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Old 06-02-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
trbomax
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Default Lets build an industrial grade deruster

There seems to be so much talk on here about de-rusting and the various means of doing it,I have decided to take all the "mystery" out of electrolytic derusting by running a thread on the build of my new,industrial grade unit. I have built components (tanks and washers) before with a friend who had at the time,a Redi-Strip franchise.This was in the 70's and he now does metal cleaning on a much larger scale than we did then.We could just barely get a car body in the original tanks,he now can run 2 at a time.Anyway,enough talk,lets get to work.

Obviously,you must decide what the largest part is that you will want to clean. Once you decide,you must go about sizeing the tank and the power supply. In my case,Ive never needed a deruster untill we relocated up here in the hills,because when we lived in toledo I could just take my stuff over to my friends place and run it.Now its a 300 mile drive one way. Engine parts (blocks and heads) would be about the largest parts I would clean.For something like an axle houseing,I could do what is called "double ending", placeing the part on the edge of the tank,cleaning it,then reverseing it. I selected a 100gal capacity Rubber Maid nylon stock watering tank.These are cheap,strong, and redily available. A large V-8 block and both heads will fit just fine.We will need a cart of sorts to move it around,and a cover,since the solution is caustic and there is high current involved in this large of a tank.I used 2 funiture dollys from TSC and one sheet of t&g subflooring. One 8' 2 x 4 was used to make the retaining lip around the cart. After assembly I gave all the exposed wood a heavy coat of alcohol based sealer,and then a good coat of black gloss rustoleum. This will make it somewhat waterproof,good enough for what I am doing.

If the paint is dry enough tomorrow,I will assemble the tank to the cart,put the handles on the lid and start building the anodes.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Cool. Subscribed.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Subscribed too.
Does the Redi-Strip company stil exist ?
Were they using electoysis for their method for rust removal?
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

very cool indeed.
please continue to update when you can.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Yep, I'm watching this one; closely!

Sounds like you've been down this road before. Please feel free to educate us on the Do's-and-Don'ts of derusting.

-Where did you get the 100 gal. tank?

-How much did it cost?

-Is this tank going to need a big (plastic ?) drain valve?

-Do you know if the used solution can be drained into the city sewage system safely without causing harm to the piping and bringing the EPA down on me?

The reason I ask is that I have a motorhome parking slab (unused) on the property with power, water and sewage connections handy; I've been thinking that it would be a good spot to locate a big outdoor derusting tank. Sorry for all the questions, but you've got me thinking about this (future) project of mine...

Looking forward to how you put this thing together.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Ready-Strip is a company that (if my memory is correct) originated in so cal.I dont know if they invented electrolytic derusting, but they were the first to come up with a standard proceedure and then franchise it.As far as I know they are still in business,but after 40+ years,thier formulas and methods are common knowledge.

The 100 gal tank is a Rubber Maid stock watering tank. I got this one at TSC for around 100$. Its nylon reinforced plastic of some sort,very strong and non-conductive,both of which we need for this project.They make both smaller and larger ones,and you could probably cut a plastic drum in half too,but remember this is going to be an INDUSTRIAL GRADE unit,capable of comercial use on a daily basis.It does have a 1 1/2" drain plug that I suppose you could fit a ball valve to,but we always pumped the tanks because the very caustic solution could not be put in the city sewer system w/o prior treatment.You must keep in mind we were dealing with around 2000 gal,not 50 - 75,and it was a business that by its very nature,was watched closely by the eq and epa people.If I would ever have to drain this system,I would pump it into 55 gal plastic drums,but there should never be a need to do this on the scale we are useing it.Careful testing and monitoring the electrolyte will give it a very long life.

Now I am off to a friends fab shop to figure out the anode shape,and (unrelated to derusting) pickup some fretilizer for the garden and some parts for the air compresser that I havent finished yet!
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

We sheared some 3/16" hot rolled sheet into 3" strips and broke them to the profile you see here.They will be higher on the tank wall with 2 - 5/16" brass bolts and nuts at the top to attach them to the tank and provide an anchor point for the #4 cable that will carry the positive current.By standing them off the tank wall we efectivly double the area of the anode.Lots of area is good when makeing an electrical connection thru a solution,think about a battery with more and bigger plates in the cells.

The 1/4" x 1 1/2" copper bar stock for the negative buss arrived today. This will be cut and fit to form a rail around the top edge of the tank. Parts in the tank will be suspended from rods and wires.They will recieve the negative current thru the suspension wires or in the case of many small pieces a basket hung from pipes laying across the busses.We dont want either the anodes or the parts to be on the bottom of the tank because over time a layer of sludge will settle out and it is not a good conductor.

We will need 30 - 5/16"-18 x 1/12" long hex head brass capscrews w/ brass nuts and flat washers to attach all of these parts.All of the electrical connections and all the parts that form the conductive path of the negative side will be fabbed from non-ferrous material.This will help reduce the possibility of corrosion on these important parts.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0732.jpg (138.3 KB, 321 views)
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Thanks trbomax for posting this.
Where did you get the copper barstock , and what are they charging per foot ?
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

I got it from Enco.They were haveing a 30% off sale and the timeing was perfect! I will have to check the invoice but I think the before discount price was around $80/6' length. I was buying some tooling for the mill and just found it in thier on-line catalog.I was going to buy it local but they had to order it and all that bs,plus I would have had to drive 60 miles one way to pick it up.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

IIRC electrolysis is a line-of-sight operation so having the anodes stand away from the side of the tank will not help that much. Maximizing anode area will give better results. I like the idea of the stock tank!
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1005309

This might be worth a look...
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Like your handle name "Rustybutt"
Oh, and welcome to GJ.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

This guy built a unit for his '59 Sport Fury Convertible. Info starts on Post 40
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=779564
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:01 AM   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybutt View Post
IIRC electrolysis is a line-of-sight operation so having the anodes stand away from the side of the tank will not help that much. Maximizing anode area will give better results. I like the idea of the stock tank!

Did I miss something. I thought he said that in his post..
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybutt View Post
IIRC electrolysis is a line-of-sight operation so having the anodes stand away from the side of the tank will not help that much. Maximizing anode area will give better results. I like the idea of the stock tank!
I've heard this but some what disagree to a point. I think the line of sight theory is more correct by saying, parts that are not exposed to the solution ie. bolt threads inside on a nut, are not affected by the process. I only use 4 electrodes in my tank and don't seem to have any problem with rust removal even down inside hidden holes and such. Also to add to that threory that you mentioned above, these are my electrodes. Notice the back side has just as much corrosion as the exposed side, if not more.
Exposed side

Non exposed side (this side sits almost flat against my tank with only an1/8" of space for water solution to make contact.) it shows more build up that the front side.


The flat stock method, in my opinion has much more surface area to use that a 1/2" piece of rebar, and is easy to scrape off with a putty knife.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustybutt View Post
IIRC electrolysis is a line-of-sight operation so having the anodes stand away from the side of the tank will not help that much. Maximizing anode area will give better results. I like the idea of the stock tank!
I have to respectfully disagree with the "line of sight" statement.IF this were true,then how do you explain the fact that an engine block that has extreemly rusty and scaled internal cooling passages will come out looking like a new casting? A car body will be clean and shiney on the bottom and in all of the inside places that are not "line of sight" in any way.This is a reverse electrolysis process that relys on the solution to transfer the current,anything in contact with the solution will be affected.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Quote:
Originally Posted by trbomax View Post
The 100 gal tank is a Rubber Maid stock watering tank. I got this one at TSC for around 100$. Its nylon reinforced plastic of some sort,very strong and non-conductive,both of which we need for this project.They make both smaller and larger ones,and you could probably cut a plastic drum in half too,but remember this is going to be an INDUSTRIAL GRADE unit,capable of comercial use on a daily basis.It does have a 1 1/2" drain plug that I suppose you could fit a ball valve to,but we always pumped the tanks because the very caustic solution could not be put in the city sewer system w/o prior treatment.You must keep in mind we were dealing with around 2000 gal,not 50 - 75,and it was a business that by its very nature,was watched closely by the eq and epa people.If I would ever have to drain this system,I would pump it into 55 gal plastic drums,but there should never be a need to do this on the scale we are useing it.Careful testing and monitoring the electrolyte will give it a very long life.

Now I am off to a friends fab shop to figure out the anode shape,and (unrelated to derusting) pickup some fretilizer for the garden and some parts for the air compresser that I havent finished yet!
I guess I am confused a bit so please bear with me. I have a hot caustic (Sodium Hydroxide) tank that I use to degrease auto parts. This tank works wonders on dissolving grease, rubber, paint, ....and plastic, -however it won't dissolve rust.

On the other hand, I purchase diluted Phosphoric Acid (-not Muriatic) from Lowes in a white & blue quart bottle called Jabco. I can submerse small rusted metal items for several days and it dissolve the rust leaving a dull gray finish.

So where my confusion comes is if your liquid is indeed a Caustic and not an Acid, aren't you worried it will eat through your plastic Rubber Maid tank?
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
I guess I am confused a bit so please bear with me. I have a hot caustic (Sodium Hydroxide) tank that I use to degrease auto parts. This tank works wonders on dissolving grease, rubber, paint, ....and plastic, -however it won't dissolve rust.

On the other hand, I purchase diluted Phosphoric Acid (-not Muriatic) from Lowes in a white & blue quart bottle called Jabco. I can submerse small rusted metal items for several days and it dissolve the rust leaving a dull gray finish.

So where my confusion comes is if your liquid is indeed a Caustic and not an Acid, aren't you worried it will eat through your plastic Rubber Maid tank?
First of all the solution we use is nowhere near as caustic as what you use. Second,it is cold. lastly, the solution is MOSTLY used as a conductor,not a solvent. The caustic does go after light coatings of oil and then the gluconate is the surficant that disperses the oil.The actual rust removal is achieved by the use of the electric current. Also, because the solution runs at 14-15 ph,there is NO flash rusting like there is with acids.Useing acid actually removes base metal as well as the oxides,and parts treated with muratic or other acid will continue rusting even after they are rinsed and oiled.Acids leave a dark surface that must be mechanically cleaned torestore the base metal color. The caustic/glutconate/cyanide solution will leave the surface just like it was cast or machined.In addition,after rinseing,a quick re-dip will prevent any flash or surface rust from forming for up to a year (if kept indoors). They must be re rinsed before painting.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

Thankyou for this info i am looking forward to seeing how this all works. subscribed.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: Lets build an industrial grade deruster

looking good so far!
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