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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/25/2005 6:45:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2005 6:46:52 PM EDT by zer04evr]


As you can see, the very rusty side was not touching the solution, and is basically the before picture.

Before, to gauge the effectiveness of electrolysis I grinded down the rust to the bare metal, not
only did it take a grinding wheel, the rust was extremely difficult to take off, it was as if taking off actual iron.
The actual electrolysis was performed in a 5 gallon plastic bucket filled with water
and half a cup of Laundry Soda as the electrolyte. To power the electrodes was a 40 amp battery charger/booster.

The setup is as follows, I grinded very small areas on the objects before they were submerged
to ensure good current, as rust is a very poor conductor of electricity. Poured the regular
tapwater in the bucket so some of the metal bar can still be not submerged, and added the half cup
of laundry soda. I waited 15 minutes for the soda to be mixed in the water, I then set the two
peices of metal in the bath, one was going to be 'sacrificed' and the other was going to be cleansed of its rusty outer shell.

I connected the Positive (Red) alligator clip to the metal item to be sacrificed (peice of rebar) , as
the rust will now eat away most of it.I connected the Negative (Black) alligator clip to the metal
bar to clean.

Wait 1 and a half hours.

Now, the part where the metal bar was submerged was completely covered in a black filmy dust. I
just got a napkin, dried it off, took it to the wire wheel and literally took less than a minute to
polish it up. All the black crud came off as dust, literally, the whirewheel just knocked the stuff off.
No grinding whatsoever!

The best method of Rust Removal in my opinion.
I'll let the results speak for itself.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:47:46 PM EDT

Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:49:20 PM EDT
Interesting! I wonder if there is measurable erosion of the parent material?
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:51:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2005 6:54:51 PM EDT by zer04evr]
Yes there is, i have a picture with more pitting visible, but the rust was still cleaned off.

With pic brightened to see the pitting, but its still extremely rust free!



The top part is the grinding, which was hell to do compared to leaving it in electrified water!
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:53:47 PM EDT
Just keep that electrolysis thing away from my Toyota. The rust is holding it together.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:59:13 PM EDT
Plus it takes off grease and paint.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:01:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:02:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -brass-:

Originally Posted By 2IDdoc:
Just keep that electrolysis thing away from my Toyota. The rust is holding it together.



Connect it to some cars I see and all you would have left is the tires.



Actually I plan to use this process to clean all my uncles rusted parts on his 68 camaro rust bucket.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:15:14 PM EDT
The best thing is how simple this is to do. Ive done every other type of rust removal imaginable and this is the best.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:20:55 PM EDT
Wow thats pretty neat. Was this just kind of a demo/ trial run?
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:22:31 PM EDT
Tag.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:33:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sWs2:
Wow thats pretty neat. Was this just kind of a demo/ trial run?



Yeah, that was just to see how it acts. I plan on getting some peices from a scrap engine in my yard to clean in 55 gallon drums.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:50:04 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:40:23 AM EDT
Use a plastic 55 gallon drum.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:52:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zer04evr:
i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/crackyflipside/DSCF0010.jpg

As you can see, the very rusty side was not touching the solution, and is basically the before picture.

Before, to gauge the effectiveness of electrolysis I grinded down the rust to the bare metal, not
only did it take a grinding wheel, the rust was extremely difficult to take off, it was as if taking off actual iron.
The actual electrolysis was performed in a 5 gallon plastic bucket filled with water
and half a cup of Laundry Soda as the electrolyte. To power the electrodes was a 40 amp battery charger/booster.

The setup is as follows, I grinded very small areas on the objects before they were submerged
to ensure good current, as rust is a very poor conductor of electricity. Poured the regular
tapwater in the bucket so some of the metal bar can still be not submerged, and added the half cup
of laundry soda. I waited 15 minutes for the soda to be mixed in the water, I then set the two
peices of metal in the bath, one was going to be 'sacrificed' and the other was going to be cleansed of its rusty outer shell.

I connected the Positive (Red) alligator clip to the metal item to be sacrificed (peice of rebar) , as
the rust will now eat away most of it.I connected the Negative (Black) alligator clip to the metal
bar to clean.

Wait 1 and a half hours.

Now, the part where the metal bar was submerged was completely covered in a black filmy dust. I
just got a napkin, dried it off, took it to the wire wheel and literally took less than a minute to
polish it up. All the black crud came off as dust, literally, the whirewheel just knocked the stuff off.
No grinding whatsoever!

The best method of Rust Removal in my opinion.
I'll let the results speak for itself.




You have your idea of the directions backwards.

When you are plating something (which is what you are doing) you move metal from the anode into the solution and onto the piece you are plating. The positive wire (red) is hooked to the anode . . . the positive being where the electricity is moving from (in a sense).

The fact that the bar is 'eaten up' is that the process moved the metal from this bar into the solution and onto the piece being plated. You have plated the target piece with metal. The rust is not gone, but covered. It is still there . . .
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:56:36 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:03:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:08:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2IDdoc:
Just keep that electrolysis thing away from my Toyota. The rust is holding it together.





I had a Ford wagon like that. Started to sand the rust off and then stopped when I realized the metal was thin as tissue. LOL.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:19:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 9:21:53 AM EDT by nightstalker]
Edit....something about electrolytic removal and sodium carbonate.

Removing Rust
When iron or steel starts to rust, it will puff up and expose clean metal to the open air, allowing rust to continue to the depths of the metal. If your favorite possession is already rusting and you want to clean it or at least stop the rusting, you have a few alternatives.

There are a few products on the market which fall into the category of organic rust converters. These products contain acid to convert rust to black oxide and polymers which bond to rust. Instructions say to remove all loose rust, paint on the product, and let it dry. I've used one of these products and it did work. However, the resulting surface is black and rough. Also, the converted rust is not durable, so this may not be the right treatment for tools or stock. Some trade names for these products are: POR-15, Glean Tech Rust Killer, and RustX.

Another rust treatment is to remove loose rust and coat the metal with a product like WD-40. This fills pores and rust with a noncorrosive substance and prevents additional rusting. Often, this is sufficient to slow the progress of rust and leave the tool protected for future storage.

There are also techniques which remove rust. The most crude is sand blasting or bead blasting. This is standard practice in auto body repair shops. Sand blast will remove some good metal and will work-harden the surface, so glass bead blasting is used for more delicate parts. Immediately after any blasting, metal is clean and exposed, so it is essential that some form of rust proofing goes next. In auto body work, this is often an acid metal wash (see below) followed by self etching primer, but could also be a coating of a product like Boeshield T9.

Sand paper and steel wool will also remove rust, but they don't get into tiny crevices. Rubber abrasive sanding blocks like those made by Cratex are good at removing a thin coat of rust and can also remove rust from minute pores in the metal.

Another technique for removing rust is etching with Phosphoric Acid. Phosphoric Acid has a unique property of dissolving iron oxide quickly while etching iron very slowly. This means that you can leave metal in Phosphoric Acid for much longer than necessary with very little damage. The acid will attack bare metal slowly and will start the process of hydrogen embrittlement, so use the minimum etch time that removes all rust.

Another unique advantage of Phosphoric Acid is that it leaves a fine coating of iron phosphate behind. Iron phosphate prevents rust. However, the iron phosphate coating is not very thick and not durable. Some additional protection is still required.

Phosphoric Acid etch will leave a hard, bright metal finish. This is because it will etch the surface slightly, exposing new, bare metal. Often this is desirable. It leaves an attractive surface and a surface ready to paint. A common product which contains Phosphoric Acid is Naval Jelly. The soft drink Coca-Cola contains Phosphoric Acid, so Coke will etch rust. But Coke also contains carbonic acid and other nasty things. You're going to drink that stuff?

Auto body shops treat metal with acid metal wash, a solution of Phosphoric Acid and alcohol before painting. This removes waxes and oils, removes slight amounts of rust that form between sand blasting and painting, and leaves a thin protective coat of iron phosphate. One commercial solution for this is DuPont Quick-Prep. Sherwin Williams has a similar product called Metal Prep.

Other acids will etch rust, but not as selectively. Hydrochloric acid can etch rust very quickly. Oxalic acid has also been used. However, if you leave metal in these acids a bit too long, you will lose a significant amount of metal. Also, neither acid leaves a protective film behind. Oxalic acid opeartes to remove rust by forming a water-solable complex ion (called a chelate) around each iron ion. So do cyanide compounds. Both react likewise with the iron in your blood, meaning the oxalates are just as poisonous as the cyanides.

I read of using a solution of 1 part black molasses and 9 parts water to remove rust. Perhaps this works because the molasses is slightly acidic. The procedure is very slow. After treatment, metal starts rusting quickly, so this is probably not a phosphoric acid treatment.

All acids contribute some hydrogen to the metal structure. This weakens steel by a process called hydrogen embrittlement. If the metal is a cutting tool or gun barrel, for example, this weakening can be dangerous. One person claimed that if you bake the metal at 400F for an hour after acid cleaning, then you can drive out the hydrogen and prevent this embrittlement. With all acids, use rubber gloves and splash goggles, no matter how weak the solution. When thinning acid, add acid to water. Never add water to acid.

One more technique for removing rust is Electrolytic Rust Removal. Rust can be electrically etched off of iron or steel in a bath of mild alkali, such as Sodium Carbonate. Connect the rusty part to the negative terminal of a 12V battery or battery charger and a scrap piece of steel or iron to the positive terminal. Use one tablespoon of Sodium Carbonate per gallon of water. This technique has many advantages. First, the alkaline solution is much safer than some of the acids mentioned earlier. It is still a chemical, so rubber gloves and splash goggles are recommended. Another advantage of electrolytic rust removal is that it will have no effect on good metal, so you can leave the work in the bath for a long time and not damage the metal. There is no risk of hydrogen embrittlement nor of etching unrusted metal.

Electrolytic rust removal will leave a black oxide surface, which is the result of a process that doesn't remove any good metal at all. The only thing removed is loose rust and embedded oxygen. If your goal is to keep as much of the original metal behind, this is the best technique. However, be prepared to immediately follow this technique with one of the rust prevention procedures, such as using Boeshield T9 or VPI Paper wrap.

Guy Lautard mentioned Knorrostol in one of his popular bedside readers. He recommended it for precision tools. This is a mildly abrasive rust removing polish that can remove light surface rust on smooth metal surfaces quickly. It comes as a paste in a tube.

There's another rust removal technique used for restoring chrome on old cars and motorcycles. Rub the area vigorously with the end of an aluminum bar. This will scrape the iron oxide off and at the same time the aluminum dust formed will penetrate and react with the rust to form aluminum oxide and iron. I haven't tried this myself.

Beware of Mr. Rust
Some people have a reputation for rusting everything that they hold. These people have unique body oil. I don't know if it contains metal salts, high moisture content, or low pH. If you have guests in your shop, be careful about letting them handle good steel or tools. You might be the first to discover that Uncle Bert is one of those guys with a corrosive touch.

If you have this unique body oil, consider wearing cotton gloves oiled with something like Breakfree CLP to keep your body oils off of tools. Breakfree CLP is a multipurpose teflon oil designed to clean, lubricate, and protect metal. Another approach is to wash your hands and give them a light rub with mineral oil before handling metal.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:29:25 AM EDT
.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:38:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
The fact that the bar is 'eaten up' is that the process moved the metal from this bar into the solution and onto the piece being plated. You have plated the target piece with metal. The rust is not gone, but covered. It is still there . . .




Originally Posted By nightstalker:
One more technique for removing rust is Electrolytic Rust Removal. Rust can be electrically etched off of iron or steel in a bath of mild alkali, such as Sodium Carbonate. Connect the rusty part to the negative terminal of a 12V battery or battery charger and a scrap piece of steel or iron to the positive terminal. Use one tablespoon of Sodium Carbonate per gallon of water. This technique has many advantages. First, the alkaline solution is much safer than some of the acids mentioned earlier. It is still a chemical, so rubber gloves and splash goggles are recommended. Another advantage of electrolytic rust removal is that it will have no effect on good metal, so you can leave the work in the bath for a long time and not damage the metal. There is no risk of hydrogen embrittlement nor of etching unrusted metal.

Electrolytic rust removal will leave a black oxide surface, which is the result of a process that doesn't remove any good metal at all. The only thing removed is loose rust and embedded oxygen. If your goal is to keep as much of the original metal behind, this is the best technique. However, be prepared to immediately follow this technique with one of the rust prevention procedures, such as using Boeshield T9 or VPI Paper wrap.



You got served!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:46:05 AM EDT
I have used acid to good effect. You can get muratic acid cheap. It will also strip blueing and parkerizing.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:07:07 AM EDT
Now that is cool. If only I had some rusty stuff!
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:07:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
When you are plating something (which is what you are doing) you move metal from the anode into the solution and onto the piece you are plating. The positive wire (red) is hooked to the anode . . . the positive being where the electricity is moving from (in a sense).



In most electricity, the flow of electrons goes from the cathode to the anode. What kind of electricity are you using?
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 10:11:38 AM EDT
+1 on the muratic acid. You can buy it from a hardware store and it works wonders.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:39:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RiftWeaver:
+1 on the muratic acid. You can buy it from a hardware store and it works wonders.



Yeah, but at the end it changes the color of the iron. Plus, I dont like chlorine gas pouring out in a big greenish cloud.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:41:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kk7sm:

Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
When you are plating something (which is what you are doing) you move metal from the anode into the solution and onto the piece you are plating. The positive wire (red) is hooked to the anode . . . the positive being where the electricity is moving from (in a sense).



In most electricity, the flow of electrons goes from the cathode to the anode. What kind of electricity are you using?



A 40 amp DC 24v battery charger.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:45:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 1:59:20 PM EDT
What effect will this have on bluing? I imagine it will remove it?
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 2:06:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zer04evr:

A 40 amp DC 24v battery charger.



Well, obviously, you did it right. Your electrons are going in the right direction.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 2:11:38 PM EDT
That's "muriatic" acid or hydrochloric acid, otherwise known as dephlogisticated marine acid air.

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 7:42:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
What effect will this have on bluing? I imagine it will remove it?



I would never put my gun in the solution!

Besides, it might be toxic. If you use stainless steel the chromium comes off the metal and is toxic. So bluing probably releases some freaky chemical.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 7:52:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By California_Kid:
That's "muriatic" acid or hydrochloric acid, otherwise known as dephlogisticated marine acid air.




Yeah, that is what I meant, it is the stuff that if you sniff it the floor will rise up and hit you right on the nose. Good stuff.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:07:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ekie:

Originally Posted By California_Kid:
That's "muriatic" acid or hydrochloric acid, otherwise known as dephlogisticated marine acid air.




Yeah, that is what I meant, it is the stuff that if you sniff it the floor will rise up and hit you right on the nose. Good stuff.



I was cleaning a batch of rusty metal shims with that stuff. Never again, lol.
I poured the stuff, not diluted with water right on the rust in a plastic bucket.
Jesus Christ, this billowy smoke came out and kicked me right in the face.
Felt like I snorted hot sauce, and I know how that feels.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:14:25 PM EDT
Tag
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:15:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
What effect will this have on bluing? I imagine it will remove it?



Gun blue is just modified rust. The electrolytic process cleans it off to white metal. A good link:

www3.telus.net/public/aschoepp/electrolyticrust.html

I've found a cookie tin with a few holes punched in the bottom so it won't float makes a great anode. Don't hook the current backwards, or you sacrifice the good piece to clean up a cookie tin or chunk of rebar.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 8:26:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigdb1:

Originally Posted By DDiggler:
What effect will this have on bluing? I imagine it will remove it?



Gun blue is just modified rust. The electrolytic process cleans it off to white metal. A good link:

www3.telus.net/public/aschoepp/electrolyticrust.html

I've found a cookie tin with a few holes punched in the bottom so it won't float makes a great anode. Don't hook the current backwards, or you sacrifice the good piece to clean up a cookie tin or chunk of rebar.



I'd still be freaked out to have a gun in any water.

Box of truth it! lol
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