Fwd: Re: [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: <20010501195425.1220.cpmta_at_c000.snv.cp.net>

------- Start of forwarded message -------
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Simplified Meteorite Rust treatment
To: themeteoritesite_at_hotmail.com
From: meteorites_at_space.com
Date: 01 May 2001 11:58:41 PDT

On Tue, 01 May 2001, "The Meteorite Site" wrote:

> Hi Steve,
> I understand the process that you are using, but what about the damage
> from soaking the specimen in H20 for two weeks.
> Jim
> James Hartman

The vehicle is 70% isopropyl and 30% H20. Lye is not
soluble in isoproypl but it is in water. And there is just enough water in the mix to allow a saturation point to be established for NaOH. FeCl3 and NiCl3 (as well as the Cl2 forms) are both soluble in isoproypl and water. But this solution is much more effective than using just isoproypl or NaOH water.

In having problematic specimens in for two weeks or more, very little if any damage occurs to the portions of the meteorite that do not have high concentrations of chlorides. And even in the areas that do, the damage is only on spots where it would ooze out anyway. But in this case the damage is very minor compared to what would happen if the same meteorite was left untreated and exposed to the open air. This solution neutralizes the chemical reaction and replaces the Cl with OH and though it may look bad when sitting there in the solution. After drying, the "rusticles" are found to be very superficial.

To date I have not had a meteorite that was destroyed sitting in this solution. Once I had a piece of Brenham that was nearly impossible to stop from bleeding droplets of chlorides of iron. I put it in the solution for a month, replacing the solution when it got rust colored and the all during that time the corrosion that had occurred in the open air stopped.

Afterwards, when I felt confident that I had killed the chloride reactions with iron, I took it out, dried it, and then fine ground and polished it. I left it on my collection shelf for over a year-- uncoated-- and not a single drop of FeCl3 ever appeared on it.

I usually leave my meteorites so treated uncoated. So, it seems to work very well.

Steve Schoner.

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <meteorites_at_space.com>
> To: <meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 9:06 AM
> Subject: [meteorite-list] Simplified Meteorite Rust treatment
> > 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 03:54:25 PM PDT

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