Removing oxidation from an aluminum mast…?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by paularey, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. paularey
    Joined: Oct 2005
    Posts: 32
    Likes: 0, Points: 6, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Panama

    paularey Junior Member

    Just getting ready to clean up my bare aluminum mast and I was looking for any suggestion on what over the counter (in Central America) product might work best. I would like to give it an acid bath of some kind followed up by a light polishing and waxing. I have had many suggestions from Drano to Vinegar given to me but I’m open to more suggestions if they have a practical application. Much thanks in advance for any input.
  2. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 1,629
    Likes: 73, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 505
    Location: Ohio

    longliner45 Senior Member

    osfo is used on steel but dont know about aluminum,,,maybe they make a product for aluminum ,,also baby oil cleans aluminum
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,818
    Likes: 1,222, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The metal sponges with soap for cleaning pots work really well. (brillo pads)
  4. dimitarp
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 93
    Likes: 4, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 19
    Location: Bulgaria

    dimitarp Junior Member

    For cleaning of aluminium mast from rust you can use the follow solutions:
    1. 50 % water
    2. 50 % solution of (40%) nitric acid.
    The time of acting of this solution must be no more than 30 seconds.
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,818
    Likes: 1,222, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Any corrosive cleaner will attack and weaken your mast. It is an alloy, and some of the metals are more electrolitically stable than others. This means that an acid will remove more of some metals. Also, it will penetrate any porosity or pitting and create a bigger cavity. Another problem is that it will get behind fittings, rivets and screws where it will also corrode the metals and weaken them. Polishing the mast mechanically is the safest way.
  6. Richard Hillsid
    Joined: Mar 2006
    Posts: 117
    Likes: 4, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 19
    Location: Scandinavia

    Richard Hillsid Senior Member

    Hear Hear.
    And eaven polishing the mast mechanically is not recomended by me.
  7. fiberglass jack
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 463
    Likes: 16, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 95
    Location: toronto

    fiberglass jack Senior Member

    +dont know if this will be any help to you , but i polish alumium with tin foil , take a piece of the foil and place the shinny side to the alumium and rub the foil hard the shine on the foil will transfare to the dull metal better then any polish, make sure u dont use nonstick foil the cheap stuff is the best, sounds crazzy i know
  8. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 491, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Penetrol (an oil based conditioner for alkyd paints) will remove the oxidization (with elbow grease and ScotchBrite pad if necessary), though as mentioned, the oxidation is aluminum's natural protective coating. Rub on, scrub as needed, then buff off. The remaining residue can be left in place to offer some protection (or removed), though it will not last as long as paint or other commonly employed aluminum finishes. On heavily oxidized material, you'll have a fair amount of scrubbing to do with most products, including Penetrol. The benefit of Penetrol is it's non-abrasive, restores luster, offers some protection, low cost, ease and safety in use, compaired to some other products.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.