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By William J. Beaty
#140
Some forms of corrosion are known to be caused by bacteria (the rusting of the Titanic, for example.) What if *ALL* metallic corrosion turns out to be biological rather than from simple chemistry? In that case, tailored antibacterials could at long last "cure" all unwanted rust (cured in the medical sense). Probably a cocktail of drugs would be needed for the various iron-eating flora, and different drugs would go after the aluminum-eaters, etc.

Reward: Stock in your gene-engineering anticorrosion paint company.
By William J. Beaty
#399
There is already quite a bit of evidence that many types of corrosion are biological. Search on "iron bacteria" and "ferrophilic" and you'll get lots of hits. On the other hand, the evidence that hyperthermophilic nanobacteria causes all everyday rusting is very new and very controversial (limited to a couple of specialists in geo-bacteria.)

Will antiseptic chemicals or gamma-ray sterilization halt most rusting in the everyday world? I don't know. If this were a tested idea, I could answer, but if it were tested already then probably someone would be making money off it.

PS, why isn't rusting in the everyday world uniform? If oxygen attacks steel, then the entire surface should rust all at once. The nanobe hypotheses explains the nonuniform patterns of rust: they are colonies of unsuspected nanobacteria.
By Dr.Mom
#400
You are correct, rust is always organic and ordinary hydrogen peroxide kills almost all rust.
By Will Normand
#401
how about this, we all flock to space, then rust and corrosion can be completely eliminated. (as well as a polluted envio)
By duh
#1000
Nah, the rust would just develop a tolerance to it.
By Rishi
#4698
Corrosion is muti-dimensional. You can find iron rusting inside a sterilizer. Only some forms of rusting are bacterial. You need moist oxygen for rusting. Surface finish, metallurgical state, and inclusions all have a role in the pattern of rusting. This is the reason why rusting rarely covers the surface uniformly.

When there is moisture and there is an oxygen gradient, which happens often, rusting starts.

Rishi
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By Michael D. Grissom
#5073
Note that there is an enormous US combined military government grant just waiting for someone to solve this problem. This is "free money" to try -- all you need to do is convince them that you have a good chance at it. Go for it Rishi!!!
;-D ;-D ;-D
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