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Effects of PH on metals

  1. Jul 5, 2011 #1
    I saw this video on a car cleaning product. In it he talks about the improtance of pH balance and how it effects metals. I'm not a chemist, and it's been a long time since I took undergrad chemistry. You can see he does a little lab experiment with the metals in the various pH cleaning solutions and how it effects the metals - so in a sense the proof is in the data he shows.

    The questions are:
    - does an acidic solution cause metals to pitting?
    - does a basic solution cause mineral buildup?
    - is a pH neutral solution optimal to reduce degradation of a metal material.

    Keeping in mind this would be applied to wheels, the metals are going to be: aluminum, steel alloys, and magnesium alloy.


    I know pure magnesium reacts with water violently, so it be tamed in alloy form. I can't imagine a coating being sufficient because if it gets rubbed off or scratched the first time you drive in rain your rims would catch on fire.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2011 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    More or less 3*yes. Details will vary for different metals, but these can serve as a general directions. Note that for pitting and mineral buildup you will need a prolonged use or bath in the cleaning solutions, as long as they are correctly applied and soon wiped out (or rinsed) I don't think you will be able to observe these effects.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2011 #3
    Thanks Borek! My theory was that even through you will rinse them off, if its safest to use a pH neutral cleaner, then why not hedge my bet in that direction. If you fail to rinse some of it off, yet the cleaner is pH neutral, you don't have anything to worry about. All things being equal, I might as well choose the product that is chemically safest ( Provided it costs roughly the same as any other cleaner out there ).
     
  5. Jul 6, 2011 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    I have no problems with this approach, being on the safe side for no additional cost shouldn't hurt :smile:
     
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