Author Topic: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?  (Read 1632 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline John Candy

Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« on: May 26, 2014, 08:25:39 AM »
The majority of my track is brass but for the major junction section (in the interests of speeding up tracklaying) I resorted to ready-made turnouts and track (in stainless steel, since Cliff only supplies stainless).

I also bought a bottle of "rail ruster" from Cliff since I don't want the stainless track glaring at me from amongst the nicely weathering brass!

Yesterday, I carried out a trial (indoors) using a short section of rail.
The instructions say to paint on the neat solution (contains 18% HCl..... hydrochloric acid) and leave overnight.
The only effect seems to have been to give the rail a matt sheen, not a hint of rust colour.

Anyone else tried this method and what results did you get?

Any other suggestions .... I don't want to use concentrated HCl....even if I were able to obtain some!


Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 08:30:22 AM »
Paint?

Mike

Offline Geoff Nicholls

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 08:40:57 AM »
On my indoor layouts I've used Railmatch 'sleeper grime' spay cans, which I think looks right. Though it might work out expensive on a layout the size of yours.
Geoff.

Offline John Candy

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 09:38:40 AM »
Mike / Geoff

I suspect paint would not stick very well to stainless without a pre-treatment of some etchant and the rail would not then be able to weather naturally.

I was hoping that a degradation of the surface of the stainless steel would enable further natural weathering to occur.

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline 454

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 11:50:59 AM »
Leave it to Anno Domini & plenty of acid rain, works wonders but it is a long wait.

If you do nothing & I arrive when the sun is shining will have to wear my shades to stop the shine off the track offending me 8)

Don't worry about it John you have enough to do without wasting your time, just concentrate on the main task in hand which is a viable running outdoor railway. The track colour does not matter. If I was commenting on an indoor layout the response would have been very different.

Cheers
Dave
454

Offline John Candy

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 12:25:56 PM »
Last night (after applying two coats of rail ruster over a period of 48 hours) since there was still no sign of rust on the test pieces, I wondered whether additional moisture was needed to activate the process.
I wrapped the test pieces in a damp paper kitchen towel and placed them in the garage overnight.

Early this morning (before having been into the garage to check) I received an email from Roger McL who had contacted Cliff after experiencing same problem (i.e. no rust appearing).

Cliff told him that after treatment the rail needs to be outside in the damp for the rusting process to begin.

When I checked in the garage, the towel was stained yellow and the rail was starting to show signs of turning orange.

At the moment, it is impossible to conduct an "outside" test because of the rain, which would wash the chemical straight off the rail before it could react with the metal.

I presume the acid dissolves some of the chrome in the stainless steel (what colour is chromium chloride....yellow?) and exposes iron molecules on the surface of the rail  to attack from air and water.

Any chemists out there know the answer?

John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline cabbage

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 12:38:04 PM »
The yellow is FERRIC CHLORIDE. Chromium Compounds would either be red, green, or blue depending on the oxidation state. The Ferric Chloride is then oxidised by the natural air to form Ferric Oxide -rust...

regards

ralph

Offline John Candy

Re: Have you "rusted" stainless steel rail?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 12:39:59 PM »
Thank you Ralph.

I thought you would know the answer!

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.