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Old 08-09-2021, 02:06 PM   #1
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Aluminum stair step covers?

I pulled all the old rubber off of the stairs in my bus, and found that the underlying steel is, go figure, rusty. It also has a few holes along the front edge of the stairs, likely because salty winter slush would accumulate over there.


To shore up the holes and provide a little more resistance to road hazards, I'm thinking I'll bolt/screw/rivet some angle iron on the outside of the steps. Beyond that, I wanted to replace the old steel/rubber step treads with some aluminum road signs I have, covered with some other kind of flooring.



Should I be worried about corrosion between the aluminum tread and the steel steps?
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:38 PM   #2
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Attaching Al to Fe will accelerate the oxidation of the already decomposing steel. After completing rust remediation, wood or steel would be a long lasting choice, for tread replacement.
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:10 PM   #3
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Only a problem is it's bare steel. If the rust has been remediated and paint sealed, no worries. Paint seal the backs of the signs also.
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:12 PM   #4
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Only a problem is it's bare steel. If the rust has been remediated and paint sealed, no worries.

I wondered if painting the steel would help with corrosion. I liked the idea of aluminum because I have plenty of it, and it won’t rust out.
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:18 PM   #5
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I wondered if painting the steel would help with corrosion. I liked the idea of aluminum because I have plenty of it, and it won’t rust out.
If it isn't metal to metal and has been painted with an anti rust agent, it won't corrode. Galvanic corrosion requires different metals and an electrolyte, such as salt water. If you prevent the entrance of water, no corrosion.
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:57 PM   #6
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I wondered if painting the steel would help with corrosion. I liked the idea of aluminum because I have plenty of it, and it won’t rust out.
Painting steel is essentially the only way to prevent it from corroding (other than coating it with zinc, which is very difficult to DIY).
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:46 PM   #7
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01marc: .....corrosion requires different metals and an electrolyte....

Electrolyte includes grounding a DC battery to the chassis. That's why they call it, electrolysis. Paint is not considered 'electrical insulation'.

OP, If you have Aluminum and have your heart set on using it, no worries. Your bus, your way. It's not gonna ruin everything.
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