The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

How To Rust Zinc Bolts

James Lee
• Wednesday, 11 November, 2020
• 7 min read

To protect bolts from rust, manufacturers add zinc plating. This coating is shiny and may stand out on construction projects that are attempting to re-create an aged or rustic appearance.

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Adding water into acid creates an exothermic reaction that will produce enough heat to melt the bucket. The bolts will fizz in contact with the solution, releasing hydrogen gas.

Add enough baking soda that a thin film of precipitate remains on the bottom. Use the steel tongs to remove the bolts from the bucket and place them in the neutralization solution.

Allow the zinc -plated bolts to sit for two to three minutes or until any noticeable chemical reaction has ceased. Add additional sodium bicarbonate to the neutralization solution if it continues to fizz.

Do not use household mop buckets since the plastic will be too thin and may react with the Adriatic acid. Do not dump excess Adriatic acid or the neutralization solution into local water supplies or your yard without authorization.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase we may earn a commission. I don’t know about you but my heart skips a beat when I come across reclaimed wood, rusty metal, and forged iron.

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There’s something to be said about pieces that speak their history through their old age and rusty patina, and it’s one of the reasons I’m so drawn to mountain homes and log cabins. There’s a project we’ve had in mind for our RV, all we needed was some antique horseshoes.

Check out our recent video showing how easy it is to make metal rust : I have to tell ya, making metal rust in fast-forward was even more fun than I anticipated.

Update: If you watch the video at the top of the post you can see how using a small spray bottle or one with a misting option makes this method even easier! After I placed my horseshoe in the container I poured some white distilled vinegar on top.

I didn’t measure but I poured just enough so that it covered the horseshoe and then I sorta swished it around on top. At this point, you’ll want to add peroxide on top of your metal objects.

I then sprinkled …err dumped… a bunch of salt on my horseshoe and the rusty color started to come out even more. Then I called Eric over because I was all excited to show him, but I wanted more bubbles and fizz, so I poured a bit more hydrogen peroxide on top.

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After a few minutes, I swished the horseshoe around in the solution to sort of rinse off the salt and then patted it dry with a paper towel. You’ll see that it’s a bit rusty but don’t worry if it doesn’t look exactly the way you want, it actually rusts more than it dries.

It was getting dark outside, so I just let it sit overnight and the next day this is what my horseshoe looked like, next to metal that’s been rusting for years: I made a few more horseshoes prior to this one and let some of them sit for about an hour because I wasn’t noticing the color change right away.

If you don’t like how your metal looks after 10 minutes and air drying, you can always repeat the process and keep them in the solution for a longer period of time You’ll want to add a clear sealer to prevent the rusty patina from flaking off and staining anything they touch.

When I did seal them I just used some leftover Spar Urethane and a foam brush, but you can use any clear sealer and may prefer a spray-on kind. The second time I did this I went ahead and sealed the horseshoe after about 2 hours, but you can always wait overnight.

And if you have a specific technique that you prefer when it comes to making new metal look old, we would love to hear about that too! After receiving a lot of comments and emails about this not working on certain objects I wanted to add that not all metals will rust.

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I believe it has to have iron in it in order to rust, and if it’s galvanized, stainless steel or some other type of metal that doesn’t corrode then this process won’t work. I learned this the hard way by trying to rust some galvanized buckets I had on hand and read up about it here.

If you watch the video at the top of this post you’ll see the difference in the spray vs. dunk method. Basically, the spray method will allow more of the contrast of the original metal to show through and it is easier to work in layers and add more rust if you want.

How to remove rust from zinc plated steel without removing or damaging the zinc plating HomeFAQsSuggestedBooksFORUMcurrent topics Not a lecture hall but a roundtable with a seat for you! Education, Aloha, & Fun February 10, 2016I'd like to find an efficient method for removing rust from zinc plated steel i.e. (bolts, screws brackets etc) without removing or damaging the zinc plating.

I've tried using different kinds acids (phosphoric, hydrochloric, vinegar, CLR, in varying dilution ratios but the zinc is always destroyed. I was wondering about the process of ch elation, where, if my understanding is correct, doesn't use acid to remove the rust.

I'm in the process of doing an experiment to see how quickly zinc plating will dissolve using three different diluted mild acids. I would like to be able to clean and remove any signs of red/brown rust from small zinc plated parts i.e. fasteners, brackets, clips, etc.

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Because of the heavy stripping process in preparation for plating has attacked the raw I. D of the tube and thus rust. I don't think you'll find any chemical or electrochemical way to remove rust without attacking the zinc plating.

I think you will be limited to some sort of masking operation whereby whatever you do (sandblasting, acid dip, alkaline debuting) must be restricted to only the rusty bare steel inside the tubing area. In the future it may be possible to phosphatize and oil the inside of the tubing immediately after plating.

That would be because the aggressive rust -removing acids would be applied before the zinc plating process. That is, the potential process might be: soak clean, electrician, acid dip, zinc plate, chromate, phosphatize, oil (with rinses between each step).

All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unsetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

Plus, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar can give off a moderate level of fumes, so you’ll want to work in a well-ventilated space anyway. Lightly sand the entire surface of the metal with a fine-grit sandpaper to shed any protective coating present that might prevent the object from rusting.

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Place the sanded object in the center of a plastic bin that’s rested on either hard ground or a flat work surface in the garage. As it dries, the acid of the vinegar will begin to corrode the surface of the metal and you will start to see rust appear.

Pour two cups of hydrogen peroxide, four tablespoons of white vinegar, and one-and-a-half teaspoons of table salt into a plastic spray bottle. Once the salt has dissolved, spray the solution over the object to coat it partially or completely, depending on the desired effect.

Finally, spray a thin coating of clear acrylic sealer to the dry rusted object. It will set the rust and preserve the aged appearance for years to come while providing an acrylic barrier that keeps it from inadvertently staining any other metal or wood with which it comes into contact in the future.

There is a reason why brass screws or copper staples are the fasteners of choice for holding wooden items together. Taking the zinc layer off the screws doesn't affect their strength, since it didn't add any to begin with.

Within a couple of years it will disintegrate, or even faster if regularly exposed to wet conditions. You can monitor the extent of the reaction visually because as the Cu 2+ ions from the solution are consumed, the blue color slowly fades away (zinc sulfate is colorless).

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The standards include information on zinc thickness, chromate coatings, salt spray performance and other quality requirements When zinc corrodes, it develops a white powdery product on the surface, analogous to and just prior to the appearance of red rust on steel.

Fine pitch and smaller diameter fasteners tend to be less forgiving than coarse pitch and larger diameter products, so please consult Tortola Technical Support Personnel before specifying plating thicknesses greater than .0003, to avoid needing special thread tolerances during manufacturing to allow for the increased thickness of the plating.

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