[meteorite-list] Simplified Meteorite Rust treatment

From: meteorites_at_space.com <meteorites_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:46:21 2004
Message-ID: <20010501190459.10491.cpmta_at_c000.snv.cp.net>

On Tue, 01 May 2001, David Hardy wrote:

> Hi Steve,
> Will this work on uncut irons?
> David

YES! Stick those oozing Campo del Cielos in and watch the rusticles grow. You might have to repeat the process several times, but it should stop the reaction.

If not, the an electrolytic method might be in order.

Incidentally, the a caustic soda solution is used in conservation work involved with iron artifacts brought up from the sea floor. They will allow the items to sit in that solution for months, sometimes years, to get rid of the chlorides. But a small amount of current (mv) applied with the metal tank being "+" and the object being "-" charged will speed up the process.

> --- meteorites_at_space.com wrote:
> > Over the years I have been experimenting with various methods of neutralizing
> > FeCl3 and NiCl3 (Cl2 also) in meteorites.
> >
> > Now I have found that it can be done with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol right
> > off the drug store shelf, and Red Devil lye (sodium hydroxide).
> >
> > Use as much isopropyl to cover the specimen in a glass or tupperware
> > container, then add a teaspoon of Red Devil lye, or as much as the solution
> > can absorb. If after a few days the first teaspoon dissolves, then add a bit
> > more. This can be done with or without the specimen in the solution.
> >
> > Let the specimen soak in the container (covered) for a week or more. Don't
> > be alarmed to see rusticles (sort of like those on the Titanic) forming.
> > This is a clear indication that the chemical reaction is taking place, and
> > the Cl is being absorbed by the Na in the solution, and the OH is attaching
> > in its stead to the Fe forming a non corrosive FeOH and or NiOH. (These are
> > the "rusticles" that you see)
> >
> > If during this time you see that the solution is turning rust brown, pour it
> > and add fresh 70% isoproypl and another dash of Red Devil lye. After a week
> > or two. Remove the specimen from the solution and allow it to dry. After a
> > few days lightly sand it to remove the rusticles, then set it uncoated for a
> > week or more to see if it still bleeds chlorides of iron or nickel. If it
> > does, repeat the process for another week or more.
> > I have found this process to work well with Mt. Dieu, Brahin, Brenham, Canyon
> > Diablo, Campo del Cielo, and other rusters. With pallasites, the crystals
> > will sometimes rise a bit in their sockets, but once dry the FeOH that holds
> > them will turn into tougher iron oxides. Sanding it down will make the
> > surface level again. And I have found that after the light sanding, a day or
> > so additional soak of pallasites is a good idea. Then dry and polish
> > afterwards. For the really stubborn specimens, I will be working on a simple
> > electrolosis addition to the above mentionned solution. This involves using
> > a battery and a good resistor to create a small current that will drive the
> > Cl ions out of and away from the meteorite. Will post as soon as I test the
> > idea and get some solid results. Steve Schoner, American Meteorite Survey;
> > http://www.geocities.com/american_meteorite_survey
> >
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Received on Tue 01 May 2001 03:04:59 PM PDT

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