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Electrolysis. See the light!
Liam - 7/12/03 at 09:05 PM

This is the single best thing I've ever found out!

Somebody quietly posted this link a little while back on TOL...

The Rust Removal FAQ

Opened it, read it, was sceptical, then tried it anyway. Wow!! I just cant find enough stuff to 'electrolyse'!

I first tried one of my 4x4 front uprights. I had already drifted out the bearing outer races (a complete bitch) and given it a good 20 minutes of 'The Tool' - not the soft wirey one but the voilent twisted one that leaves you looking like you have a piercing fetish, not to mention the instant parkinsons/arthritis. It was still covered with stubborn lumps of rust especially in all the hard to reach places.

After several hours in the tank, the rest of the rust fell off in my fingers under a tap (or with a tiny bit of wire brush persuasion), and with a quick dry in the oven it looked every bit as good as the day it came out of Henry Ford's finest casting shop. Totally amazing and no effort or money!

Then I tried my other upright straight off the car, covered in years of filth and rust, left the bearing races in. Same result. Awesome! All the crap just rubs off with your fingers!

Here's what others had to say...

"It's so cheap and easy! I just leave it going over night and in the morning my component is like new!" - Jessica, Middlesex.

"The best thing for me is it doesn't attack clean metal so it wont harm machined surfaces and parts like bearing races! I'll never use sand blasting again!" - Peter, Dudley.

"I find electrolysis very useful for dismantling rusty donor car assemblies like hubs, struts and the like!" - Jean, Doncaster.

"I'll never touch 'The Tool' again! Too bad I already got arthritis!" - Winston, Hereford.


It's fantastic. I used baking soda and it works fine. I use a bit of thin walled 6" diameter stainless tube i found as the electrode, and occasionally a small bit of inch tube to insert inside tricky bits if required. Draws about 2 amps with the electrode nice and close to the piece.

Give it a go. Even if you're already drivingyou must have something rusty.

Liam

EDIT: IMPORTANT!!!

In case you dont read the rest of the thread, read this: Be VERY careful with stainless electrodes. In fact - best not to use stainless at all. Produces nasty hazardous waste!! See the thread for more info!


[Edited on 16/2/05 by Liam]


JoelP - 7/12/03 at 09:14 PM

i assume washing soda is different to caustic soda?! sounds like a good process, i may try my hubs soon...


mackie - 7/12/03 at 09:23 PM

Very cool. Although it doesn't say anything about the kind of charger or voltage to use. I have a car battery charger kicking about, so as long as that's ok I may just give it a go.


Liam - 7/12/03 at 09:47 PM

Didn't really know what the hell kind of soda they were on about in the faq but baking soda is fine. Water softener which claimed to be soda based didn't work.

I just use my halfords car battery charger which is essentially nothing more than a 12V power supply capable of supplying a few amps. The current drawn depends on how close you get your electrode to the rusty lump of crap. Draws about 2A for me.


From this... Rescued attachment rearbefore.JPG
Rescued attachment rearbefore.JPG


Liam - 7/12/03 at 09:49 PM

To this. With no effort. Apart from a bit of a rinse/scrub, prime and a squirt of WD40 into the bits i dont want to paint. Rescued attachment rearafter.JPG
Rescued attachment rearafter.JPG


Liam - 7/12/03 at 09:50 PM

This happenned while i was asleep! Rescued attachment frontupright.JPG
Rescued attachment frontupright.JPG


JoelP - 7/12/03 at 09:54 PM

it'll be the elves...


robinbastd - 7/12/03 at 11:17 PM

Liam,
Many,many thanks for the info. I've got lots of stuff to be reconditioned,and now the pixies can do it!
Cheers
Ian


RichyMkIndy - 8/12/03 at 01:38 AM

im off to start my own company selling recon sierra bits ! tee hee !
bye !


Jumpy Guy - 9/12/03 at 05:28 PM

how crucial is it to 'surround the object';??


mackie - 9/12/03 at 05:34 PM

I tried it last night with just a bit of RHS as the anode. It worked a treat but i'm going to make one out of some sheet because it'll get better results. It sort of works on "line of sight" because the current will flow along the easiest path, so if you make the easiest path wider you get better coverage. I'm not sure if my explanation was good or not but that's how I see it.
The solution gets very manky very quickly though! I looks like someone shat in it now


Liam - 9/12/03 at 11:58 PM

My electrode is a piece of thin walled stainless tube about 5" diameter. Was gonna strap it under my 205 for that 'big bore' look but I think I've put it to better use now.

Surrounding the object dont seem massively important if you leave it in long enough. I tend to turn the rusty object round about half way to try and 'expose' the other side to the electrode. It just works much faster close to the electrode cos more current can flow.

I had a stubborn bit inside one of my uprights so i switched my normal electrode for a bit of inch round mild tube so i could get it in there. That learned that bit of rust to stick to my upright. Even after a few hours though the mild steel electrode was getting fairly well eaten, wheras the thin bit of stainless I usually use hasn't been touched.

Liam


The Shootist - 10/12/03 at 03:46 AM

I think the washing soda may mean Borax. Borax is used to flux some metals for casting so I can see where it might do for this usage.

Since Borax is for washing it would also act as a degreaser.


Ben_Copeland - 10/12/03 at 08:42 AM

Think i will try this.... not sure what rusty bits i have now.... I'll have to keep my eye's open for some


Mix - 11/12/03 at 09:45 AM

Chemistry Lesson

Chemical name for 'washing soda is Sodium Carbonate, clear or whitish crystals used to 'soften' water. Should be obtainable from your local chemist.

Mick


Ben_Copeland - 11/12/03 at 12:18 PM

Excellent That can go on the shopping list


James - 11/12/03 at 01:33 PM

Liam, all I want to know is why you waited until I'd 'Tooled' everything to de-rust it before you posted this!

I'm gonna have to go buy another Sierra now just so I've got something decent to try it with!

James


JoelP - 11/12/03 at 01:45 PM

quote:
Originally posted by James
I'm gonna have to go buy another Sierra now just so I've got something decent to try it with!

James


if you want, i can lend you some hubs to de rust?! want em back sparkling though!!


Mix - 11/12/03 at 04:00 PM

Just tried my first 'experiment', what a result !!

Guess that's the bottom dropped out of the second hand market for angle grinders and twisted wire brushes.

Mick


CairB - 14/12/03 at 09:35 PM

Good find.

I'm having a go at the moment with a few bits that I never quite got round to. To busy driving

I found this explanation as to whats actually going on:
electrolysis_explanation

One point though, anyone blown up their garage yet with the by products?

Cheers,

Colin


paulbeyer - 14/12/03 at 11:56 PM

Hmmm, if you swapped the +ve and -ve leads from the battery charger and used gold instead of stainless steel would you end up gold plating your bits?


greggors84 - 15/12/03 at 01:25 AM

Shame this wasnt discovered earlier, richy almost killed himself with my twisted wire brush on angle grinder trying to get in those hard to reach places. This seems a hell of a lot easier. I mite leave my chassis out in the rain, just so i can try it!!


steve m - 15/12/03 at 02:47 AM

Its going to be a big glass jar for chassis
to go into it


blueshift - 15/12/03 at 06:11 AM

maybe greggors has a handy swimming pool and a skip full of washing soda?


Browser - 18/12/03 at 12:45 PM

Thanks for the post, I was not looking forward to the start of my de-rusting process, I'm not so bothered now! Only improvement to this setup that I can think of would be an agitator to stir the solution, maybe that'd get it to those 'hard to reach' places.


locoboy - 18/12/03 at 01:13 PM

an agitater wouldnt do anything if it only works in line of sight, a better solution is a spit to put the workpiece on or a rotating anode, to ensure 360 degree attack


David Jenkins - 18/12/03 at 01:19 PM

I wonder if this process will remove mill scale from 'black' steel?

I've successfully used vinegar with some salt dissolved in it (mmm - tasty!) to remove rust and scale from smaller items, but it's smelly and the fumes tend to corrode any nearby steel items, which isn't so good.

The need to deal with the bare metal as soon as it's lifted from the solution is true in either method - the steel is ready to rust from the word go!

David


JoelP - 18/12/03 at 01:51 PM

i suspect its not 100% line of sight, not sure how it works but im guessing that something in the soda allows electrons to move thru the solution, and the charge on the workpiece attracts them. as such they (the electrons) are unlikely to float past a bit of the target without sticking to it, but may get round the sides a little. agitating it might help, dunno cos i cant be arsed trying it!

suppose it can only help to put a magnetic bean in the bottom...


sgraber - 18/12/03 at 03:10 PM

That's AMAZING!@! Too bad that Arizona is so dry that rust doesn't form like that. Would someone send me something rusty>?

Honestly, too cool! There should be a place on the forum for "it's a keeper" threads like this one.

Graber


Peteff - 18/12/03 at 04:08 PM

I'm looking for a bath big enough to get this Capri axle in, anybody got one lying about. The wife caught me carrying it upstairs and she's banned it from the bathroom. If you like these kind of things you should go and look at the
http://www.lindsaybks.com/ website or the gingery site, some of my favourites but I daren't try some of their ideas out.

yours, Pete.


James - 19/12/03 at 12:00 PM

Pete,

Could you make something along the lines of a coffin sized/shaped box lined with a tarpaulin to hold the solution?

Or even just a wooden/metal frame work?

Failing that, it can't be that hard to find an old bath in a nearby skip. Use it then put it back in the skip!

HTH,

James


timf - 19/12/03 at 12:53 PM

james

haven't you got a slightly dammaged bath pete could use


craig1410 - 19/12/03 at 01:19 PM

Hi,
For smaller stuff why not use a Stainless Steel Sink with a rubber mat in the bottom to avoid a short circuit or perhaps a sort of "hammock" arrangement to keep the piece off the bottom. Surely that would give as close to complete coverage as is possible without a fully enclosed box.

I've not tried this yet but I have an old stainless sink in my garage and several rusty bits to try it on.

Where is the best place to buy the Sodium Carbonate? Will Chemist's keep in in large enough quantities?

Cheers,
Craig.


sgraber - 19/12/03 at 02:36 PM

I have successfully used my kids old plastic baby pool for large parts washing. Don't tell the missus. Some of them can be bought real cheap. It's a round plastic one with reinforced edges.


Spyderman - 19/12/03 at 07:35 PM

Agitating the solution would be an excellent way of improving it's effectiveness.
The line of sight idea is only partly true in that the electrons, like all things find the shortest route is a straight line.
Agittating helps also to remove the loosened crude from the surface.

Adding another anode on the opposite side of the solution bath would help with the cleaning process much more effectively than using a stainless steel sink.
No reason why you shouldn't use a SS sink if you have one, but not really worth the hassle of obtaining one if you don't.
The risks of shorts is far greater the more anode you have, plus there may be small areas of impurities in a sink that will erode away and hence leak.
Another dissadvantage is that the larger the area of anode, the larger the voltage needed. Your battery charger or old computer PSU may not be upto the job.

Terry
ex Electrophoretic paint technician.


craig1410 - 19/12/03 at 09:12 PM

Hi,
Power shouldn't be a problem for me as I have an 18V, 10Amp variable voltage, variable current power supply. It is an ex-educational type unit which I bought at one of those radio amateur fair's and is of very high quality. However, I take your point about the potential downsides of using a stainless sink.

I have a big plastic packing crate which is water tight and I'll probably use it to begin with as the sink is very handy as a sink funnily enough... I'll try and find a couple of stainless offcuts for anodes.

Any suggestions where I can most easily and cheaply get the Sodium Carbonate?
Cheers,
Craig.


JoelP - 20/12/03 at 12:18 AM

http://www.chemsoc.org/pdf/LearnNet/rsc/SodiumCarb_sel.pdf

its a corker this one...

actually its bloody useless...

[Edited on 20/12/03 by JoelP]


craig1410 - 20/12/03 at 01:52 PM

Hi,
I've answered my own question...kind of!
It appears that you can create Sodium Carbonate by heating Sodium Bicarbonate.
See
http://chemmovies.unl.edu/chemistry/smallscale/SS043c.html
and
http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=005yRH

Just heat it at 250F for long enough that all the water vapour and CO2 has gone. Then you should have Sodium Carbonate. Just make sure that you start off with pure Sodium Bicarb and not Baking Powder which sometimes contains all sorts of other stuff.

I have a 200g jar of bicarb in the over just now and will let you know if it does the job and try to give you a more accurate figure for required heating time.

Cheers,
Craig.


craig1410 - 20/12/03 at 11:18 PM

Hi again,
Fantastic!!! It works!!

I successfully decomposed my 200g of Sodium Bicarb into about 140g of Sodium Carbonate and I have tested the process on the Sierra rear caliper mounting bracket which was very rusty. It took a few hours but the rust just flakes off in chunks leaving a nice black metal finish.

I would recommend that instead of heating the Bicarb in the oven, just heat it in a saucepan for 10 minutes at a fairly low heat. This worked just as well as heating in the oven on a baking tray for 1h15m at 150degC and was much quicker obviously. Just make sure that you keep stirring and shaking it while heating to get an even result. I'd recommend weighing the powder before and after heating and you should see a reduction to about 65% of the original weight if it has been successful.

I see what you guys mean about the state of the solution after de-rusting a part. I DOES look like someone shat in it after a very nasty stomach upset!!

Anyway, well done Liam for finding this gem. We are forever in your debt!

I'll post some before and after pics tomorrow. I have a Cortina front upright in the solution for the night and I hope it doesn't completely dissolve...

Cheers,
Craig.


MikeR - 21/12/03 at 02:17 AM

Question....

Why doesn't the part being "derusted" get into a circular situation where it rusts then gets de-rusted so eating the part away?


blueshift - 21/12/03 at 03:44 AM

quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
Question....

Why doesn't the part being "derusted" get into a circular situation where it rusts then gets de-rusted so eating the part away?


As I understand it, it won't rust because of the voltage applied across it, and the fact that rusting involves tiny amounts of electricity.

Also the de-rusting involved turns the rust back into iron, so if anything were to rust again it would be some of that.

mostly though, the electric field, unless a chemist cares to correct me.


JoelP - 21/12/03 at 01:19 PM

yeah, basically rusting is an oxidative process, like burning. Oxidation is the loss of electrons, reduction is the gain. Since the work piece is attached to the -ve terminal, it is flooded with electrons.

not sure what reaction occurs, but basically the rust is reduced back to iron from iron oxide.

is the gas that forms oxygen or carbon dioxide? and what is rust specifically? is it FeO2 or FeOH?


Peteff - 21/12/03 at 04:14 PM

I found some stuff in the cupboard. It's sodium carbonate decahydrate according to the ingredient label. It's for washing stuff not cooking like bicarb. I'm going to see what it does tomorow as it's cold and dark out there now and I can't be bothered to get togged up.

yours, Pete.


Spottty - 21/12/03 at 05:57 PM

Wow, this is really cool!

Being up in Canada everything is rusty! My Civic hubs had about 10 layers of rust on them.

Now all I need is a garage to set this up! I am thinking about one of those larger pvc pools that they use for landscaping. It would work well with those larger parts andd you could probly do alot of other parts together.

Great post! It shoudl be a sticky or something!


craig1410 - 21/12/03 at 06:15 PM

Hi,
Only thing I'd point out is that if you make up a very large quantity of the solution it might be more difficult to change the solution regularly and believe me you will want to change it before long as it gets in a real state!!

Also, try to get a nice big piece of stainless steel plate for the anode as I have been using mild steel and it also gets in a mess very quickly and this causes the electrical current to be reduced. I think that wrapping a piece of thin stainless plate around the outside of the vessel and then putting the piece to be restored in the middle would be best.

I did one of my Cortina uprights last night and it came out great. Even the old flaky paint lifted away easily leaving the clean blackened metal. If you then rub the black metal lightly with emery cloth it reveals shiny metal. You should do this to key the surface prior to painting anyway but my point is that it only needs to be rubbed very lightly. I'll post some before and after pics tomorrow night.

Cheers,
Craig.


MikeR - 21/12/03 at 09:04 PM

You know, its times like this i'm glad i'm lazy!!! I've been putting off taking an old stainless sink to the tip for months ......

boy do i feel like a dog with two dangly bits now


blueshift - 21/12/03 at 10:31 PM

quote:
Originally posted by craig1410
Only thing I'd point out is that if you make up a very large quantity of the solution it might be more difficult to change the solution regularly and believe me you will want to change it before long as it gets in a real state!!


We found that it looks like poo juice when you've finished de-rusting a part, but if you leave it the rust or whatever it is floating around in suspension settles to the bottom so you can see what you're doing setting up the next part. I don't think the amount of crap building up has any effect on the process.

Using a stainless electrode will probably mean less crap everywhere, we're using mild.


Rorty - 22/12/03 at 03:38 AM

MikeR:

quote:

boy do i feel like a dog with two dangly bits now



Well I just hope any dogs you meet actually share your perversion.


Mix - 22/12/03 at 10:23 AM

Pete

That'll be washing soda then

The rest

I have used a 'J' shaped glass tube and some clear plastic hose to syphon off the clear electrolyte after the 'poo' has settled. Both items obtainable from Boots home brew counter.

Just don't suck too hard on the tube

Mick


locoboy - 22/12/03 at 11:37 AM

Anyone tried doing this with a non steel part that they want cleaning, ie ally or some alloy?

What would be the outcome?

P.S what is the recommended ratio for mixing the soda and water?


craig1410 - 22/12/03 at 12:28 PM

quote:
Originally posted by blueshift
I don't think the amount of crap building up has any effect on the process.



Blueshift,
It certainly does in my case. I have a power supply with voltage and current meters and the current starts off at 4 Amps and dies away to around 2 Amps after about 20 minutes and drops further to around 1 Amp overnight. If I take out the anode and scrub it with some emery cloth and rinse it under the tap I can get 4 Amps of current flowing again. I think the crap which forms on the anode is reducing the surface conductivity and thus reducing the current. It also produces swathes of gunge at the anode which contaminates the solution badly.
Cheers,
Craig.


blueshift - 22/12/03 at 01:41 PM

This makes sense I shuppose, a rust cake coating being less conductive than the bare metal. Does that mean you're using a mild steel electrode or does cack form on stainless too?

I thought you were talking about the poop that ends up suspended in the solution, before.. that's why I said I didn't think it'd have any effect.. my bad


JoelP - 22/12/03 at 01:47 PM

how about using wire wool as the +ve electrode? should have enough surface area to resist some goop buildup!


locoboy - 22/12/03 at 02:00 PM

with the strands being so thin it may just all desintegrate!

I thought about a stainless steel seive, but thought it may be too thin and get eaten away,

and be a bitch to clean.


JoelP - 22/12/03 at 07:23 PM

maybe possible to clean the electrode easily by reversing the current with some scrap as the target?!


locoboy - 22/12/03 at 07:35 PM

Gutted.........

Needed a battery charger for some time so thought now is the time and i can try this de rusting process too.

Inot Halfrauds and out with a nice looking all singing all dancing charger.

Halford Auto Charger
Halford Auto Charger


Got the washing soda and a nice stainless serving spoon (90p) and a plastic washing up bowl.

hooked it all up and nowt seemed to be happening.

Theni discover this "fully Automatic" charger is to fecking clever for its own good.

It only supplies power to the leads once it is connected to the battery, i guess it will detect some resistance of someting and allow power to flow.

I tried it with the power on and touched the 2 clips together and nowt!

Question,

Can i hook the charger to a battery then at the same time run 2 leads from the battery to the rusty piece and the stainless anode?

Word of warning, even battery chargers are getting smart these days!


craig1410 - 22/12/03 at 08:19 PM

Col,
Only thing to watch for is short circuits as the battery will supply a huge current if you short out the anode and cathode. A battery charger will only supply maybe 4 Amps before its internal protection will start to shut it down. The other downside of a battery is that it is always live so you won't be able to turn off the power so easily when rearranging the piece being derusted. Obviously you could just use jump leads but you don't really want sparks when connecting and disconnecting as this could potentially explode the hydrogen.

Why not try to get hold of one of those old CB (Citizens band radio) power supplies. They supply 13.8 Volts at a few amps and would be safer than a car battery in my opinion. Maplin are selling a 5Amp version for 29.99 inc vat (product code XM22Y)

HTH,
Craig.


blueshift - 23/12/03 at 02:12 AM

I've got a nice old 7A CB power supply. you can pick them up dirt cheap secondhand, or at least you used to be able to. they might be thin on the ground these days.

The idea of cheating the automatic charger with the battery should work I think, you might want to put a fuse in the circuit though, else as craig says much melting.


locoboy - 23/12/03 at 09:08 AM

Cheers chaps,

Think i will return it today and just try to get an old style battery charger, or failing that i have a transformer that i used to use to power my radio controlled car battery rapid charger, i guess that would do?


Spyderman - 23/12/03 at 12:57 PM

If you have an old PC case you can use the power supply from that.
They are commonly used for small scale plating and should provide enough current for what you want!


DaveFJ - 23/12/03 at 01:23 PM

AHAA - finally a use for those 30 odd AT style PC power supplies I kept in the garage 'just in case'


timf - 23/12/03 at 01:44 PM

quote:
Originally posted by protofj
AHAA - finally a use for those 30 odd AT style PC power supplies I kept in the garage 'just in case'


dave 1 or 2 ok but 30

definately a case of hoarding on your part


MikeR - 23/12/03 at 06:57 PM

So nows not a good time to admit i had to shift 10 cases when i moved house ..... I had a clear out some time later and have still got a few cases and power supplies hanging around!!

Now which would be better, AT or ATX 1.0 or ATX 2.1 power supplies?


blueshift - 24/12/03 at 11:11 AM

One of the nice old ones that doesn't have magic in them that only turns on the power rails when it has devices / motherboard attached.


craig1410 - 24/12/03 at 11:52 AM

Blueshift,
That's easily defeated anyway by placing a load resistor across the +5V to ground pins. You'll need a load of an Amp or so which would require a 4.7ohm resistor. Don't just use a little 0.25 watt resistor though as you will need to dissipate a fair amount of power. Something like 5 watts in fact (V^2/R)

Cheers,
Craig.


Mark Allanson - 29/12/03 at 05:51 PM

Easier source of washing soda - Safeways, 79p Rescued attachment Soda.jpg
Rescued attachment Soda.jpg


CairB - 30/12/03 at 09:31 AM

Mark,

You were robbed Tesco 51p

Anyone any cheaper? Rescued attachment 200312300907_00038.jpg
Rescued attachment 200312300907_00038.jpg


blueshift - 30/12/03 at 12:04 PM

Raiding my dad's garage cupboards, 0p.

I win, unless anyone got paid to take some away?


DaveFJ - 30/12/03 at 12:37 PM

Have to try ALDI or LIDL tonite - they just have to be cheaper.....

BTW defeating an ATX power supply is far easuier than all that - i just use a paperclip across two of the pins when testing them (can't remeber which but I have it written down somewhere...)

Dave


dave1888 - 13/1/04 at 06:36 PM

can anyone tell me the mix water to sodium/wash soda.
thanks


blueshift - 13/1/04 at 08:16 PM

It's in the FAQ liam posted as the first post on this thread.


dave1888 - 13/1/04 at 09:31 PM

Cheers got it now


ijohnston99 - 14/1/04 at 09:20 PM

Excellent thanks for that Liam. It got me digging around and I found a slightly simpler to understand version..

More electrolysis

Ian


craig1410 - 14/1/04 at 10:35 PM

Bloody 'ell!
Have you guys read the bit about using stainless steel for the anode?? Here is the text:

"Many people using the electrolysis method for rust reduction swear by stainless steel, stating (incorrectly) that it's not consumed, stays clean and seems safe.
Stainless steel is indeed consumed when used in the electrolysis process, although slowly. The main problem with using it is the hazardous waste it produces. Stainless steel contains chromium. The electrodes, and thus the chromium is consumed, and you end up with poisonous chromates in your electrolyte. Dumping these on the ground or down the drain is illegal. The compounds can cause severe skin problems and ultimately, cancer. Hexavalent chromate is poisonous. These compounds are not excused from hazardous waste regulations where household wastes are.
These compounds are bad enough that government regulations mandate "elimination of hexavalent chromate by 2007 for corrosion protection."

Does your electrolyte turn yellow? That's a sign of chromates.

If you have been using stainless steel for the anodes (positive electrodes), wear rubber gloves when working with or near the liquids. If you need to dispose of it, allow it to evaporate into powders and dispose of the powders in sealed containers during your local "hazardous waste clean-up days".

Best bet - don't use stainless steel no matter how tempting it is."

Scary stuff!!
If anyone has seen the film "Erin Brochovich" with Julia Roberts then you will know how dangerous hexavalent chromium is. The worrying thing is that I didn't know about this earlier and have handled and disposed of this stuff down the drain as it was supposedly non-toxic and harmless. I can't remember there being any yellow residue and the stainless plate may not have been stainless steel as it was magnetic (I know some SS's are ferrous) and it was eventually eaten away by the process. It may have been chrome plated though which may even be worse!

I guess we'd better all just use mild steel from now on then eh???
Cheers,
Craig.


blueshift - 15/1/04 at 06:44 PM

good heads-up. maybe someone should contact the maintainer of the original FAQ?


JoelP - 15/1/04 at 07:57 PM

a good idea shifty! anyone gonna do that or shall i?


craig1410 - 15/1/04 at 08:32 PM

Guys,
I've already sent an email to Ted Kinsey who wrote the article. If he doesn't reply then I'll email the BHI themselves as they are opening themselves up to litigation I'd say.

It's amazing how a simple change to a harmless procedure can render it lethal...

I don't know about you guys but I have certainly fished the bits out of the bucket with my bare hands and then washed them under the tap. I don't know if this stuff can penetrate the skin or not but I'm not a happy man about being exposed to the risk! I did use gloves when the solution looked like "someone shat in it" for obvious reasons but since I started using the stainless anode it didn't generate nearly so much gunk so it wasn't necessary.

I'm going to create a new thread to direct people to this warning as this thread is pretty old now and many people probably aren't reading it now.

Cheers,
Craig.


Chris_R - 13/4/04 at 09:15 PM

Has anyone been brave enough to try an engine block, or is that just stupidity?


Mark Allanson - 13/4/04 at 10:01 PM

Probably OK as long as you remove all the non ferrous parts first, white metal bearings, bronze inserts etc


Chris_R - 13/4/04 at 10:26 PM

Is everyone just using 12v DC?


craig1410 - 13/4/04 at 11:55 PM

Chris,
Most battery chargers put out a bit more than this (between 13 and 14 volts) although you should note that some chargers won't actually put out any power unless they are connected to a battery. I think someone mentioned that the Halfords automatic charger was like this.

The important thing for this process is the number of Amps of current which flow and this varies quite a lot depending on how close together the anode and the part being cleaned are. I tend to get about 4 amps myself.

Cheers,
Craig.


Chris_R - 14/4/04 at 07:00 PM

Have started the cleaning process and all looks promising. Does anyone know the effect of rubber components left in the solution?


Digger Barnes - 14/4/04 at 07:39 PM

Should be no problem. As there are no solvents or chemicals that attack rubber in this method.

[Edited on 14/4/04 by Digger Barnes]


craig1410 - 14/4/04 at 09:09 PM

Chris,
Yes there should be no problems with rubber or plastic bits.

Remember once you remove the finished item from the solution to rinse it thoroughly (I always rinse it under very hot running water as this tends to evaporate quickly afterwards). Dry the item thoroughly and scrub the black iron dust from it with a wire brush. Then degrease and paint it with something as quick as you can to avoid any oxidisation (rust) setting in. Ideally paint it with an etch primer or one of the various Zinc paints such as Davids 182. Rust will form very very quickly on the black iron in particular and this stuff absorbs water which makes it worse so scrub it off.

Cheers,
Craig.


Chris_R - 14/4/04 at 09:12 PM

Seems too good to be true, but it's definately working. Was wondering about rubber as I was going to stick my calipers in.


craig1410 - 14/4/04 at 09:23 PM

Chris,
Are you planning to recondition your calipers afterwards or are you just dunking them in as is? If the latter then make sure that no sodium carbonate solution or water gets inside the caliper or it will corrode the bores. Use extra bleed nipples to seal any holes and make sure your other seals are in good shape (eg. Handbrake mechanism)

I would also wind the piston right back to avoid any erosion of the piston surface. Of course if the piston is rusty then you should replace it and not simply try to electrolyse the rust! Is the piston chrome plated or made of stainless steel? If so then you may get harmful chromate by-products during the process! See my warning about this on another thread.

Cheers,
Craig.


Chris_R - 14/4/04 at 09:38 PM

haven't put the whole caliper in yet, only the part that bolts it to the hub. Have just taken it out, wire brushed it a little and rinsed it. Truely suprised at the result, it's a lot better than I'd expected.

Having spent most of last night reading related post I have read your warning, but thanks for flaging it.

Not sure about the cylinders, can't be stainless as they too are rusted. hopefully gonna recon so they'll be gone before too long.


NS Dev - 18/4/04 at 10:18 PM

Just started using this system for the first time, (using stainless for a start but having read on may change to mild steel!) I used sodium hydroxide too (caustic soda) as I had no sodium carbonate. All I can say is whoa!! I saw mention of 4 amp current draw. With my sierra upright 10" away from the anode (a long piece of stainless steel "endless" jubilee clip) I kept tripping out the charger and drawing 12 amps!! Got it stable by diluting the solution a a bit and it now runs steady at 10-11 amps!! The cleaning is incredible, as is the amount of gas given off, I did it outside!!!


craig1410 - 18/4/04 at 10:38 PM

Yes Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda) is a strong base (alkali) whereas Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda) is a weak base. The former will produce a much more conductive solution as you have discovered. The only thing I would caution you on is that this may(?) erode the good metal whereas the Sodium Carbonate is said to be self-limiting in that it once all the rust is gone the reaction will stop. Gas is still produced but no more metallic reactions will happen. Also Cautic Soda is a bit more dangerous to handle so don't get it in your eyes or on your skin in concentrated form.

I've just done my sierra rear hubs and carriers tonight and they are all nicely painted using etch primer and Dulux Weathershield Black Gloss. Very nice!!

By the way, even with 4 Amps going through my solution it gets pretty warm. I bet your solution is almost boiling after a while!!

Cheers,
Craig.


NS Dev - 18/4/04 at 11:18 PM

Yes, it did get rather hot!! So did the battery charger!! I was very careful with the Soda. I use boiling Caustic Soda to degrease blocks and stuff and always wear goggles/gloves etc. I believe that it can blind you pretty quickly and is much worse for the eyes than acid!

It didn't seem to eat the bare steel (I hope) there was no gas coming from the bare areas and they appeared untouched (but if the bearings fall out now then oops!!)

Cheers,

Nat


spunky - 18/4/04 at 11:46 PM

I realise that none of you are idiots but i had the misfortune to witness a colleague at work getting caustic soda in his eye.
The pain he was in and the sight of his face was frightening.
He lost his eye and the degradation of flesh in the socket meant he could not have a false one. Please be careful with this stuff, better still, use the washing soda and keep the gogs on...

John


blueshift - 19/4/04 at 12:02 AM

Thanks for the warning. I don't know about anyone else but I appreciate and mentally file away everyone's little horror stories. I have a healthy respect for the amount of injury I could do myself while building a locost.

(says he who was welding next to a bucket of paraffin the other day.. oops)


JoelP - 19/4/04 at 11:03 AM

i was welding over my plastic fuel tank the other day, felt a bit silly when i remembered!

even worse though, i caught myself trying to cut my thumb nail with the band saw the other day. Gave myself a good slap for that one...


NS Dev - 19/4/04 at 05:16 PM

Spunky, I'm sorry to hear that and OUCH, that must have been pretty bad! (big understatement)

I am now going to be more careful again!! I got a load of caustic solution on my hand the other day (went inside the glove) and it didn't hurt or burn too much but I will now be fully suited, booted and goggled etc etc etc!! I know that caustic soda is bad, I heard about an accident where somebody using prilled caustic spilt some, still in dry form, into their welly boot. They didn't notice until too late and the sweat made it eat a substantial part of the foot away! Not at all pleasant I guess.

Anyhow, I will be even more careful from now on!


Spyderman - 19/4/04 at 05:49 PM

Please....please do not use Caustic Soda!

The comments that it is worse than Acid are an understement!
The fumes from it will choke you as well!

Adding water to caustic Soda causes a chemical reaction that creates heat (lots of it). Then putting aluminium into it will make it boil very rapidly as it eats the ally.
This process is what is used to remove oxidation from aluminium before painting or anodising.

Caustic Soda will burn your skin and the hotter it is the faster it burns. You have mere seconds to wash it off before it scars.

Please don't use it, the dangers far outweigh the benefits!

Sorry to be so negative, but it really is nasty stuff!

Terry


NS Dev - 19/4/04 at 07:29 PM

I realise the dangers, but it is very effective.

We work with boiling Sulphuric acid pickling boshes at the steel plant where I work and I do some etching of steel samples with hot concentrated hydrochloric acid so I realise the dangers of burns etc. It's just that caustic is very good at degreasing (hence why it burns flesh away so well!) and as you say, is great in weak solution at scouring aluminium as long as it is washed off quickly.


craig1410 - 19/4/04 at 07:39 PM

I remember a friend of mine at school who got burned badly when he put some pellets of solid caustic soda in his pocket during a lab experiment. I think we were in 1st year at secondary school and so we didn't really know much about chemistry. He had some spare pellets after his experiment and for some reason (not theft by the way) he put them in his trouser pocket. He left them there for several hours and I remember him complaining about intense irritation on the way home on the bus. He had to go to the hospital A&E department when he reached home as he had 2nd degree chemical burns on his leg... He ended up with a large (approx 3" ) circular scar on his thigh.

Not nice stuff and best left to the professional's (NS Dev you may well be one so best of luck). Even if you think you can handle it (as I would) then think about kids and animals who may come into contact with it so unless you have a secure storage facility and chemical disposal facility and all the PPE to go with it then steer clear!

Cheers,
Craig.

[Edited on 19/4/2004 by craig1410]


NS Dev - 19/4/04 at 07:56 PM

A fair point Craig, I'm not trying to make out that it's perfectly safe, and you are quite right about what else may come into contact with it. I dilute the caustic right down and put it down the drain (it is bought as drain unblocker anyway)

I will shut up now so I don't cause seombody to get burnt, but will point out that the caustic is available from common shops as a household chemical (won't say what/where due to the cautions above!!) so anybody could use it and not realise the seriousness of the dangers.

As an aside I think this is partly down to the "super-safety" culture these days. because we are constantly warned about things being "dangerous" which never seem to hurt us, we may be blase when something really is very dangerous and we are really at risk of serious injury if we are not careful!! (or maybe that's just my view, I'll get off the soapbox now!!)


spunky - 19/4/04 at 08:05 PM

Hi all,
I'm pleased we have established the dangers of caustic soda. It is evil stuff and I wouldn't recomend using it if there is an alternative. But as Nsdev points out it is very effective, 'so you pays your money, you takes you chances' Thats what a forum is for- to share information.

And I am the biggest hypocrite. I have been known to tack without a welding mask, I remove the guards from my angle grinder, cut my nails with a bench grinder. I find it impossible to work with any sort of gloves on and frequently find myself using petrol to clean components with a fag hanging out my mouth. (thats a cigarette by the way, before you start...)

all the best
John


NS Dev - 19/4/04 at 08:11 PM

Oh no, I'm back again!!!

I used an angle grinder without a guard once to get into a tight corner. I just put the guard back on and started it back up when the wheel exploded, 1 piece of which ended up in my leg! If the guard wasn't back on I fear I may be have been missing a finger or two!!

I didn't do it again!!! but as you say, you know the risk and take it and that's how life is and that's how we learn I suppose (and the guard still didn't stop the bit in my leg, bl00dy thing!)


Spyderman - 20/4/04 at 12:15 PM

quote:
Originally posted by NS Dev
Snip.
, but will point out that the caustic is available from common shops as a household chemical (won't say what/where due to the cautions above!!) so anybody could use it and not realise the seriousness of the dangers.
Snip



I was bewildered when I bought some drain cleaner to find small aluminium filings in it.
Only when it had been poured into the drain and some warm water added did the penny drop! The immediate chemical reaction and consequent fumes made me realise what I was using. Only then because I was familiar with the stuff, having used it in my work.
Just think how dangerous the product is, especially if hot water had been added. The stuff spits and boils violently, so you don't even need to splash it onto yourself.

Do you really read the instructions of every product you buy? I know I don't! Just a cursory glance to see what is needed.

It is fine for things to be available to all as long as the necessary precautions are known. However using Caustic in that manner shocked me!

Terry


NS Dev - 20/4/04 at 01:36 PM

If you add the caustic to water it's usually not too bad, if you add water to the caustic then it's no joke!! But that's why it says on the packaging about never adding the water to the caustic. However, the warning still doesn't prepare you for the resultant reaction!! (why do I always have to try the opposite to the instructions just to see what happens!!)


gjn200 - 22/4/04 at 08:09 PM

Dunno if anyones interested, but I use this..altrans


Andy S - 24/4/04 at 08:12 PM

Many thanks for posting the link this is a great method - only wish I had been enlightened during the winter so my bucket of gunge and charger could have been working away in the freezing cold of my garage whilst I was warm indoors.

Soon running out of bits to clean and will have to resort to pulling stuff off the car

Andrew


ceebmoj - 25/4/04 at 07:19 PM

Hi, I thort that I had written my findings with this up but a quick look through this thread does not seam to shown up my results.

I made couple of alteration to the basic proses first of all a used backing soader because I was not happy with the risks of using the other additives. The disadvantage is that you will get a lower current draw and hence it will take longer to clean the part.

The other thing I did was use an old pond / fish tank pump to cycle the water thought a filter watching the ammeter on my power supply shows that this prevents the current from dropping over time and the solution in the to the main bath can be redirected to was over the part helping to dislodge rust and scale.

However the biggest improvement I made was with the anode I started with a thin sheet of steal so that I could bend it to match the contours of the part to be cleaned and based some hole is in it with a nail so that the rages points where all facing the part to be cleaned. This enabled a hire current flow as the electrons find it easer to fall of the piece of metal at the points.

Blake


craig1410 - 25/4/04 at 11:09 PM

Blake,
Intersting tips, thanks.
Only thing I would mention though is to watch out for using too many amps as I have read somewhere that this can be disadvantageous. IIRC, the article said that some of the oxidised iron nearest to the surface of the solid iron can be reduced back to solid iron provided a relatively low current is used initially. I think this is referring to the "black" iron oxide and not the red iron oxide which I think is not so practical to reduce back to metal.

I guess the net effect of this will be to save more of the metal and hopefully reduce the amount of pitting which you are left with after the rust is cleaned off. I usually use 4 Amps and leave the part overnight and this seems to do the job nicely. Also remember that higher currents will cause more heating of the solution and will produce more gas so be careful and make sure you have adequate ventilation.
Cheers,
Craig.


ceebmoj - 26/4/04 at 06:12 PM

good point about the current all though I only use 2 to 4 amps (limited and monitored by the supply) depending on how I am feeling and how big the part is but I get a fizz from it like you get from a fresh glass of coke. This fizzing will last for the length of time you are cleaning the part.

All of the parts I have cleaned have been left with a black covering witch can be removed with a wire brush. However the pond pump and filter means that it is perfectly clean to work with before I did this it gets all crapped up and the current draw fall of slowing the cleaning proses.


ChrisS - 27/4/04 at 11:14 AM

Hi

Was wondering if anyone could clarify how big the electrode needs to be, or if it would be a benefit to have a large tube effectively using sheet metal bent round a part for cleaning.

Ive seen details of an iron electrode being used and assumed this might be solid & quite small in diameter.

Also was wondering if it mattered how the electrode was positioned in the tank, either upright or laying down.
Although ive just realised that the connection probably needs to be out of the water DOH!

That stainless steel electrode stuff is quite worrying, is everyone sure its safe at all using iron or even mild steel?

Chris S.


craig1410 - 27/4/04 at 02:27 PM

Chris,
On the safety aspect, I can only say that I am satisfied that I am perfectly safe when using plain mild steel anodes but you need to satisfy yourself as obviously I don't want to give you any guarantees for potential legal reasons. Look at it this way, if there is no chromium in the steel or solution then you shouldn't be able to come to any harm from chromium poisoning...

On the other subject of anode size and shape I will say this: The closer to the piece the anode is then the higher the current flow will be and therefore the faster the process will go. Also, you will find that the rusty item will clean up where it is closest to the anode quicker than the bits where it is farher away. For this reason a sheet of metal bent around the inside of the bucket is a good method as it gives good surface area and even coverage of the piece. Where you have a hollow area such as the centre of a boss then perhaps a piece of concrete reinforcing bar in the middle might be good to provide electric current to the inner circumference.

Hope this helps,
Craig.


ceebmoj - 28/4/04 at 07:04 PM

Criss

The electricity will take the esest path from anode to part (basically the shortest distance) so if you use some thing that you can bend to follow the contours of what you want to clean to can acheave a lager are of the part is near the anode and hene a larger bit will get cleaned.

The only reason that I punch hole in my sheet is to produce a surface that has lots of small sharp high points on it as the electrons will fall off easer (there are I am sure people who will shout me for that description)


NS Dev - 28/4/04 at 08:02 PM

sounds like a pretty good description to me!! more surface area for the electrons to fall out of!!


JH - 13/5/04 at 06:16 PM

Just been pointed in the direction of this post after asking a similar question in another part of the forum.

I was quite concerned about the suggestion of using stainless steel until I saw someone had already pointed out the dangers. What about a carbon electrode? I'm no chemist, but when I was in school my slightly nutty chemistry teacher (who was missing a finger from a home made bomb gone wrong in his teens) Stuck a pen in the earth hole of a mains socket to open the bottom two, plugged a carbon rod into each hole, connected each one to a carbon rod suspended in a small glass of water with a tiny bit of salt added, then turmed the power on.

we all expected trouble, but it bubbled away nicely, not blowing any trips or fuses!


craig1410 - 13/5/04 at 10:03 PM

JH,
You should be safe enough with mild steel anodes but they do corrode quite badly and leave a messy solution. Not a major problem mind you and a method used by many on this forum with great results.

Carbon doesn't conduct very well compared to steel but it would probably work given that the solution is also not very conductive. I think the biggest problem you may have is getting enough surface area of carbon to get enough current flowing and get an even coverage of the piece being restored.

I'd say that if you are trying to restore mild steel then you are better off using a mild steel anode otherwise there is a chance of getting by products from the reaction which might cause the steel to corrode again more quickly. From my knowledge of chemistry I would doubt that carbon would produce any by products but you really need to be careful as the example of using stainless steel shows...

If you want to plate the steel afterwards then by all means look into Nickel plating.

Cheers,
Craig.


VinceGledhill - 19/5/04 at 02:41 PM

What about a copper electrode? Or copper sulphate used after the cleaning. From school I remember electro-plating things with copper sulphate.

Basically to plate something with copper simply use coper sulphate (must be obtainable from the chemists) the cathode (negative) should be connected to the work to be plated and the positive in the solution.

Copper plated hubs instead of painted ones??? Polished up they would look great.... you would have to keep polishing them though.... duraglit out every week


craig1410 - 19/5/04 at 07:43 PM

Vince,
Hopefully someone with more chemistry knowledge than myself will respond but if I remember correctly, copper will oxidise very rapidly and is not a very good plating compound to use on steel. Much better off with Nickel or Silver or Gold (yeah right for the latter two!). Nickel is commonly used and I think you can buy commercial nickel plating kits.

If you are still keen on copper then take a look at your water pipes under your kitchen sink and tell me if you like the look of them! I know mine are all dull and green in places which isn't very pleasing to the eye... The soldering flux causes very rapid corrosion if not removed after fitting but even clean copper gets dull very quickly.

Cheers,
Craig.


welshy - 1/7/04 at 08:55 AM

To prevent the cathode from becoming all gunked up would it still work if you wrapped it in a shealth made from kitchen foil. You could then simply replace the sheath!


blueshift - 1/7/04 at 01:36 PM

I wasn't taking seriously the ideas of copper plating, but hmm.. if you got a decent surface on something then copper plated it, buffed it up then laquered it, might look kind of cool.


millenniumtree - 8/7/04 at 03:03 AM

According to this page (given earlier in the discussion)

"The copper connector of the battery charger must make good contact with the stainless steel but it must not touch the solution. If it does touch, it will dissolve. The copper that dissolves will wind up depositing on the iron object being cleaned and cause it to rapidly rust"

http://www.holzwerken.de/museum/links/electrolysis_explanation.phtml

So that's a no on the copper!

Also, if two different metals are touching, sometimes one or both of them will oxidize MUCH faster than if they were not touching.
So if you copper-plated something it might look cool, but it may turn green (copper rust) much faster than normal.

[Edited on 8/7/04 by millenniumtree]


Skirrow - 18/7/04 at 11:33 AM

Can anyone help me with this, I have been using one of those little chargers that has a black squre thing that plugs into the wall. I'm only getting 0.5 Amps which is doing something but it's painfully slow. I think the max output of the charger is 0.8 anyway.

What does I need to do to my PC power supply to get a higher current? I'm not that electrically minded so if someone could tell me what to do with the jumble of coloured wires that come out of it it woule be helpful. I saw a post saying I should place a load resistor across +5v tp ground but that doesn't mean a massive amount to me.

Cheers!


atomic - 13/9/04 at 07:21 AM

Before you try the rust removal if you havn't already.... Read this

"Many people using the electrolysis method for rust reduction swear by stainless steel, stating (incorrectly) that it's not consumed, stays clean and seems safe.
Stainless steel is indeed consumed when used in the electrolysis process, although slowly. The main problem with using it is the hazardous waste it produces. Stainless steel contains chromium. The electrodes, and thus the chromium is consumed, and you end up with poisonous chromates in your electrolyte. Dumping these on the ground or down the drain is illegal. The compounds can cause severe skin problems and ultimately, cancer. Hexavalent chromate is poisonous. These compounds are not excused from hazardous waste regulations where household wastes are.
These compounds are bad enough that government regulations mandate "elimination of hexavalent chromate by 2007 for corrosion protection."

Does your electrolyte turn yellow? That's a sign of chromates.

If you have been using stainless steel for the anodes (positive electrodes), wear rubber gloves when working with or near the liquids. If you need to dispose of it, allow it to evaporate into powders and dispose of the powders in sealed containers during your local "hazardous waste clean-up days".


craig1410 - 13/9/04 at 08:33 AM

Hi,
Yes I pointed this out a while back but given the size of the thread it is certainly worth repeating.

Cheers,
Craig.


stephen_gusterson - 13/9/04 at 08:34 AM

see the movie erin brocovich for more info on hexavalent chromium. The whole movie is about its efects.

Plus you get to see Julia Roberts in short skirts and wonderbras.....


atb

steve


Northy - 29/12/04 at 04:05 PM

I've just spent over an hour trying to get this to work

I got some of the soda same as Mark got (shown below) and connected everything up. Nothing. The battery charger stays on trickle charge. No bubbles, nothing.

One thing I'm curious of is how people have made a good contact to the part they're cleaning? I used a big croc clip and it seems to have a good contact.

Please help,

Cheers


Northy - 29/12/04 at 05:05 PM

OOpppss heres the picture Rescued attachment Soda.jpg
Rescued attachment Soda.jpg


craig1410 - 29/12/04 at 05:17 PM

Some battery chargers won't produce any decent power unless they are actually attached to a battery. The one I have from Halfords is like this. You may need to find an alternate source of 12 Volts. I have a laboratory power supply myself which can supply up to 18 Volts at 10 Amps.

Cheers,
Craig.


Northy - 29/12/04 at 06:36 PM

Hi Craig,

Yeah I think that was the problem, I've got a hobby type PSU on it now but it only gives out just over 1 amp, and its getting a bit warm at that too! But something is now happening, I'm getting bubbles and it looks like someone's shat in it so I guess its working!

It's gonna take a bloody long time at 1 Amp though!

Cheers


craig1410 - 29/12/04 at 08:07 PM

You should be able to pick up an unregulated 13.8V CB Radio power supply quite cheaply, especially if you go to one of the Amateur Radio/Computer fairs which pop up from time to time. This type of power supply will happily supply 5 Amps and they aren't usually "smart" enough to care about what type of load is across them. The other option is an old PC power supply but you'll probably need to fool it into thinking it is attached to a motherboard. Of course you could always just attach an old motherboard as well, just to get it going...

Cheers,
Craig.


Northy - 31/12/04 at 12:56 PM

This is bloody brilliant!!

The worse it is when it goes in, the better it is when it comes out!

I just washed off a 4x4 rear bearing carrier and you can see the Ford logo on it!

Cheers


Rob Lane - 31/12/04 at 03:10 PM

Tried it out in a small plastic tray with a 3 amp supply. Put a lower balljoint in that was rusty and it started bubbling straightaway.

Took a while to remove the rust but was a good result. It doesn't attack clean machined surfaces or rubber.


zetec - 31/12/04 at 05:31 PM

Is it safe to use a galvanised bucket? Just hang the piece to be cleaned from a piece of string attached to a bit of wood with its connection cliped on and the other contact being the bucket, instant all round coverage. Only concern is the reaction with whatever they use to galvanise the bucket.


Mix - 31/12/04 at 05:39 PM

Could be wrong, but I think the bucket will eventually 'dissolve'

Mick


Rob Lane - 31/12/04 at 06:22 PM

Mick is right it will attack the bucket.

The zinc coating will turn black almost immediately and then it will slowly dissolve.

This works fine for another purpose though, painting galvanised bits. Ideally it should have a pickle coating applied and washed off, which has the same effect. Then paint applied.
Painting galvanising with most paints is not succesful as it peels off unless treated as above.


Avoneer - 1/1/05 at 06:01 PM

Any chance of pics of your setup and done parts graham?
Cheers,
Pat...
Otherwise, I can bring all mine round to yours! I've got a 5amp power doo dar.


wilkingj - 1/1/05 at 08:31 PM

I have not tried this yet... But I wonder what 13.8Volts at 40 Amps will do to it...

Its a pity, gos I gave away a 24volt 80Amp transformer last year... I used the case to prop up the bench for 10 years!.

Sounds good.. but stay Away from Stainless Steel for Electrodes, or anything with Chromium in it.


mangogrooveworkshop - 1/1/05 at 08:38 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Rob Lane
Mick is right it will attack the bucket.

The zinc coating will turn black almost immediately and then it will slowly dissolve.

This works fine for another purpose though, painting galvanised bits. Ideally it should have a pickle coating applied and washed off, which has the same effect. Then paint applied.
Painting galvanising with most paints is not succesful as it peels off unless treated as above.


vineger does the same if i remember rightly.


Northy - 1/1/05 at 09:37 PM

Pat,

It's raining and windy outside, so when I go to gather up all the plant containers that have blown all over I'll take some pictures.

I've now got a 13V 12A PSU on the job, but the most current I've had flowing is just over 4 amps, but it bubbles nicely at that and works well

Get your own done!

Cheers


MikeRJ - 3/1/05 at 03:12 PM

After you've finished, just leave the solution standing for a couple of days and all the crud falls to the bottom. I put the clean solution into a few (well labeled) 6 pint plastic milk bottles.

If you have some really stubborn rust, it helps to take the anodes out and give them a quick wire brush occaisionaly, helps to keep the current up.


Northy - 17/1/05 at 07:58 PM

Don't use Stainless!!!!!!!!!


phil m - 17/1/05 at 09:35 PM

graham -what's wrong with using stainless --the article link from the 1st posting says this is ok and doesn't get eaten away


flak monkey - 17/1/05 at 09:39 PM

See this earlier in the thread...

quote:
Originally posted by craig1410
Bloody 'ell!
Have you guys read the bit about using stainless steel for the anode?? Here is the text:

"Many people using the electrolysis method for rust reduction swear by stainless steel, stating (incorrectly) that it's not consumed, stays clean and seems safe.
Stainless steel is indeed consumed when used in the electrolysis process, although slowly. The main problem with using it is the hazardous waste it produces. Stainless steel contains chromium. The electrodes, and thus the chromium is consumed, and you end up with poisonous chromates in your electrolyte. Dumping these on the ground or down the drain is illegal. The compounds can cause severe skin problems and ultimately, cancer. Hexavalent chromate is poisonous. These compounds are not excused from hazardous waste regulations where household wastes are.
These compounds are bad enough that government regulations mandate "elimination of hexavalent chromate by 2007 for corrosion protection."

Does your electrolyte turn yellow? That's a sign of chromates.

If you have been using stainless steel for the anodes (positive electrodes), wear rubber gloves when working with or near the liquids. If you need to dispose of it, allow it to evaporate into powders and dispose of the powders in sealed containers during your local "hazardous waste clean-up days".

Best bet - don't use stainless steel no matter how tempting it is."

Scary stuff!!
If anyone has seen the film "Erin Brochovich" with Julia Roberts then you will know how dangerous hexavalent chromium is. The worrying thing is that I didn't know about this earlier and have handled and disposed of this stuff down the drain as it was supposedly non-toxic and harmless. I can't remember there being any yellow residue and the stainless plate may not have been stainless steel as it was magnetic (I know some SS's are ferrous) and it was eventually eaten away by the process. It may have been chrome plated though which may even be worse!

I guess we'd better all just use mild steel from now on then eh???
Cheers,
Craig.


Chromium certainly isnt good for you (well some types aren't anyway)

Cheers,
David

[Edited on 17/1/05 by flak monkey]


phil m - 17/1/05 at 09:49 PM

ahhhhhhhh ! -thats the prob with long threads -easy to miss out bits -thanks


Rorty - 18/1/05 at 04:29 AM

quote:
Originally posted by phil m
ahhhhhhhh ! -thats the prob with long threads -easy to miss out bits -thanks

Might I suggest you remove your previous post incase someone else does the same as you and reads your post and thinks it's OK to use stainless.


Chris_R - 19/1/05 at 06:56 PM

I posted earlier about my calipers and thought I'd attach some pics. Uprights done the same way too.




Northy - 19/1/05 at 09:16 PM

Perhaps Liam should edit his first post to warn of the damgers of using stainless!


monkey69 - 15/2/05 at 08:40 PM



Had a go at this. Well impressed! I used a Dell PSU, plastic tub and some rebar for the anode. Total cost was about 4 squid excluding electricity.

This is one of the rear hub carriers, which I treated with metal ready and coated with hammerite. I then baked them for 30 minutes at 140 degrees c after the second coat. This has dried them rock hard, and the paint even survived the bearing seals being knocked in.

No before photo, but the usual story, totally brown, bits puffed up and flaking off. Took 3 hours each in the bath.


Liam - 16/2/05 at 01:01 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Northy
Perhaps Liam should edit his first post to warn of the damgers of using stainless!


Hmmmm. Well, OK.

Liam


Rob Lane - 16/2/05 at 04:36 PM

After you've all done your parts why not replate them?

This place has DIY plating kits, anyone fancy Gold ?

http://www.speed-demon.supanet.com/


Steve&Steve - 16/2/05 at 06:19 PM

I have noted the dangers of using Caustic Soda, a Stainless Steel Anode and that the gas given off at the Cathode (the object being de-rusted) is Hydrogen so its best to perform this in a well ventilated area.

But can I check...

1) Using an Iron (a cast iron plate) anode is OK?
As far as I can tell it's the iron content of steel that is sacrificed in the reaction anyway and there are no other additives in cast iron that could cause any problems.

2) The dirty electrolyte solution used can be safely disposed of down a storm drain? And, Is it OK to stick you hands in to remove the clean part?.

3) Is aluminium or any other metals adversly affected by the process? (I know plastics and rubber should be OK)

...Thanks, I always like to check where i'm not 95% confident.

-Steve-


Northy - 18/2/05 at 06:11 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Steve&Steve
the gas given off at the Cathode (the object being de-rusted) is Hydrogen so its best to perform this in a well ventilated area.
-Steve-


Is that right?
I've been doing it in the garage which is part of the house!!!


Steve&Steve - 20/2/05 at 09:40 PM

I'v collected the bits I need to try this out and will be setting it up tomorrow. So if anyone has any final advice on the above comments, let me know please! Cheers


craig1410 - 20/2/05 at 10:13 PM

I wouldn't worry toooo much about the hydrogen as it's given off in fairly small amounts unless you are using 10's of Amps, and will disipate vertically very very quickly. The main precaution is to switch off the power before disconnecting the leads to the anode or cathode to avoid sparks igniting any gas before it has a chance to escape.

Cheers,
Craig.


Northy - 20/2/05 at 10:46 PM

Here's a picture of the parts I've done so far, ready to be painted black Rescued attachment Parts primed.jpg
Rescued attachment Parts primed.jpg


Northy - 20/2/05 at 10:47 PM

Here's a picture of my set-up. A bit of a lash-up, I've been meaning to make some better wires but it's always in use! Rescued attachment Rough rig up.jpg
Rescued attachment Rough rig up.jpg


Steve&Steve - 21/2/05 at 12:04 AM

Craig, Fair point on the hydrogen I wont worry too much about theat then, just sensible caution.

Graham, That setup is very much how I was planning on doing it which is nice to know. But in your picture of the primed de-rusted bits I see you still have half of you bag of soda crystals left, I was going to whack the whole bag in


Rob Lane - 21/2/05 at 09:07 AM

Graham,

Can't believe I'm going to say this BUT lift the tank up or drop the PSU in level.

Reason, ask which wally turned and knocked over his battery charger from a stool into a drain tray full of oil, whilst switched on ?

One wrecked battery charger, oil everywhere (ba***d stuff) and ripped leads from battery.

Thankfully before I ever attempted electrolysis.


Steve&Steve - 21/2/05 at 11:53 PM

Right I've got it set up and it seems to be doing a good job.

Here's my setup: Rescued attachment PICT1974.jpg
Rescued attachment PICT1974.jpg


Steve&Steve - 22/2/05 at 12:00 AM

I used some ribbed cast iron plate as the electrode, it gives good surface area and is working well.

I just hung the items up with wire, this didnt connect to one suficently so only one caliper was de-rusted, adding an extra conductive lead solved this. Rescued attachment PICT1982.jpg
Rescued attachment PICT1982.jpg


craig1410 - 22/2/05 at 12:12 AM

Rob,
Good point, I hadn't noticed the precarious PSU ...
Graham, I hope you're still alive and are not too proud to accept a bit of sound advice...

To get you in the spirit, today at work, as part of an I.T. project to build some ticket machines I was asked how many tickets were on a roll of tickets. I started talking in terms of 2 x PI x Radius of ticket roll taking account of ticket thickness and length etc etc until one of my colleagues pointed out that inside the roll of tickets it said "1200 Tickets"... I have no pi$$ left as it was all taken out of me earlier today...

Stay safe,
Craig.


Steve&Steve - 22/2/05 at 12:12 AM

I also had trouble with some computer PSU's.

1) Old AT 200W PSU, only worked on 5V, 12V cut it out.

2) Old AT 200W PSU, worked fine giving about 2-3A

2) ATX 300W PSU, again worked on 5V but cut out on 12V

4) ATX 300W PSU, working well giving 5-6A

so it lookes like some PSU's have trips in them!

Final overview pic of setup: Rescued attachment PICT1987.jpg
Rescued attachment PICT1987.jpg


the moa 2 - 22/2/05 at 07:26 PM

Just a note to say thanks works a treat only down side is that im almost finished my kit so would have been handy at the start.


Bart69 - 23/3/05 at 08:37 PM

WHAWWL brilliant Top tip

Hardly fixed a car today at work to busy creating bubbles.

Tried a bit of 25mm tube at first and it worked slowly so i made a half circle out of sheet steel that i use on mot repairs and it works great.
There is some rust proofing on the steel that is leaving a green residue all over the plate is this normal or some other more devious chemical reaction.


jcduroc - 4/4/05 at 03:42 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Steve&Steve
I used some ribbed cast iron plate as the electrode, it gives good surface area and is working well.



Can we use a fully charged car battery?


Bart69 - 4/4/05 at 05:34 PM

I Think it may cause problems with any inadvertent short circuit as a battery isnt current limited where'ase a charger will current limit or trip a fuse.

cheers

Graham


Dave Bailey - 14/6/05 at 06:25 PM

Anyone used this process to clean the drive shafts from a 4*4 LSD. I am concerened about the grease in the joints either end. Is is possible to push the bearings out then clean them. I have removed the circlips and have each drive shaft in three bits with the boots removed.

ta!


omega 24 v6 - 16/6/05 at 07:04 PM

Just spent two hours watching my hubs bubble away and WOW this really does work. This is going to save so much time and mess now all i need is a bigger plate and tank.


omega 24 v6 - 16/6/05 at 08:32 PM

Now i've got it going can you answer a few questions lads.
At the moment it only draws 1 amp from the charger. It's a 12volt jobie and i'm wondering if the process would speed up if i changed to 24v instead.
Is it possible to up the current by altering the solution at all.
Or am i just being impatient and inquisitive for more information.


Northy - 16/6/05 at 09:38 PM

Add more soda crystals, that'll speed it up. And move the metal plate closer to the thing your cleaning.


Sirius - 8/1/06 at 07:20 PM

Sorry to dig this old thread back up....

I've been doing some electrolysis of my own over the past few days as part of refurbishing my old sierra front hubs.

Im now at the stage where all the rust has gone and I am left with a black surface. I had a brief scrub with a wire brush to remove the last bits of 'flaky rust' and found that this black surface brushes off to leave a more silvery surface underneath.

Are people painting onto the black surface, or blasting that off somehow and then painting onto the silvery surface underneath?

Thanks


omega 24 v6 - 8/1/06 at 09:56 PM

wire brush in the leccy drill and paint the silver surface.


craig1410 - 8/1/06 at 11:28 PM

Hi,
As said above, scrub the black stuff off and paint immediately. Don't leave it lying around as it will rust again very quickly. Use an etching primer if you can or a zinc based primer to get a good grip on the bare metal.

Cheers,
Craig.


Sirius - 9/1/06 at 02:50 PM

Thanks folks


phillippe - 12/1/06 at 06:53 PM

VERRY IMPRESED...


wment - 15/1/06 at 07:48 PM

Just a note on the anode material used in the solution for this process. Using nickel rich material like stainless steel will create a solution that contains nickel. Nickel solutions have been linked to cancer. Stick with the iron/steel as an anode.


MkIndy7 - 10/2/06 at 07:27 PM

I think this has been asked before but after scanning through I haven't found a definate answer,

Can Alloy parts be used in the same process, like alternator casings etc? or does it only work on cast and steel pieces.


Liam - 10/2/06 at 08:47 PM

Ally doesn't rust in the first place so there isn't any to remove. Something might happen to ally in the tank but I dont know what. Why not find out on something disposable?

LIam


greglogan - 11/2/06 at 06:58 PM

So would a bit of square section left over from a chassis build be classed as mild steel?


flak monkey - 11/2/06 at 07:19 PM

yep. Mild steel is any plain carbon steel with a carbon content less than about 0.15% (give or take), which is exactly what RHS is.

David


Vixus - 28/3/06 at 03:33 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Liam
To this. With no effort. Apart from a bit of a rinse/scrub, prime and a squirt of WD40 into the bits i dont want to paint.

That's quite something! If only everything could be cleaned this way... including houses.


EViS - 28/3/06 at 06:02 PM

Reading these past 18 pages has made me want to start more than ever on the build!! Just another few months to go though . I'm still unsure of which power supply is best though...

Computer ATX PSU's have trouble holding high/steady current flows (amps);
Car Battery Chargers have auto-cutoffs, and
Old CB (something radio ??) PSU's scare me .

Any advice on which PSU to go for (something quite cheap which can also be purchased from ebay )?

[Edited on 28/3/06 by EViS]


MikeRJ - 28/3/06 at 06:03 PM

quote:
Originally posted by MkIndy7
I think this has been asked before but after scanning through I haven't found a definate answer,

Can Alloy parts be used in the same process, like alternator casings etc? or does it only work on cast and steel pieces.


Certainly don't try if you are using caustic soda, you won't have much of your alloy component left!

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen is definately produced during the process, and steel does like to absorb it.


davidfe - 14/4/06 at 11:33 PM

I have sucessfully used Lye in a bucket of cold water to remove the grunge off of filthy valve covers.

Yeah, the caked and baked on stuff on the inside. It took a couple of day in the cold workshop.

Then I used electrolysis and was able to get a very clean surface.

David Edwards


davidfe - 14/4/06 at 11:33 PM

I have sucessfully used Lye in a bucket of cold water to remove the grunge off of filthy valve covers.

Yeah, the caked and baked on stuff on the inside. It took a couple of days in the cold workshop.

Then I used electrolysis and was able to get a very clean surface.

David Edwards


craig1410 - 15/4/06 at 11:02 AM

quote:
Originally posted by MikeRJ
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement. Hydrogen is definately produced during the process, and steel does like to absorb it.


Mike,
I think this is normally dealt with in industry by heating the piece to quite a high temperature and allowing the hydrogen to diffuse out of the metal. I'm not sure how high the temperature needs to be but it might be worth sticking them in your domestic oven at full blast for an hour or so if you are concerned.

Also, in practice the sort of things which people are cleaning (ie. hubs and carriers etc) are way over-engineered for Locost use anyway due to the light weight of a Locost compared to the likes of a Sierra.

[See para 11 and 12 in this article]
http://www.moldmakingtechnology.com/articles/040208.html

Cheers,
Craig.

[Edited on 15/4/2006 by craig1410]


Confused but excited. - 2/5/06 at 01:23 PM

Has anybody managed to keep the wife out of the house long enough to do their back axle in the bath?


NS Dev - 4/5/06 at 08:57 AM

quote:
Originally posted by omega 24 v6
Now i've got it going can you answer a few questions lads.
At the moment it only draws 1 amp from the charger. It's a 12volt jobie and i'm wondering if the process would speed up if i changed to 24v instead.
Is it possible to up the current by altering the solution at all.
Or am i just being impatient and inquisitive for more information.


I use sodium hydroxide solution and the a 12v battery charger, seems to limit itself to 11 amps


picky - 30/5/06 at 10:22 AM

hey guys been trying this out works really well but ive been using an aluminium sheet bent kind of circular as the anode, and it is not corroding at all, what kind of gas is this giving off?? is it doing me any good?? solution doesnt seem to be going yellow though... so dont think there is any chromium there.
cheers,
Picky

[Edited on 1/6/06 by picky]


theconrodkid - 19/6/06 at 07:18 PM

save me trawling through the lot,i want to de-rust my tina calipers,if i block off the fluid inlet and let them soak,will i knacker the seals,if so where/how much seal kit


caber - 19/6/06 at 08:02 PM

I stripped mine before electroysis but I don't think the process will damage good seals but don't risk your life on it

Caber


theconrodkid - 19/6/06 at 08:29 PM

if i strip mine,liquid will get to the seals between the 2 halves,they are unobtainable?if i just plug the hole may be just a seal set,anyone know how much seals are?


DIY Si - 19/6/06 at 10:25 PM

Would it not be easier to just get some recon ones? From what I've heard the rebuild kits are getting near impossable to find.


theconrodkid - 20/6/06 at 04:44 PM

slight change of plan,mundano calipers and 3 litre capri discs


NS Dev - 21/6/06 at 11:51 AM

much easier!


eMKay - 14/7/06 at 12:30 PM

When using this solution with a mild steel anode it's safe if say you accidentally spill it? It's still just baking soda, water, and iron oxide right? I kinda poked a hole in the kiddie pool I was using to de-rust some larger parts , one side is being lifted up with a 2x4 to keep the hole above the "water" line.


DIY Si - 14/7/06 at 08:16 PM

Yup, the stuff can be discretely poured over the garden. just don't let swmbo ee you do it, as it leaves a big rusty patch.


eMKay - 15/7/06 at 12:49 AM

quote:
Originally posted by DIY Si
Yup, the stuff can be discretely poured over the garden. just don't let swmbo ee you do it, as it leaves a big rusty patch.


Ok, thanks. It left a big rusty patch on my garage floor, it's epoxy coated so it cleaned up ok.


Angel Acevedo - 25/8/06 at 01:13 AM

Hi You all,
I have not read the whole thread, but if you want to go the extra step, you may as well change the iron anode for a zinc bar or piece and PRESTO, you have electrolytic galvanizing. I`ve tried with muriatic acid diluted (Very) as electrolyte and works great.
Well... this is my contribution....
I have a few questions though..
1 I have a `91 Mercury Cougar 289 CID V8, 4 Speed Automatic OD transmission, IRS that I would like to use on some sort of Locost; Could it be done???
2 Or should I scrap or sell the thing and get something smaller??
3 I live in Mexico, and I dont know of a racing series where I could race it, so i`d built for the looks... is Auto Transmission suitable???
Thanks in advance and best regards

[Edited on 25/8/06 by Angel Acevedo]


Nitrogeno25 - 22/2/07 at 04:54 PM

Is it really that easy?

quote:
Originally posted by Angel Acevedo
Hi You all,
I have not read the whole thread, but if you want to go the extra step, you may as well change the iron anode for a zinc bar or piece and PRESTO, you have electrolytic galvanizing. I`ve tried with muriatic acid diluted (Very) as electrolyte and works great.
Well... this is my contribution....
I have a few questions though..
1 I have a `91 Mercury Cougar 289 CID V8, 4 Speed Automatic OD transmission, IRS that I would like to use on some sort of Locost; Could it be done???
2 Or should I scrap or sell the thing and get something smaller??
3 I live in Mexico, and I dont know of a racing series where I could race it, so i`d built for the looks... is Auto Transmission suitable???
Thanks in advance and best regards

[Edited on 25/8/06 by Angel Acevedo]


DarrenW - 23/2/07 at 09:29 AM

Now im no chemist but i would have though mixing zinc with acid and adding some electrickery would make for a nasty gas. Would recommend some research before doing this type of plating at home.


Angel Acevedo - 24/2/07 at 01:46 AM

Even water will produce explosive gas mixtures when a current passes through it.
It will give Hidrogen gas at one end and Oxigen at the other.
The acid will make water a better conductor only.


Guinness - 27/2/07 at 09:11 PM

How does this work again.

Can't be arsed to trawl through the entire thread.

Mike


Hellfire - 27/2/07 at 09:31 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Guinness
How does this work again.

Can't be arsed to trawl through the entire thread.

Mike


Just read the first post Mike. Says it all really.

Phil


iank - 27/2/07 at 09:34 PM

Just make extra sure not to use stainless electrodes. Nasty stuff generated.


roadrunner - 31/3/07 at 09:06 PM

well that took along time to read.


Blakey_boy - 21/5/07 at 11:03 AM

Got to admit that this thread may be long but a very good tip indeed.

It has saved me hours on derusting and cleaning with the usual brushes and other items and made the process a bit cleaner

Excellent thread and tip


ghuncha - 11/9/07 at 12:36 PM

great thread... will try it soon.. i have a rusted fkywheel(samll amoutn of rust) i jsut wana ask that will it be ok to derust the flywheel via this method, im mean will there be any structural problems to the flywheel?


another_dom - 21/9/07 at 04:06 PM

I've just cleaned two cast iron brake discs using this method. Absolutely brilliant and no damage to machined faces. Flywheel won't be a problem (assuming it isn't dual-mass etc).

Dom.


Liam - 21/9/07 at 07:30 PM

I personally wouldn't want to electrolysis a production flywheel. It's such a critical and highly stressed part, so the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement weakening an already relatively brittle cast part would rule out electrolysis for me. You say it's not much rust, and it's not a complex shape, so 10 minutes with the wire brush would probably be a better idea.

Liam


VinceGledhill - 3/10/07 at 03:41 PM

Just a thought.

Does anyone know what chemicals to use to chrome plate something?


Angel Acevedo - 6/10/07 at 03:59 PM

IMHO i`d leave chroming to the pros as it is nasty stuff...


thunderace - 7/11/07 at 06:05 PM

http://www.bhi.co.uk/hints/rust.htm


John P - 17/11/07 at 10:53 AM

Finally decided I'd better get on and refurb the front uprights and callipers.

Not sure why 'd put it off before but finally decided to give electrolysis a go.

The electrodes were just off cuts from the chassis which I wired to a piece of copper tube resting on a bucket. The solution was washing soda at a concentration of approx 1 tablespoon / 5 litres of water.

[img]http:// [/img]

Battery charger didn't show much current but overnight the process worked very well although I did have to wire brush it fairly thoroughly afterwards.


[img]http:// [/img]

Anyway, if youre thinking about electrolysis then give it a go. just wish I knew about the process when I was restoring my Austin 7!

John.


MikeCapon - 18/1/08 at 04:22 PM

When plating components we have had some problems with hydrogen embrittlement. The "de-embrittlement " process is 250C for 90mins. Having siad that it's only going to be a problem for highly stressed items. for example caliper bolts, road springs etc. The de-embrittlement should be done straight after the electrolysis.

[Edited on 18/1/08 by MikeCapon]


Angel Acevedo - 20/1/08 at 01:08 AM

I have done both, and I`ll go for the molasses method.
I don`t think it has any of the problems associated with electrolysis.
Maybe a little bit slower.


James - 31/1/08 at 07:33 PM

quote:
Originally posted by thunderace
http://www.bhi.co.uk/hints/rust.htm


For goodness sake!

That links suggests using a stainless steel electrode.... which as has been discussed in this LB thread gives off a very nasty poisonous gas!

Be warned!


Angel Acevedo - 1/2/08 at 04:12 AM

The poison is in the liquid, Chromium salts dissolved.


hellbent345 - 8/6/08 at 07:56 PM

the link at the start doesnt work now anyone got any other sites with good info on leccytrollysis?


Jesus-Ninja - 17/7/08 at 05:29 PM

quote:
Originally posted by hellbent345
the link at the start doesnt work now anyone got any other sites with good info on leccytrollysis?


Found this: http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/rust/electrolytic_derusting.htm


Jeffers_S13 - 30/7/08 at 08:45 PM

Has anyone done a block yet ??


Jesus-Ninja - 2/8/08 at 12:30 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Jeffers_S13
Has anyone done a block yet ??


Eh up, Jeffers!

What about an S13, they're usually pretty rusty.....


reyres - 10/9/08 at 02:34 PM

[Edited on 10/9/08 by reyres]


mr henderson - 10/9/08 at 05:12 PM

quote:
Originally posted by reyres
[Edited on 10/9/08 by reyres]


?


tomprescott - 17/10/08 at 10:56 AM

That looks very handy but the link doesn't work, does anyone have an active link or could somebody tell me what I need to do please? I have a whole sierra to strip of parts and de-rustiy ready for my locost.


Z20let Corsa - 5/12/08 at 01:16 PM

same. anyone got a link that works??


Irony - 11/8/09 at 03:11 PM

While this is a awesome thread and the process seems to be almost magical I have one worry.

I have tried to make sense of Hydrogen Embrittlement and also this de-brittlement process.

Is there anyone out there who understands and has researched this part of this process. I would hate to be doing 80mph and hit a bump and a suspension arm snaps only to be told 'cause of accident - hydrogen embrittlement' ' no insurance payout' and also I am dead.

Is this a worry or should I just slap myself with a fish and get out my battery charger????


coozer - 25/8/09 at 12:43 PM

Irony, as your name suggests you may be worried.

Have a read of THIS, it may put your mind at rest and let you get on with it


Breaker - 1/12/09 at 04:12 PM

Does someone knows there is a working linky available regarding the rust removal FAQ mentioned on the first page ?

I've got some rusty hubs waiting for some Soda bathing...


Angel Acevedo - 2/12/09 at 12:56 AM

Whats wrong with this one?
http://www.htpaa.org.au/article-electro.php

If you have questions I may be able to throw in some answers.
Dont expect Scientific ones, but Im sure i can get you going.
It is actually pretty simple stuff


40inches - 2/12/09 at 11:57 AM

Addendum to the original article:

"Problems with Stainless Steel Anodes
Some thoughtful correspondents have pointed out that the use of stainless steel for the positive electrode (anode) may have some undesirable consequences. Most stainless steels contain high percentages of chromium and nickel which may be released into the bath as the anode is slowly eaten away. These are likely to be released initially as soluble cations just as the iron is released initially as ferrous ions. However, since all three cations are being released into an alkaline solution, they are likely to be immediately converted to insoluble hydroxides or oxides and form encrustations on the electrode or fall to the bottom as sediments. In this bound form the nickel and chromium are likely to be less hazardous but nevertheless waterproof gloves should always be worn when working with the bath and the bath sludge should be disposed of appropriately. It may be better to avoid the problem entirely by using simple iron electrodes and brushing the sludge off regularly."


Breaker - 12/5/10 at 04:18 PM

My first front hub is almost completely electrolysed. I see there is some kind of black oxide layer appearing on the hub surface.

Should I remove the oxide layer (with some coke ) or should I just paint on the black layer ?


Angel Acevedo - 12/5/10 at 07:38 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Breaker
My first front hub is almost completely electrolysed. I see there is some kind of black oxide layer appearing on the hub surface.

Should I remove the oxide layer (with some coke ) or should I just paint on the black layer ?


Wash with scrub pad and degreaser, dry thoroughly with hairdryer or oven for a couple of hours want to drive hydrogen out.


MikeRJ - 13/5/10 at 06:58 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Breaker
My first front hub is almost completely electrolysed. I see there is some kind of black oxide layer appearing on the hub surface.

Should I remove the oxide layer (with some coke ) or should I just paint on the black layer ?


Remove it with a wire brush, wire wool or similar. Note the surface will start rust very quickly in this condition so you need to get paint on it quickly.


seventhheaven - 15/7/11 at 09:38 PM

I've been using electrolysis too. I remembered it from school 25 years ago. I found Ajax scouring powder, water and vinigar to be best. I've experimented with washing machine tablets - ok for light rust as is normal washing powder.

I use a high current battery charger but don't let the positive clamp drip into the water! The positive clamp will soon fizz away and by morning you'll be left with just a dangling wire. For most parts I leave them a couple hours, but I had a set of really rusty hub carriers that had been painted over with some kind of hammerite. They took nearly 24hours to come up clean. They looked beyond saving, yet once don't they sparkled and even the seized bolts came straight out - no effort.

click here to see my super 7th heaven locost project and more info on electrolysis


designer - 16/7/11 at 03:55 PM

quote:

My electrode is a piece of thin walled stainless tube about 5" diameter



NEVER use stainless steel as an electrode as the gases given off change, and are poisonous!!!


MakeEverything - 6/2/12 at 12:52 PM

I'm thinking of using the last method on my spare Ali block. Has anyone successfully cleaned Ali with electrolysis?


RichardK - 6/2/12 at 01:22 PM

Yes, and it f&cked it


loggyboy - 6/2/12 at 01:46 PM

Been trying this over the weekend. (on steel) Seems good but fairly slow.

[Edited on 6/2/12 by loggyboy]


coyoteboy - 6/2/12 at 03:16 PM

quote:
I'm thinking of using the last method on my spare Ali block. Has anyone successfully cleaned Ali with electrolysis?


Doesn't work on aluminium.


MakeEverything - 6/2/12 at 03:26 PM

Looks like an ideal opportunity to soda blast it now then, seeing as everything is white already!!!


Padstar - 22/7/12 at 05:22 PM

The magic is not happening for me

I mixed washing soda into a large plastic box filled with water then connected a wheel hub to the native and placed in the box and the positive to a bit of steel tube.

After about 5 hours (1 amp reading on the charger) the rust has turned black but other than that nothing else has happened?

Am I doing something wrong?


coozer - 22/7/12 at 06:01 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Padstar
The magic is not happening for me

I mixed washing soda into a large plastic box filled with water then connected a wheel hub to the native and placed in the box and the positive to a bit of steel tube.

After about 5 hours (1 amp reading on the charger) the rust has turned black but other than that nothing else has happened?

Am I doing something wrong?


What are you trying to derust? The wheel hub I presume? If so you have the polarity round the wrong way.. the bit you want to derust must be the positive! And 4~5 amps is better.

I use a old laptop charger running 17v, 6 amps and its MAGIC!


Padstar - 22/7/12 at 06:07 PM

So the positive feed is submerged in water?


loggyboy - 22/7/12 at 06:11 PM

No the negative should be submerged with the item being derusted!
Going black sounds about right, just needs a light rub down after its gone black.

[Edited on 22/7/12 by loggyboy]


coozer - 22/7/12 at 07:01 PM

SORRY SORRY SORRY.. got meself mixed up.. The electrode is connected to the positive (red) terminal. The object being cleaned, to the negative(black). Submerge the object, making sure you have good contact.

I use bolted on connections, bolted to the electrode and bolted to a pair of molegrips to get hold of the rusty bit you want to clean.

Heres a pic of mine.. big bit of plate that gets ugly pretty quickly positive bolted to this, mole grips with the negative bolted on for the part.



Check this out for more info. Just remember not to use stainless steel, it gives off poisonous gasses!

http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/rust/electrolytic_derusting.htm

Looking at you post again I reckon a better supply is needed.

Sorry to mislead ya


Padstar - 22/7/12 at 09:30 PM

Maybe I just need a better set up. I am currently using a car battery charger and a small peace of steel as the electrode.

Will get myself some sheet mild steel to line my box with and give it another go. How does the laptop charger work? Do you remove the socket and connect to striped wires?


coyoteboy - 22/7/12 at 10:56 PM

Caustic soda really isn't as bad as is made out here. I washed down most of an engine with concentrated lye last month with a toothbrush and gloves. Eventually it went through my gloves and ate away a few bits of my fingers but that took over an hour of constant soaking. Stung a bit. Wouldn't want it in my eyes, for sure. But it's healed and fine a week later.

FWIW if you're using it just keep some vinegar to hand, immediately and safely neutralises any spilled on your skin without doing further damage.


It's all about common sense, taking obvious steps for safety (good ventilation, eye protection, ensuring you have some way of neutralising it etc).

However, there's no need for electrolysis - it's overkill and you really is decreasing returns for increasing unpleasantness so I'd stick with soda crystals anyway.

[Edited on 22/7/12 by coyoteboy]


coozer - 23/7/12 at 09:06 AM

quote:
Originally posted by Padstar
Maybe I just need a better set up. I am currently using a car battery charger and a small peace of steel as the electrode.

Will get myself some sheet mild steel to line my box with and give it another go. How does the laptop charger work? Do you remove the socket and connect to striped wires?


Yep, block connector on the wires.


Padstar - 23/7/12 at 12:21 PM

If i am using a plastic box is there any issues with teh component being cleaned sitting on the bottom of teh box or does it have to be suspended in the solution?


coyoteboy - 23/7/12 at 12:30 PM

Only issue will be you won't get as much fluid movement around the part so it may not clean as effectively if it's a large flat bit. If it's pointy you might find the tip isn't as clean but other than that, no major problem.


Padstar - 28/7/12 at 02:04 PM

2 a4 sizes sheets of steel arrived this morning. They have been attached to the + and a mole grip to the - similar to coozers pic. Didn't know for sure what wire from the charger was +- but must have got them right as when I switched my new creation on the bit being cleaned started to bobble and I could see bobbles being attracted towards my 2 steel plates. Only left it for 30mins but seems to be loosening the rust a bit. About to head off to the beach volleyball so will give it a proper blast tomorrow.

Should it bring the piece back to its original self or just clean up and turn black thus requiring painting?


coozer - 28/7/12 at 03:03 PM

Excellent, it will bring the part back to OEM.. take it out and use a hose to wash all the crap off, if it isnt mint put it back in for a while..

Once rinsed it will go black but a wire brush will clean it up. I normally rinse off then go over it with the wire wheel on my grinder.

It doesnt matter how long you leave it, I normally let it go overnight.

[Edited on 28/7/12 by coozer]


Padstar - 29/7/12 at 08:38 PM

Now have a set of as new hubs sat in the garage. Have greased them up to prevent them rusting over again until I decide what to do with them.

This process is great.


ianhurley20 - 30/11/14 at 10:10 AM

I've used this for some time and can confirm it works. A few points

Washing soda is available from supermarkets about a pound for a bag of it, you will find it in the ..er .. washing powder section.

Power - any battery charger, CB power supply or similar will do. 6 volts or 12, either

Sacrificial anode - any lump of steel, I use an offcut or two of 25mm box mild steel, just make sure it doesn't touch the item being done

patience - leave it overnight and it will do its magic