Cosmoline

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Definition - What does Cosmoline mean?

Cosmoline is a trademarked brand of petroleum-based, wax-like corrosion inhibitors. Its chemical composition consists primarily of a homogenous mixture of oil-based, non-polar hydrocarbons. Physically, Cosmoline is brown in color and comes in various viscosities and shear strengths. When applied to a surface, the compound solidifies as it reacts with air to form a barrier that displaces water and prevents rusting of metal components.

Corrosionpedia explains Cosmoline

Cosmoline was originally developed in the late 1800s as a pharmaceutical product. At the time, it was used to disinfect wounds and reduce swelling. However, over time the product evolved, changed formulation, and become heavier in consistency.

Cosmoline is now used for the long-term corrosion protection of tools, machinery and mechanical equipment. This change was mainly brought on during World War I because effective rust inhibitor products were in high demand.

While Cosmoline continues to be a staple in the military, it can be used in numerous other industries such as agriculture, transportation and construction.

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