electrolysis and stainless steel?
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  1. #1
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    electrolysis and stainless steel?

    So whats the deal here, half the folks i find say using SS in electrolysis is highly toxic, the other half say only if you do it wrong... I see the plus side (it's not 50 bucks for 5 gallons of metal rescue)... it's just a bit more work.
    "...My pappy was a pistol I'm a son of a gun..."
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  2. #2
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    so what are you trying to do build a hydrogen generator or a rust remover?

  3. #3
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by assassin_works View Post
    so what are you trying to do build a hydrogen generator or a rust remover?
    Just trying to learn about the process and what effect stainless steel has on it. But to answer your question exactly, rust removal.... I have no need for hydrogen gas.
    "...My pappy was a pistol I'm a son of a gun..."
    "...God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy..."

  4. #4
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    There are way too many alloys of ss to make a general statement like usu/don't use.
    The argument already fills an encyclopedia, and no absolute answer exists. The danger is Hex-chrome leaching into the electrolyte, and that is a real danger.

    In my opinion the fellow I've watched develope the process over 20 years seems to have found the answers using both carbon accumulator electrodes and filtration. The crap won't stick to the carbon electrode, and the filtration removes the small particles from the solution so there is no scum layer on top of the tank.

    I'm not at liberty to divulge more than that.

  5. #5
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fart View Post
    I'm not at liberty to divulge more than that.
    Not sure why, but thanks I'll do some more research then.


    for the record I have no intention of using SS as an electrode in the process, hell i dont even have a reason to use it right now, just curious about it and why everyone says stay away from SS.

    thanks
    "...My pappy was a pistol I'm a son of a gun..."
    "...God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy..."

  6. #6
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    if your going to make a rust remover you dont use stainless i recommend any 5/8 steel rod and remember to use dI water (de- ionized or distilled) regular water will arc. your going to need to bakeing soda or soda wash to add to your water to make the electrolyte. if you want to make hydrogen just ask ill tell you how to .

  7. #7
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    I make a lot of things out of stainless steel. Stainless does not rust. Rather iron in water runoff carries iron to the stainless steel. The stainless steel at first is not effected. Until the iron starts to pick up chlorine. Then the stainless is eaten by the hydrochloric acid formed by the rusting iron.

    So if you build a railing and the carpenter on the house or building you built the rails for left a handful of roofing nails against the chimney flashing. Your rails will rust over. They will not really decay, they will just get brownish orange.

    If you make a stainless steel tank and you put rusty water in it, and only a few waterfront towns do not have this problem. The stainless steel tank will suck the rust out of the water. And eventually you will get chlorine stress fracturing in the tank.

    Some waterfront towns use fluorine or Sodium hydroxide to finale treat the water. So there is no chlorine to rust the pipes. The fluorine and sodium hydroxide knock out the chlorine.

    Sincerely,


    William McCormick

  8. #8
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    The SS argument rages all over whenever this topic comes up. My stance is simply, if there is a risk of producing hex-chrome or anything else, don't do it and keep it away from me (40 year cancer survivor).

    Now for an academic view of electrolytic conservation or just a way to cure insomnia look here:

    http://nautarch.tamu.edu/crl/conserv...al/File10a.htm

    http://nautarch.tamu.edu/crl/conserv...al/File10b.htm

    A bunch of other interesting stuff there if you deal with copper and other nonferrous metals as well.

    As for anode material, I use scrap concrete reinforcing mesh. It is cheap (I get scraps from a buddy that does finishing work) and it can be made to conform to about any container used for the tank. If the amp draw drops on the meter just shut it down and remove the mesh, then clean or replace it as needed and re-install. The electron flow is direct so the process will work most efficiently if the item is surrounded by the anode.
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  9. #9
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    Quote Originally Posted by assassin_works View Post
    if your going to make a rust remover you dont use stainless i recommend any 5/8 steel rod and remember to use dI water (de- ionized or distilled) regular water will arc. your going to need to bakeing soda or soda wash to add to your water to make the electrolyte. if you want to make hydrogen just ask ill tell you how to .
    Just dont start telling people they can get 50mpg by creating a HHO generator for their car.

  10. #10
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    I tried to read the arguments for both sides when I was making my electrolysis tank but I ended up deciding I dont feel like replacing crummy steel anodes and used strips of stainless instead.

    3 Years later it still works like a charm and the stainless looks damn near new. No one has died yet either if that helps ease your mind.
    Have we all gone mad?

  11. #11
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    You can also use ferrous sulfate and calcium hydroxide to neutralize the Hex-Chrom to Tri-Chrom

    Cr6+ + 3Fe2+ → Cr3+ + 3Fe3+

    Cr3+ + 3 OH → Cr(OH)3

    Fe3+ + 3 OH → Fe(OH)3

  12. #12
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    Re: electrolysis and stainless steel?

    If there is any question about hex chrome, the answer is that you can't produce it if the metal doesn't corrode, if the metal isn't going away, then you aren't making any. If you have funky water and it is dissolving the stainless, then you can figure out how to convert or kill any hex chrome. Besides, are you drinking the water from your electrolysis cell? The big problem with Hex chrome was all the chrome plating and the Chromic oxide they used to irridite aluminum, (we used to just about bathe in the stuff (correction, we did bathe in it - turns you a nice pale yellow,) when we made airplane and space parts), it was used to kill corrosion in boilers etc and just dumped out on the ground -In large quantities. ( the Erin Brokovich story), and make anti-corrosion paint etc for the last 75 years. A lot of that chrome paint was used on steel that welders and scrappers later had to breath. All those chemically active chrome solutions led to some hex chrome production. And the problems came when folks breathed of drank it long term. - just my $.02.
    Last edited by wesdavidson; 06-10-2010 at 06:16 PM.
    past work toys; lathes,mills, drills, saws, robots, lasers ironworker, shears, brake, press, grinders, tensile tester, torches, tigs, migs, sticks, platten table, positioner, plasmas , gleeble and spot. Retired June 30, 2009.

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