What is cosmoline?
Cosmoline is the genericized trademark for a common class of brown wax -like petroleum-based corrosion inhibitors, typically conforming to United States Military Standard MIL-C-11796C Class 3. They are viscous when freshly applied, have a slight fluorescence, and solidify over time and exposure to air.
How do you use cosmoline on brakes?
Cosmoline is also frequently applied to automotive disc brake rotors at the factory, to prevent corrosion inside the box before the rotor is placed into service on a vehicle. It is easily removed by spraying brake cleaner on the braking surfaces of the rotor although brake pad manufacturers do not recommend this technique.
What was cosmoline used for in WW2?
During World War II cosmoline was used to coat weapons, including entire tanks, for long sea voyages, to prevent corrosion in salty maritime conditions. U.S. Coast Artillerymen serving the huge coastal artillery batteries were known as “Cosmoliners” as they were regularly assigned the task of “greasing down” their big guns.
How long does it take for cosmoline to solidify?
Older cosmoline which has had air exposure usually solidifies after a few years, once its volatile hydrocarbon fraction evaporates and leaves behind only the waxy remainder. This solid wax does not readily wipe off.