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Electrolysis for de-rusting



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 13th 09, 08:25 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 258
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting


In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of using an
electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical
reaction.

I think it should be practical to use electrolysis to remove rust from
my motorcycle header pipes prior to applying new paint. Could use some
advice from experienced person(s).

Origninal finish on (steel) pipes was likely enamel, lasted 20+ years. Pipes
are now moderately rusted.

I have a large plastic Muck Bucket and an 8 Amp (max) 12v trickle charger.
Thinking of using a steel water pipe for an anode.

Could use washing soda or maybe lye (if I can find it) for electrolyte.
Which would be better for removing both rust and old paint?

How long might it take to do such a job?

Any/all other info, suggestions etc much appreciated.

Thx,
Puddin'

"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."

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  #2  
Old September 13th 09, 08:47 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 561
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sep 13, 3:25*pm, Puddin' Man wrote:
In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of using an
electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical
reaction.

I think it should be practical to use electrolysis to remove rust from
my motorcycle header pipes prior to applying new paint. Could use some
advice from experienced person(s).

Origninal finish on (steel) pipes was likely enamel, lasted 20+ years. Pipes
are now moderately rusted.

I have a large plastic Muck Bucket and an 8 Amp (max) 12v trickle charger..
Thinking of using a steel water pipe for an anode.

Could use washing soda or maybe lye (if I can find it) for electrolyte.
Which would be better for removing both rust and old paint?

How long might it take to do such a job?

Any/all other info, suggestions etc much appreciated.

* Thx,
* Puddin'

"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."


Will probably take no more than 24 hours. The more you can surround
the piece you are trying to de-rust with the sacrificial rod the
quicker/better it will work. Best results I had were when I used
chicken wire fencing to wrap around the entire container.

Unfortunately the process is not without side effects. I'v done it a
few times and the derusted part ends up with a dull gray color and an
odd texture. The texture could be due to the rust being 'ripped' away
by the current. The parts also seem to re-rust much quicker than raw
steel. This seems to happen even if you thoroughly rinse and
immediately dry the piece.

With light rust and a pipes that will be painted anyway you're
probably better off with a wire wheel in a drill to remove the rust
then follow up with hi-temp rustoleum.
  #3  
Old September 13th 09, 09:42 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 1,669
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sun, 13 Sep 2009 14:25:16 -0500, Puddin' Man wrote:
I have a large plastic Muck Bucket and an 8 Amp (max) 12v trickle charger.
Thinking of using a steel water pipe for an anode.

Could use washing soda or maybe lye (if I can find it) for electrolyte.
Which would be better for removing both rust and old paint?


JOOI, what is the exact process? I'd always been told to use sacrificial
anodes for rusty parts - and have done it several times - but the
wikipedia entry seems to suggest that it only works to protect the cathode
material against corrosion, rather than removing existing corrosion
(almost implying that all that happens is that a new layer of material
gets dumped onto the cathode material, trapping the actual rust beneath?)

How long might it take to do such a job?


Varies, I suppose. Last time I did it was on some big old chest handles a
few years ago (same sort of setup as you, 12V capable of around 8A), and
it ran for about 12 hours before it "looked" good. I honestly can't
remember what I used for electrolyte now, though :-(

cheers

Jules


  #4  
Old September 14th 09, 02:59 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 258
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:47:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor wrote:


Will probably take no more than 24 hours. The more you can surround
the piece you are trying to de-rust with the sacrificial rod the
quicker/better it will work. Best results I had were when I used
chicken wire fencing to wrap around the entire container.


Hmmmm. I got some "hardware cloth" (very similar) ...

Unfortunately the process is not without side effects. I'v done it a
few times and the derusted part ends up with a dull gray color and an
odd texture. The texture could be due to the rust being 'ripped' away
by the current.


I expect pitting where the rust occurred.

The parts also seem to re-rust much quicker than raw
steel. This seems to happen even if you thoroughly rinse and
immediately dry the piece.


Did you use washing soda (sodium carbonate) for electrolyte? Did
it strip paint as well as rust? Did you paint immediately?

With light rust and a pipes that will be painted anyway you're
probably better off with a wire wheel in a drill to remove the rust
then follow up with hi-temp rustoleum.


Motor is an I4, pipes are 4-into-1. Some surfaces are not readily
accessable.

No rustoleum. I've got some hi-heat (1500 F) paint.

Thx,
P

"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."

  #5  
Old September 14th 09, 07:31 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 1,985
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

Puddin' Man wrote:
In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of using an
electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical
reaction.

I think it should be practical to use electrolysis to remove rust from
my motorcycle header pipes prior to applying new paint. Could use some
advice from experienced person(s).

Origninal finish on (steel) pipes was likely enamel, lasted 20+ years. Pipes
are now moderately rusted.

I have a large plastic Muck Bucket and an 8 Amp (max) 12v trickle charger.
Thinking of using a steel water pipe for an anode.

Could use washing soda or maybe lye (if I can find it) for electrolyte.
Which would be better for removing both rust and old paint?

How long might it take to do such a job?

Any/all other info, suggestions etc much appreciated.

Thx,
Puddin'



Some links that have been posted here previously:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Elec...val-aka-Magic/
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm#top
http://antique-engines.com/electrol.asp

  #6  
Old September 14th 09, 10:50 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 561
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sep 13, 9:59*pm, Puddin' Man wrote:
On Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:47:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor wrote:

snip

The parts also seem to re-rust much quicker than raw
steel. *This seems to happen even if you thoroughly rinse and
immediately dry the piece.


Did you use washing soda (sodium carbonate) for electrolyte? Did
it strip paint as well as rust? Did you paint immediately?


Yes, I used washing soda.

The things I derusted were old tools so I didn't paint them. A rusted
solid pair of slip joint pliers that wouldn't budge now work like a
charm. They haven't rerusted because I rinsed them then immediately
wiped them down with a light oil.

An old hand plane that I derusted did start to rust quickly even
though I thoroughly rinsed & dried it then put it on top of the
clothes dryer to warm it up. The top part I painted and that seems to
be holding up pretty well but I'm not subjecting it to 1,000+ temps.

You're going to need a pretty big container to fit a header into, no?
Maybe a plastic trash can.

You could also go with instant gratification and blast the pipes
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...ber=95667-0VGA
or
http://www.amazon.com/Campbell-Hausf...ref=pd_cp_hi_1


  #7  
Old September 14th 09, 11:06 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 561
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sep 14, 5:50*am, Limp Arbor wrote:
On Sep 13, 9:59*pm, Puddin' Man wrote:

On Sun, 13 Sep 2009 12:47:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor wrote:


snip

The parts also seem to re-rust much quicker than raw
steel. *This seems to happen even if you thoroughly rinse and
immediately dry the piece.


Did you use washing soda (sodium carbonate) for electrolyte? Did
it strip paint as well as rust? Did you paint immediately?


Yes, I used washing soda.


And no, it didn't strip the paint that was well adhered.
  #8  
Old September 14th 09, 04:07 PM posted to alt.home.repair
Joe
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Posts: 2,842
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sep 13, 2:25*pm, Puddin' Man wrote:
In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of using an
electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical
reaction.

I think it should be practical to use electrolysis to remove rust from
my motorcycle header pipes prior to applying new paint. Could use some
advice from experienced person(s).

Origninal finish on (steel) pipes was likely enamel, lasted 20+ years. Pipes
are now moderately rusted.

I have a large plastic Muck Bucket and an 8 Amp (max) 12v trickle charger..
Thinking of using a steel water pipe for an anode.

Could use washing soda or maybe lye (if I can find it) for electrolyte.
Which would be better for removing both rust and old paint?

How long might it take to do such a job?

Any/all other info, suggestions etc much appreciated.


Electrolysis is totally impractical. Take the parts to any automotive
machine shop (or serious bike shop)
and have them glass bead blasted. The parts come out perfectly dry and
ready for paint after a quick air spritz to remove dust. Takes about
10 minutes on average.

Joe
  #9  
Old September 14th 09, 05:40 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 258
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Sun, 13 Sep 2009 15:42:03 -0500, Jules
wrote:

JOOI, what is the exact process? I'd always been told to use sacrificial
anodes for rusty parts - and have done it several times - but the
wikipedia entry seems to suggest that it only works to protect the cathode
material against corrosion, rather than removing existing corrosion
(almost implying that all that happens is that a new layer of material
gets dumped onto the cathode material, trapping the actual rust beneath?)


I don't think much of that particular wikipedia entry. Very easy to
mis-interpret. Try these, or others posted this thread:

http://www.fergusonenthusiasts.com/r...%20Charger.pdf
http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=13110
http://users.eastlink.ca/~pspencer/n...sis.html#setup
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../electrolosis/

P

"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."

  #10  
Old September 14th 09, 05:44 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 258
Default Electrolysis for de-rusting

On Mon, 14 Sep 2009 02:50:52 -0700 (PDT), Limp Arbor wrote:

You're going to need a pretty big container to fit a header into, no?
Maybe a plastic trash can.

You could also go with instant gratification and blast the pipes
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...ber=95667-0VGA
or
http://www.amazon.com/Campbell-Hausf...ref=pd_cp_hi_1


The Muck Bucket I have is like the bottom half of a plastic trash can.
I don't need to do the muffler, pipes are maybe 30". Might be close,
'tho.

Interesting that they market lo-cost sand-blast eqpt. I don't have
a compressor.

Thanks,
P

"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."

 




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