This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
A layer of magnetic oxide is a good preservative from rust. To obtain it the objects are placed in the furnace at a temperature sufficient for decomposing steam. Steam superheated to 1,040° F. is then injected for from 4 to 6 hours. The thickness of the layer of oxide formed varies with the duration of the operation. This process can replace zincing, enameling, and tinning.
The deposit of magnetic oxide may also be obtained by electrolysis. The iron object is placed at the anode in a bath of distilled water heated to 176° F. The cathode is a copper plate, or the vessel itself,-if it is of iron or copper. By electrolysis a layer of magnetic oxide is formed. Other peroxides may be deposited in the same manner. With an alkaline solution of litharge, a very adherent, brilliant, black deposit of peroxide of lead is secured. Too energetic a current must be avoided, as it would cause a pulverulent deposit. To obtain a good coating it is necessary, after putting the objects for a moment at the positive pole, to place them at the other pole until the oxide is completely reduced, and then bring them back to their first position.
That paraffine paper is a very good protector of iron and steel has been proven by tests conducted by Louis H. Barker for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The mode of applying the paraffine paper is as follows: After the rust is carefully cleaned off by means of stiff wire brushes, a tacky paint is applied. The paper is then covered over and tightly pressed upon the painted surface, the joints of the paper slightly lapping. As soon as the paper is in place it is ready for the outside coat of paint. Iron and steel girders and beams subjected to the action of smoke and gases may thus be admirably protected from decomposition.
This is paper covered with logwood, and prepared from a material to which fine graphite powder has been added, and which has been sized with glue and alum. It is used for wrapping around steel goods, such as sewing needles, etc., and protecting them against rust. According to Lake, the paper is treated with sulphuric acid, like vegetable parchment, the graphite being sprinkled on before the paper is put into the water.