These sections of new (never ridden, no corrosion) chains were degreased at 4:16pm on 11/28/11 then soaked in salt water (I used table salt) for about an hour. I took them out about an hour later and let them sit. At 7:08pm I was able to see rust forming on some of the chains.
Sram PC1090 Hollow Pin $76.99
Shimano Dura Ace CN7701 $54.99
Shimano CN6701 $53.99
Shimano - Most Likely HG50 (no part number on chain) $24.99
KMC Z51 $10.99
KMC Z410RB (Rust Buster) $14.99 for Single Speed, $32.99 for 9speed
I left the chains exposed to the air overnight. This is how they looked at 11:00am on 11/29/11.
The KMC Z1X Inox - Stainless Steel plates were not rusty but you can see orange rust on the pins. There was one link that was just starting to get stiff.
The Sram PC1090 only showed rust at the pins but all the links were stiff. The links freed up when operated by hand.
The Shimano CN-7701 didn't show any rust but did have some marginally stiff links. The stiff links loosened up when worked by hand.
The Shimano CN-6701 had some orange rust on one roller. Some links were marginally stiff but loosened up as soon as they were worked by hand.
The Shimano HG50 chain showed a lot of orange rust but the links were not stiff.
The KMC Z51 chain showed a lost of orange rust. There were no stiff links.
The KMC 410RB did not have visible signs of corrosion. One link marginally stiff but loosened up.
* At this point it is possible that the stiff links were caused by the salt solidifying inside the chain.
The chains were re-submerged in the salt water from 11:15am to 11:30am on 11/29/11 then hung up to dry. This is how the chains looked on Thursday December 3rd at 10:45am.
The KMC Z1 Inox chain did not have any stiff links.
The Sram PC1090 had some mildly stiff links that were easily loosened up by hand.
The Shimano Dura Ace CN-7701 had a visible white/cloudy coating but no stiff links.
The Shimano Cn-6701 had a visible white/cloudy coating but no stiff links just like the CN-7701
The Shimano HG-50 chain was quite rusty and had one significantly stiff link.
The KMC Z51 chain was quite rusty. The links weren't stiff but they had some noticeable friction/resistance.
The KMC Z410 RB (Rust Buster) chain did not show any signs of corrosion. The links were not stiff and had no increase in resistance/friction.
12/1/11 10:58am, chains were submerged in salt water again. Over the next 5 days the chains were dipped in salt water randomly and then hung out to dry.
This is what the chains looked like on 12/6/11.
The Shimano HG50 and the KMC Z51 (non-rust buster) had seized links. None of the other chains had stiff or seized links. I was able to get the seized links to start moving on the Shimano HG50 but they remained stiff. I was unable to get the KMC Z51 links to free up.