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White Rust Corrosion

"The Silent Killer"

The continuous battle against salt corrosion can seem never ending, even when your vessel is idle this corrosion which occurs on aluminium and galvanised surfaces called "white rust" continues spreading like cancer, which ultimately if left unchecked will be very costly.

Controlling corrosion on your boats trailer, the engines raw water cooling galleries, the aluminium runabout, metal fittings throughout your boat and your favourite fishing gear is a constant battle for every boat owner. Many of the methods used by boat owners for salt removal such as fresh water, water and detergent,
soluble oils, vinegar and even home spun recipes using savage acids are either partial or totally ineffective at removing the microscopic salt which has penetrated the surfaces.

White Rust Corrosion Clear Cooling Galleries 

Unfortunately, many marine mechanics recommend to owners the use of Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) to remove salt from hard to reach places which once you have read the following comments from an Industrial Chemist should change your understanding of the behaviour of acids and the need to use specifically formulated
products that are specifically designed to target the problem precisely and save the user much hard work and the expenditure of hard earned dollars to rectify corrosion damage.

RISK WARNING IF USING HCl. by           Bruce Heath BAS-App Chem Grad Dip Tech Mgt MBA MRACI - CChem

The use of uninhibited hydrochloric acid (HCl) on ANY metal surface would not be recommended. Any HCl purchased "off the shelf" would not have an inhibitor system added to it - this means that the acid will not stop acting when it reaches "clean metal" but will continue to etch into the metal surface. Effectively, uninhibited hydrochloric acid continues to etch into the metal surface at the same rate that it removes scale or rust. If you have a motor which has varying depths of scale - as most do - this means that the acid will be eating through scale in some parts of the motor, but will be eating through the base metal where the scale is thin. Further, HCl will cause pitting of the surface as it will follow a corrosion pathway in areas of the metal that may be heat stressed - possibly leading to breakthrough. Further, residual chloride ion will continue to promote corrosion on ferrous parts even after the acid has been flushed out.
Finally, HCl will "de-zinc" brass and bronze leading to "sponginess" in the metal and loss of mechanical strength in yellow metal components.

SX50, on the other hand, has a number of advantages:

1. It's a "soft" acid - effective at removing scale, but weak at attacking base metals.

2. It has a "three way" inhibitor system - with specific inhibitors for ferrous metals, aluminium & "yellow metals". This means that it will quickly etch to the metal surface and then stop reacting once it hits base metal. Further, these inhibitors, in combination with the film forming protective agents present in SX50, protect the metal from ongoing corrosion.

3. Being chloride free, SX50 will not cause "chloride corrosion" as seen with HCl - in fact the exact opposite is true - SX50 displaces chloride ion at the metal surface and protects the metal against salt attack.

4. Finally, the film forming agents within SX50 have a lubricating effect on seals and bushes.
The construction of many metal components nowadays is quite complex and the use of untested or out-dated solutions can in some cases be worse than the original cause of the corrosion.
SX50 as explained by Bruce Heath is one such engineered chemical which has been developed to target this specific problem that salt corrosion causes. It is easy to use, environmentally safe, effective and inexpensive. Compare the cost of using SX50 coupled with the lack of corrosion repairs and the extra days you can enjoy out on the water with no corrosion failures. On the flip side our customers have reported a higher resale price and faster sale of their boats once prospective buyers inspect the boat and see the pristine condition of the boat and the lack of corrosion damage.
One such customer recounted his experience that cost him $800.00 to have the salt build-up removed from his engine cooling galleries. Since using SX50 there has been no engine overheating issue or having to return to port because the engine keeps overheating. Nick goes out about twenty times a year, his 90hp Evinrude uses 50ml of SX50 through the SX50 injector after each trip to flush out the cooling system, that’s 1 litre of SX50 per year equating to $1.33 per trip for cooling system maintenance. A lot less expensive than $800.00 for a cooling system de-scale. Many boat owners are
 switching to SX50 as the product is compatible in other injectors and flush systems.

The success of SX50 in the marine industry has seen this product taken other industries. Rob Elliot is one such client and has been using the SX50 for a number of years in the offshore drilling industry and this is what he has to say:
SX50 WORKS ON DRILLING TOOLS & RODS by Rob Elliot Prod Engineer

Benthic Geotech is a company that specialises in gathering Geotechnical Data for Offshore developments. We utilise up to 280m of drilling tools and rods that are exposed subsea drilling, and then left on deck for weeks at a time. Long term storage could be months at a time. It is very clear the damage that rust can do to our other equipment, quite often putting equipment out of service after only a few months, but with the aid of SX50, we are still using tools that are 10 years old.’

Since SX50 is being used in industry and many boaties are finding they can apply the solution to a large range of salty surfaces SX50 is now available in 10 litre and 208 litre drums. Check out the website or call 0419775177 for more details and supply.

If you own a boat, jet ski, fishing gear, scuba gear, 4 x 4, caravan, RV or your house gets salt spray from the surf you will find SX50 a must to control salt build-up and corrosion.

by Neil Harris - 29th April 2010

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