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Thread: SS lugs rusting

  1. #1
    Jeff Buchanan is offline VSalonistas
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    Default SS lugs rusting

    Has anyone had problems with stainless lugs rusting. The last frame I finished, I went to a 220 grit aluminum oxide brushed finished and after 2-3 months the lugs have a light surface rust.

  2. #2
    Clockwork's Avatar
    Clockwork is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    I haven't had any problems. Try going a little further with Scotch Brite pads and finish with a hard Carnauba wax.

    -Joel

  3. #3
    ToddFarr is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    Jeff,
    I haven't used Stainless Bicycle parts, but I do a ton of stainless machine building and it seems that most of the rust issues are actually with surface contaminates embedding in the brushed marks. The finer you can brush the less likely this will happen.
    Todd.

  4. #4
    Dave Anderson's Avatar
    Dave Anderson is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddFarr View Post
    Jeff,
    I haven't used Stainless Bicycle parts, but I do a ton of stainless machine building and it seems that most of the rust issues are actually with surface contaminates embedding in the brushed marks. The finer you can brush the less likely this will happen.
    Todd.
    +1

    It's also important to keep all of the abrasive rolls, sand paper, scotch brite & etc that you use on stainless parts completely separate from what you're using on the non stainless tubes and parts. Otherwise, its very easy to carry tiny bits of metal over and embed it into the surface of the stainless.....which then later rusts, etc.
    Dave Anderson
    Anderson Custom Bicycles
    www.andersoncustombicycles.com
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  5. #5
    Mark Kelly is offline VSalonista (docendo discimus)
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    +2.

    For the existing rust, try scrubbing it off with a new Scotchbrite or Beartex pad dipped in a 5% solution of citric acid.

  6. #6
    Dancingbear's Avatar
    Dancingbear is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    When stainless has been worked (filed, sanded,welded, etc) and you want to restore the surface to it's most corrosion resistant state you need to "pickle" or passivate it. This is done with an acid etch that restores the chromium in the alloy to the surface. McMaster-Carr Not saying that the above advice regarding contamination is not important as well. Not many builders as experienced in stainless as Dave Anderson.

  7. #7
    Mark Kelly is offline VSalonista (docendo discimus)
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    The 5% citric solution is all the passivation the alloys used on bikes need.

    If you passivate the 410 type steels (most "stainless" tubes) with a standard pickling gel they will need de-smutting afterwards, either mechanically or with a solution of dichromate in sulphuric acid. The former is OK for general surface prep but the latter works best if you are bonding to the steel.

    For lugs of 304 or similar alloy the passivation gel won't need de-smutting but you will end up with a matte surface.

  8. #8
    Dancingbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    The 5% citric solution is all the passivation the alloys used on bikes need.
    Thanks for the additional info on pickling. My experience has been less than professional, mostly small parts submerged in water exhibits, not in framebuilding components. The 5% citric solution sounds less noxious than the pickling gel, Is it?

  9. #9
    Mark Kelly is offline VSalonista (docendo discimus)
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    Default Re: SS lugs rusting

    Far less noxious and food grade to boot. We rinse the inside of wine tanks with a 1% citric solution after they are washed (with 2% caustic soda).

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