How does the atmosphere affect sharp, thin metal surfaces?

Suppose I have a pack of razor blades.
If they are to be stored for 10 years, does it matter whether they are stored in the sealed original packaging, or is it ok to remove them from the packaging?

How would them being opened, such that the thin sharp blades, are exposed to the atmosphere inside the home, the temperatures, humidity, etc. affect sharpness.

Which way, if either, would keep the blades as sharp today, as they would be in 10 years, and why.

Going beyond 10 years and using an example not related to razor blades, but rather an antique or vintage item.
Ex: World War I sharp knife that is exposed to the atmosphere for close to 100 years. Does the passing of time affect how sharp the blade is? (exclude outside forces, like rusting, or any contact with any substance that could affect the metal)

Thanks.
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nickg5Asked:
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the_b1ackfoxCIOCommented:
1) If they are to be stored for 10 years, does it matter whether they are stored in the sealed original packaging, or is it ok to remove them from the packaging?

Your answer depends on the packaging.  schick blades for example are given a light oil bath before they are put into the cartridges.  The oil prevents damaging effects of the environment from effecting the blades.

2) How would them being opened, such that the thin sharp blades, are exposed to the atmosphere inside the home, the temperatures, humidity, etc. affect sharpness.

Again, it depends on the circumstances.  So lets play with 2 case scenarios:  a) a blade that has been removed from it's packaging and set on a desk and b) a blade that was removed from it's packaging, then used a little and then set up a seperate desk for the same time period.  Under the same conditions I would expect to see damage on the used blade long before there was any visible damge to the unused blade.  temperature and humidity isn't going to be your nemesis.  Oxygen is going to be what you want to protect from.  (of course high enough humidity *high enough to condense* could erode the oil barrier over time)

3) Which way, if either, would keep the blades as sharp today, as they would be in 10 years, and why.

 Keep them in the package! Oil is the key.

4) Going beyond 10 years and using an example not related to razor blades, but rather an antique or vintage item.
Ex: World War I sharp knife that is exposed to the atmosphere for close to 100 years. Does the passing of time affect how sharp the blade is? (exclude outside forces, like rusting, or any contact with any substance that could affect the metal)

Going beyond the ten years and using another item, the outcome depends on the composition of the item.  As in the razor blades, time is not the driver of the decomposition of the metal in the blade.  Antique items like gold have been lost for years in the ocean, and they come out looking new (except for what has decided to grow on the outside surface of them).  A ceramic knife with a razor sharp edge with be just as sharp 100 years from now if left exposed to the environment.  Your example of the knife:  The knife would be as sharp as it was 100 years ago if we could exclude outside forces...  I think thats about all I have to say on the subject...  except this:

I worked for a number of years in a tool shop.  I didn't understand (at first) why I had to brush the tools with a wire brush and then soak or spray them with oil (And I actually hated that part).  It wasn't until after a week or so when I got to see first hand a tool set that had been neglected.  It wasn't just that some of the tools were rusted...  The rust had spread to all of the tools.  And the shop they came from were going to continue to use those tools until they didn't work or broke.  Either way, they were going to have to replace those tools long before we would have had to replace ours...

Fox





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TommySzalapskiCommented:
(exclude outside forces, like rusting, or any contact with any substance that could affect the metal)

If you exclude anything that could affect the metal, then it will be fine. Time itself does not hurt metal (or anything for that matter). The blade will be just as sharp.

As mentioned, metals worst environmental enemy is oxygen (which causes rust). I would not consider rust an outside force. The only difference between the razor in the package and the razor out of the package is that the open pack is exposed to "outside forces" so if you exclude them, then they will fare the same.
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nickg5Author Commented:
The only difference between the razor in the package and the razor out of the package is that the open pack is exposed to "outside forces" so if you exclude them, then they will fare the same.
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I did not mean to exclude oxygen and other atmospheric affects.

I was excluding rust caused by the metal get moist or wet, or coming into contact with any chemicals that might dull the blade, or microscopically dissolve some metal.

I have a silver coin that spent over 300 years on the ocean floor. It's not uniformly round or flat, so the water and the salt of the ocean and other factors affected the coins appearance.
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TommySzalapskiCommented:
Since regular air is somewhat humid, then any exposure to oxygen should cause some corrosion over time to any metal that has not been treated with some kind of anti-oxidation (such as the oil blackfox mentioned). You could expect this corrosion to occur faster in more humid or more oxygen rich environments, but nowhere on Earth is the air dry enough that no corrosion would occur at all.
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nickg5Author Commented:
thanks
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nickg5Author Commented:
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