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Removing Rust

Regarding rust converters. I have used a product called Ospho which
converts rust (iron oxide) into iron phosphate. Iron phosphate is a hard,
stable coating which resistes rusting.  This worked great on structural
steel, so I thought I'd try it on a meteorite after removing all loose
rust. It seems to work okay for brief applications, but leaves a slightly
darkened surface. I also tried soaking a piece of rusty Gibeon in Ospho
overnight but forgot about it. Several days later, I remembered it and went
to check on it. The Ospho had "etched" the piece down to about 75% of its
original size!!! A thin coating drys and leaves a slightly glossy coating.
Too heavy an application will leave a white dusty residue which can usually
be taken off with steel wool. Soaking in Ospho is certainly not recommended :{

Dan Fronefield

>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
>    and moisture.
>    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
>    rusting.
>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
>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.
>Ron Baalke

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