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What Do Chickens, Cars, and the Statue of Liber...
We know what you're thinking. How could a chicken, a car, and the Statue of Liberty be related to one another? In order to fully understand, you need to know a little about the often unseen yet critically important world of rust & corrosion preventative undercoatings.
What are these coatings? The most common and generic term would be "paint." Your typical paint is a protective layer, or coating, that keeps the surface underneath it free of problems. You can look at undercoatings as the paint beneath (or on top of) the paint. In the early days of the automobile, applying undercoatings to vehicles was necessary because most roads were not yet paved. Rocks, mud, and other debris would end up coming into contact with vehicle undercarriages and allowing the corrosion process to begin.
Believe it or not, the very first protective undercoatings were made with chicken fat. As time went on, it was discovered that the high-sulfur content of the fat was actually more corrosive to the applied surfaces than intended, so the method was discontinued.
By the 1950's, paved roads were more widespread, but salt and various anti-skid materials were introduced to combat freezing roadways during the winter. Developments in the undercoating market saw tar and tar-like compounds applied to vehicle under-bodies for corrosion protection. These were an improvement over the chicken fat coatings, but did not solve the rust issue. As the tar hardened and chipped away, water would get trapped between the coating and surface, thus accelerating the rusting process. The Statue of Liberty experienced the failure of these coatings first-hand (Restoration of the Statue of Liberty's Interior).
Soon after, large oil companies began formulating petroleum-based undercoatings from the byproducts of crude oil distillation. The resulting products worked significantly better than tar-based coatings because they prolonged the life of vehicle under-bodies and resisted the abrasions from road debris. Petroleum-based undercoating technology later became the standard for inter-modal container chassis and international shipping containers. There were also water-based coatings for environmentally-friendly applications and solvent-based coatings for "apply-and-dry" applications.
In the 1970's, Petroleum Service Company began selling Tectyl rust & corrosion preventative coatings, originally manufactured by Valvoline Oil Company. Although Tectyl was born with rust & corrosion prevention in mind, the real value came from Tectyl's ability to prove useful in other applications outside of the automotive industry.
Today, Tectyl is a leader in quality undercoatings for the transportation, marine, and industrial markets, with most meeting the demands of military specifications (MIL-SPEC). For everything from your hunting rifle to your car, and a freight carrier to military equipment, Tectyl and PSC have you covered. Petroleum Service Company, a licensed distributor of Tectyl, is proud to sell their branded products for over 40 years and has a knowledgeable customer support staff ready to help you find the right product for your application.
Need help deciding which undercoating is for you? Check out our guide here (Choosing the Right Protective Coating with METFAR).