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ROAD SALT AND WATER ARE RECIPE FOR RUST; HOW MANUFACTURERS ARE ATTACKING AUTOMOTIVE CORROSION

 ROAD SALT AND WATER ARE RECIPE FOR RUST;
 HOW MANUFACTURERS ARE ATTACKING AUTOMOTIVE CORROSION
 CLEVELAND, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, more than 14 million tons of salt are used during the winter to protect motorists from slippery roads due to snow and ice. But once the snow has melted, what protects your car from the possibility of salt-induced corrosion?
 The culprit mainly responsible for the destruction of the metal in an automobile is wetness caused by rain, snow or ocean spray. The presence of chlorides, as in de-icing salts or salt water, simply accelerates the attack.
 The worst car body damage occurs in the "salt belt," an area that surrounds the Great Lakes and loops eastward through the northeastern states, and into the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Coastal regions where cars are constantly exposed to salt- laden spray or mist also have higher instances of vehicle corrosion.
 In addition to salt, other factors that affect corrosion are humidity, large temperature changes such as warm days and cool nights, small pebbles, sand and acid rain. For example, air pollution poses a threat, particularly where levels of sulfur dioxide and chloride are high. Dust control procedures on many rural roads in summer also add to the threat of corrosion damage, as do airborne chemicals in combination with high humidity.
 Vehicle corrosion results when lower body panels and under vehicle components are exposed to road slush containing the de-icing chemicals. Long after the snow has melted, dormant deposits of road salts on vehicles can renew their corrosive action when rewetted by spring rains and road splash.
 Over the past five years, auto manufacturers have turned to the use of specially coated steels to combat corrosion and extend the life of automobiles.
 For example, LTV Steel, the nation's third largest steel maker, is producing a new electrogalvanized steel which has superior anticorrosion characteristics. LOC(R) Steel, which is protected by a coating of zinc- nickel alloy plus a two-layer organic system, has passed extensive testing in conjunction with the auto manufacturers to determine its resistance to corrosion and chipping, as well as its weldability, formability and paint adherence.
 Using sophisticated equipment to simulate the effects of years of severe weather and road hazards, LTV Steel subjects its steel to chemicals, humidity and flying objects to see what would happen to a car during its life on America's winter highway. The extensive testing goes on daily at the LTV Steel Customer Technical Center in Independence, Ohio.
 For example, the "cyclic corrosion" tests consist of placing steel samples in special atmosphere cabinets that simulate years of harsh weather conditions by repeated salt water spraying, heating, cooling, drying and wetting. It is designed to test for perforation corrosion, scab corrosion, paint peeling and other types of corrosion found in the "salt belt."
 To simulate road hazards, the diamond-shot test, which shoots out industrial diamonds against painted panels at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, evaluates the chipping resistance and durability of the coated steel at low temperatures.
 "Because LTV Steel has created a state-of-the-art testing laboratory for its steel products, we can alter and adjust our testing procedures to meet the individual corrosion resistance test requirements of each car manufacturer," said James Schroeder, manager of the LTV Steel Customer Technical Center.
 LTV Steel is the only domestic steel company that is a supplier to every U.S. automobile manufacturer as well as every Japanese automobile manufacturer in the United States.
 Other important steps in improving anticorrosion performance of the steel occur during the manufacturing of the automobile, such as the application of a phosphate undercoat before applying the paint primer. The phosphate is the bond between the metal and the primer.
 Finally, the structural design of a vehicle plays a part in how resistant the vehicle is to corrosion. For example, cosmetic corrosion, or exterior surface damage like paint chipping and scratches, can be reduced by providing surfaces that are more resistant to chipping and structures that do not expose panel edges.
 Perforation corrosion, which rusts the metal from the inside out by moisture trapped inside auto body cavities, can be reduced if the car's design makes it easier to coat with anticorrosive treatments and allows water to drain off easily. Using steel sheets coated with zinc, zinc- iron, or zinc nickel alloys is the most certain way to avoid "rust out."
 Just as the current car models are better able to withstand the battle with the elements than those of our father's generation, the cars of tomorrow will experience the benefits of the product developments and manufacturing techniques being used by the steel suppliers and auto manufacturers today.
 -0- 1/7/92
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: A map illustrating the geographic regions where vehicle corrosion occurs is available by contacting Kim Cole. Interviews with LTV Steel spokespersons can be arranged to explain corrosion testing processes used in preparing electrogalvanized steel for auto manufacturers./
 /CONTACT: Kim Cole of Wyse Landau Public Relations, 216-736-4414, for LTV Steel/ CO: LTV Steel Corporation ST: Ohio IN: AUT SU:


SM -- NYAFNS2 -- 7132 01/07/92 07:17 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1992
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