Quick zinc removal

I have a few zinc plated steel retainer brackets that are of no
general value. 3/8 by 1" in cross section, slieghtly bent.
I wanted to use them for welding practice, but I need to remove zinc
first. Is there some easy thermal or chemical way to do it, like maybe
put in a barbeque for an hour, or acid or something like that?
Reply to
Ignoramus31588
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Lye removes zinc. The stronger and hotter the quicker. The cool thing about it is that while the part is in the lye solution the zinc works to derust the part too, so your part should come out looking shiny and new but no longer zinc-plated. The bad news is that Red Devil lye went out of business so now it's quite a bit harder for us home shop guys to buy lye.
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
I think toilet cleaner will do it. Do it outside, of course. RR
Reply to
Randy Replogle
I think I have some lye based drain cleaner. I will check. Cool idea.
By the way, lye did not work too well for me to clean drains, and I used sulfuric acid instead to great effect (and a lot of smell).
I will use eye protection and chemical gloves.
Reply to
Ignoramus31588
Muriatic acid. I can clean off the ends of electrical conduit in about 15 minutes in the regular hardware-store dilution.
About four years ago, I think, we were talking about this here and there was some worry about rusting resulting from chloride left in the pores of the steel from this treatment, plus neutralizing in lye solution. So I ran a test. I treated four pieces and just washed them off with tap water, very thoroughly, and put them on the shelf in my basement. It's about average dampness down there. I haven't touched them since, but I look at them every once in a while. I just looked -- still no rust at all, after four years. They're as bright as the day I put them there.
This is the treatment I've used for making my welding and brazing practice pieces. I still wear one of the cheap 3M masks that protect against zinc-fume fever.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Lowe's. Roebic Crystal Drain Opener. It's 100% sodium hydroxide. That's been my replacement for Red Devil lye.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Yep, I also used a mostly lye drain cleaner as etch for anodizing and it worked fine.
Reply to
Pete C.
We always use 30% muriatic acid sold for $2 a gallon at the home stores for cleaning concrete and mortar or at pool supply places for lowering the ph. Do this OUTSIDE, it liberates hydrogen that will rust anything else in sight. Usual comments about gloves and goggles. When you are done, you can neutralize it with garden lime. You wind up with a rather contaminated batch of zinc chloride.
Ignoramus31588 wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
Ferric Chloride (for making PCBs). It seems to remove zinc from galvanized washers. No fumes, less worry about spills.
Interesting: Some people recommend neutralizing the FeCl after the etch. I found if I did it with baking soda the part rusted *in front of my eyes*.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
If you want some ferric chloride, just buy some muriatic and dissolve steel in it until no more will dissolve. Bob's yer uncle.
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
The whole point of using FeCl is to avoid the hassle of using muriatic acid. FeCl is easy to get.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
I do that.
What I have is a super saturated tank of baking soda. That is take say 3 gallons of water and add several pounds of Baking soda.
It will be cloudy as baking soda is fine and is breaking down.
You want so much in the tank that there are layers in the bottom.
When used, the acid like water dissolves more soda and goes back to soda water.
If I recall, the item flash rusted when there were ions still on the steel and there wasn't enough soda to change it.
There are several chemicals useful.
Lye good as is strong base Ammonia (stinky) but best due to the liquid. Baking Soda Easily obtained in the cooking section - big box stores.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I used muriatic acid. Which I have a jar of, that I use and reuse for everything. It is working right now and I can see plenty of fine bubbling. I will then have 16 beautiful brackets that are no good for anything other than welding practice, so I will actually be welding them.
Life is good.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus31588
Just don't leave them in too long. Muriatic (dilute hydrochloric) acid will etch the base metal and leave a porous surface if you let it stand much too long. I try to pull it out as soon as the zinc is clearly gone.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress

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