the house upstairs. The house was built in 2006 and Ive lived in it for 3 years and this is the first time its happened. Central air in the house too. So it stays cool inside on the 2 walled sides. I put a fan in the garage and leave the door open sometimes when we pull our hot cars in to try and cool the garage down first. Anyone ever encounter this? I feel like something in the garage is causing things to rust... So strange.


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    RodW's Avatar
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    Do you store driveway salt and fertilizer there? If so, make sure the containers are sealed well.
    (It could be worse. Here in Florida, everything rusts everywhere...)
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    t2timmy's Avatar
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    Nope no fertilizer or salt in the garage. It been goin on for months too. Everytime i would grab a beer or stuff out of the garage fridge my hands woud smell like rust. Thought it was my well water at first but then traced it to the fridge. The. Noticed other stuff was getting rusty. Honeslty never seen this happen before.
    And i havent introduced any new objects into the garage that I can thinn would cause it. Weird! Maybe the fridge is causing it.. lol? I got to give it a good scrubbing.


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    What you might think is stainless steel is likely only an alloy. With appliances stainless steel is a marketing term - it really isnít stainless but is made to look that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    What you might think is stainless steel is likely only an alloy. With appliances stainless steel is a marketing term - it really isnít stainless but is made to look that way.
    Combine that with the fast that most consumer stainless is very poor quality. My brother just bought a "stainless" fridge and the first thing I noticed was all the magnets he had stuck on it. Duh! That ain't good. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodW View Post
    (It could be worse. Here in Florida, everything rusts everywhere...)
    RodW,

    AMEN to that......
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Combine that with the fast that most consumer stainless is very poor quality. My brother just bought a "stainless" fridge and the first thing I noticed was all the magnets he had stuck on it. Duh! That ain't good. :-)
    There are basically two categories of stainless,, 300 series, and 400 series.

    The 400 series will stick to a magnet, and it will rust.
    the stainless knife you have in your pocket is 400 series,,
    the knife manufacturer tells you in the instructions, the blade will rust.

    You can not sharpen 300 series stainless,,,

    A note on the OP's rusting,, look for something that is causing it.
    a car (or tractor) battery that is over 4 years old will start giving off sulfuric acid,,,, RUST!!

    Even some flashlight batteries can give off corrosive fumes,,,
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    Quote Originally Posted by CADplans View Post
    There are basically two categories of stainless,, 300 series, and 400 series.

    The 400 series will stick to a magnet, and it will rust.
    the stainless knife you have in your pocket is 400 series,,
    the knife manufacturer tells you in the instructions, the blade will rust.
    Technically, it has to do with the particular iron allotrope - for the purposes of this mention, meaning the crystalline structure of the steel - and whether it is martensitic or austenitic. 400 series alloys are martensitic and magnetic; 300 series are austenitic and non magnetic. I'm no metallurgist, but I believe that the crystal structure of austenite is what makes it more corrosion resistant and also harder to temper and sharpen.

    Al
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    Stainless steel is not "corrosion proof" it IS "corrosion resistant". Put it next to regular carbon or alloy steel and stainless will definitely have less corrosion. Stainless steel WILL rust/corrode, depends on environment.

    Do you have a concrete floor/slab in your garage? Do you run your car into the garage in the winter? If so, you probably have dragged in salt from the roads that drips into the concrete floor. Most salts are chlorides and chlorides can attack stainless as well as other steels and metals. You may not store salt in your garage, but it's probably there from outside sources, even tracked in on our shoes and boots.

    As for being magnetic or not, 400 series is more magnetic than 300 series, and how much magnetic 300 series is depends on how it was processed and heat treatment.

    Not saying that this is the only cause, just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlKozak View Post
    Technically, it has to do with the particular iron allotrope - for the purposes of this mention, meaning the crystalline structure of the steel - and whether it is martensitic or austenitic. 400 series alloys are martensitic and magnetic; 300 series are austenitic and non magnetic. I'm no metallurgist, but I believe that the crystal structure of austenite is what makes it more corrosion resistant and also harder to temper and sharpen.

    Al
    IMHO, not really allotrope (per the googled definition), but YES, crystal structure. 400 series is hardenable by heat treating, 300 series is not. Austenitic 300 series is non-magnetic because of it's crystal structure, but ferrite form is magnetic, therefore, depends on actual chemistry and heat treatment and what the ratio of ferrite to austenite is, and that determines how magnetic it is.

    The hardenability/higher hardness of 400 series keeps a better edge (sharpness). You can "sharpen" a 300 series knife, but it's so soft that it wouldn't keep its edge very long, so it is not a good knife steel.

    Corrosion resistance basically is controlled by the amount of chromium and nickel alloy in, amongst other factors like crystal structure/heat treatment.

    Yes, can be technical and boring, so I'll stop here.
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    Tom

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