Rust - Corrosion Test Facility
Narragansett, Rhode Island
The sandy nub of Point Judith dangles from southern Rhode Island into the Atlantic Ocean. On this tranquil landscape, with its lighthouse and muted rock coves, stands a strange formation of structures we like to call Rust-O-Rama.
Thousands of small samples -- building materials, ceramics, electrical wiring -- are mounted on frameworks that face the sea. It's part of the Point Judith Corrosion Test Site. Materials sit exposed for years, and are analyzed to determine the toll taken by ocean air and the sun. Visitors can circle the fenced perimeter and marvel at corrosion's silent sculpting.
During a recent visit, a Rust Technician methodically worked his way down one row, spraying certain samples with a bottle of ... what? Salt water? Acid? Lemon Pledge? He wouldn't say. Barb wire prevented us from further meddling with his work.
The puzzling Rust Sciences may be beyond our comprehension, understood only by the Corrosion Engineer, or the Men of the Abrasives Industry.
[Thanks to Chris Casserly for the field report and the photos.]