Friday, March 27, 2015


There is a new book on the subject, RUST. The author talks of boats, cars, the Statue of Liberty, and aluminum soda cans. One of the fun facts mentioned is that before the modern undercoatings, a car in the northern U.S. that was subjected to road salt lost about 10 pounds of weight a year.

Jay at Marooned has a car pr0n post today that reminded me of the book.

Makes you think about what all that road salt is doing to the highway bridges, doesn't it?


eiaftinfo said...

Way back in '72 when my wife and I first married be bought a brand new Dodge Colt. One of the first economy cars. Even sprung for the special "undercoating". Within 3 years of Michigan driving the front fenders had pretty well rusted off.

The same process was repeated with a '75 Colt . . .

Dave H said...

"Makes you think about what all that road salt is doing to the highway bridges, doesn't it?"

You wanna come see? I live in the Lake Ontario snowbelt. Some of these overpasses are downright scary to drive on. Or under.

Will said...


Prior to finite element modeling on compputers, design engineers added a fudge factor of approx 3X strength to mechanical parts. Beware of anything designed since.

Bit surprising to see ball joints break on nearly new vehicles, as an example. Started seeing this around the turn of the century. Going to be fun (for certain values of fun) when they get around to bridges and other infrastructure!

Comrade Misfit said...

Time was that it was pretty rare to see a car much over five or six years old in the snow belt. The first time I went to LA, I was flabbergasted to see all of the old cars on the roads there.

I believe that the Toyota truck recall (for bad undercoating) first came to light after some northern winters. A friend of mine's truck was taken off the road for that. The mechanic put it up on the lift, hit the frame with a hammer, and when it dented, that was it for that truck.

The concrete of the parking lot where my office is has pits from salt. The snow and ice liquefies, the water gets into the cracks, then when it gets too cold for the salt to prevent re-freezing, the cracks get bigger.

They don't use that stuff at airports, which is reason why there are lots of old aluminum airplanes. :)