Article on The Internet Mini Encyclopædia
What does WD-40 stand for?
From the WD40 web site
In 1953, a fledgling company called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry, in a small lab in San Diego, California. It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40 which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try is still in use today. Convair, an aerospace contractor, first used WD-40 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. The product actually worked so well that several employees snuck some WD-40 cans out of the plant to use at home.
A few years following WD-40's first industrial use, Rocket Chemical Company founder Norm Larson experimented with putting WD-40 into aerosol cans, reasoning that consumers might find a use for the product at home as some of the employees had. The product made its first appearance on store shelves in San Diego in 1958. In 1960 the company nearly doubled in size, growing to seven people, who sold an average of 45 cases per day from the trunk of their cars to hardware and sporting goods stores in the San Diego area. In 1961 the first full truckload order for WD-40 was filled when employees came in on a Saturday to produce additional concentrate to meet the disaster needs of the victims of hurricane Carla along the U.S. Gulf coast. WD-40 was used to recondition flood and rain damaged vehicles and equipment.
Notes on uses
I've seen several references about using WD40 on rusty bolts.
WD40 is NOT a penetrant. It's a water displacer (WD). If you have nothing else to use it is better than nothing. But kerosene (parafin) is a better penetrant that WD40.
There was a time many years when WD40 was a penetrant. It contained DMSO but that has long since been removed.
There are good penetrants on the market. In the US the best I've found is GM heat valve lubricant available at any GM parts counter. Perhaps Vauxhall has the same thing.
I have heard that Kroil from Kano Labs is also very good. Anyway buy a good penetrant and make your life a little easier.
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