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Author Topic: Rust off by electricity  (Read 1993 times)
sidecar_jon
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« on: September 21, 2009, 12:18:14 pm »

SSOD Sunken Sidecar of Doom Chassis Electrolysis Rust Removal Part 4DQ

One instalment of the "Sunken Sidecar Of Doom" saga, basically a load of guys got to gether to rescue a Motorcycle sidecar that had been dumped in the bed of a muddy estuary for years. Back track through Youtube for the full story. What's interesting is the radical way he get the extreme rust off. I've done electrolytic rust removal on a wood stove but used a battery charger, he uses a welder!...
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 02:53:06 pm »

Oh wow that was so good! One must really not go poking ones hands into the etching solution while the power supply is on lest you disintegrate your arm with an electric shock Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 08:05:05 pm »

A guy on another board I am part of used his swimming pool to take off the rust of his motorcycle trailer.  I would hate to clean that pool.

Back to topic-
I have used this method for cleaning intake and exhaust manifolds and it works great.  Use those detergent tablets for dishwashers in the water, get a chunk of scrap iron or non-galvanized metal, a battery, some cables and overnight you will have a rust free part.

SM
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greensteam
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 11:18:44 pm »

OMG! Does the Environmental Protection Agency / Local water authorities know what is being blithely dumped to the water courses, gardens etc of the neighbourhood? That looked really disgusting. I am assuming its more than just dissolved rust, and that the water had some electrolyte/acid or something.
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von Corax
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 06:48:15 am »

OMG! Does the Environmental Protection Agency / Local water authorities know what is being blithely dumped to the water courses, gardens etc of the neighbourhood? That looked really disgusting. I am assuming its more than just dissolved rust, and that the water had some electrolyte/acid or something.

One common electrolyte for this sort of application is sodium carbonate, which is sold in grocery stores as "washing soda." Washing soda, when used as directed, ends up in surface water anyway, and is probably far more innocuous than some naturally-occurring mineral salts.
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Levitious
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 07:59:14 am »

'Would have taken hours with a wire brush'


Instead, it only took 3 days with this!



I kid though, Awesome job he did there
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aquafortis
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 01:34:55 am »

It works really well on old parts, the last lot I did was a heap of shims for a Jaguar back axle. I'm told you can do whole clock escapements...
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LukeHogbin
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 01:55:10 am »

Okay .... a bit of confusion here. The guy says that the current *dropped* to about ten amps. What kind of current was he starting with ?  Shocked Shocked
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aquafortis
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 11:50:08 pm »

Could be as high as you like, but too much is overkill. slow and steady overnight is best. You don't need that much really.

Of course it depends on surface area .... for a truck body in a swimming pool size tank, I believe they use welding sources.
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Narsil
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 12:28:00 am »


Yeah this method is very effective and pretty safe. You can use a car battery charger as the current source, not dangerous unless you short circuit the terminals. You can also use it in reverse at an etching or ageing process.
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LukeHogbin
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2009, 10:41:34 am »

Okay, how the hell can a car battery produce 10+ amps ?
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Professor Higgins
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2009, 10:53:01 am »

A decent car battery can produce in excess of 80 amps in brief surges.  Sustained 'shorts' across the connections can buckle in the batteries internal plates and melt wires etc.  Ive seen a spanner accidentally dropped across a battery before and that was impressive.

If you consider that a car battery are commonly rated at 40ah + thats 40 amps for an hour (theoretically, in practice its less especially at high currents), then producing  80 amps for 30 minutes is what its 'theoretically' rated for so 80 amps for a few seconds isnt unusual.
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Narsil
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 10:54:01 am »

Battery charger. Using a battery is certainly possible but you would need to be a lot more careful because of the risk of short circuiting it. A basic domestic battery charger probably won't put out 10 amps but a slightly more heavy duty one certainly will, the combined starter/chargers can deliver over 100 amps for short periods. Bear in mind that they are only running at 14 volts or so.  
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aquafortis
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2009, 01:10:49 am »

10 amps would be excessive for anything smaller than a wheelbarrow. use a battery charger, limit the current with a 5w, 12 volt bulb, and just leave it there for a few days. The good steel won't corrode.
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Grand Visier
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 10:59:13 pm »

I used this method, with washing soda, a battery, and a piece of stainless steel as an electrode, to clean a very large Record woodworking vice that had been rusted solid for 30 years.  It took the best part of a week to get the screw moving, and after cleaning up is now in daily use fitted to the bench.
Only use a battery charger if you are nearby, otherwise use a car battery when absent, for safety reasons.
The sludge is usually iron sulphate (rust and sodium carbonate reacting,) and is safe to put down the drains.
Wear rubber gloves to wash the black deposit, sometimes the metal will remain black...cleaned a Disston saw this way, and it looks and works fine.

Works like magic, and most metalworkers know of the system.
Take care   Grand Visier
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2010, 12:19:29 am »

Okay, how the hell can a car battery produce 10+ amps ?
Because thier electrodes have a large surface area and lead-acid batteries are quite good as far as batteries go. They can give upwards of 30 amps easily.
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jringling
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2010, 06:48:32 am »

'Would have taken hours with a wire brush'


Instead, it only took 3 days with this!



I kid though, Awesome job he did there
yeah, but a wire wheel REMOVES metal. This method actually replaces metal (sorta)...
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Rowan of Rin
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2010, 07:16:08 am »

Wow...that worked incredibly well! I am definitely going to try this on some of my more awkwardly shaped rusty objects which are impossible to wire brush.
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