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- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Removing Rust
- From: Ron Baalke <BAALKE@kelvin.jpl.nasa.gov>
- Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 5:51:33 GMT
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- Resent-Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 01:54:05 -0400 (EDT)
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I came across an article in a local newspaper titled 'Removing All Traces
Of Rust', and here are some excerpts. The article came from the Home &
Garden section concerning the removal of rust from household items, but
some of this info could apply to meteorites. Note that I have not tried
any of the products mentioned in the article, so I don't know how effective
they are in removing rust from meteorites.
Besides being unsightly, rust weakens the metal it attacks and
can create hazardous situations. A child's swing set that is
weakened by rust, or a rusty propane tank that springs a leak,
are examples of hazardous rust. Rust, which is actually iron
oxide, develops when iron and steel come in contact with air
Paint, which prevents air and moisture from reaching metal, is the
usual preventive treatment for rust, but painting sometimes leaves
small openings that allow rust to get started. Paint can also
flake and peel, which exposes the bare metal and leads to more
I never considered painting as a rust preventative measure,
but it is generally out of the question anyway for meteorites.
One way to clean small objects, such as rusted small tools or
hinges, is to use a rust remover such as Naval Jelly, made by
Loctite (800-562-8483) and sold at many hardware stores and home
centers. These removers, which dissolve rust, are expensive and
contain strong chemicals, however, and generally should be
avoided for large surfaces. But rust removers are excellent
for cleaning smaller objects that won't be painted. Rust removers
can also be used to remove rust stains from masonry such as
concrete, bricks and tiles.
To use a rust remover on metal, brush or scrape off loose rust
and apply a heavy coat of the remover with and old brush.
Let the remover soak for the time indicated on the label, then scrub
the metal with coarse steel wool dipped in rust remover.
Several applications of remover and extra soaking time might be
needed for badly rusted objects. Finally, thoroughly rinse the
object with water to remove all traces of the remover.
I have to jump in on this statement. I though the purpose was
to remove rust, but the rust remover requires rinsing in water??
It goes without saying that a thorough drying is needed after the water rinse,
and in the case of meteorites, probably an alcohol bath to ensure all
of the water is out of the meteorite.
Rust converters are another way to help stop the spread of
rust or prepare it for painting. Coverters, such as Rust
Reformer by Rust-Oleum (800-323-3584) and Loctite's Extend
are a relatively new type of chemical treatment that does not
remove rust, but converts it into an inert substance. Loose
rust is brushed or scraped off, then the liquid converter is
applied with a brush or pad.
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