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Old 03-22-2005, 11:28 AM   #15
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
1954 25' Cruiser
2005 25' International CCD
Paradise , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 403
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Originally Posted by ChampionEM
Would wax provide enough protection in a corrosive, salt-spray environment? How deeply does aluminum corrode? I seem to remember television antennas (normal ones, not those on Airstreams!) being so eaten up that they fell apart at a touch. Would the metal form a 'crust' and be relatively stable after that, or would it continue to corrode until it does real (more than cosmetic) damage?

I'm so confused . . .
Well, aluminum is a fairly active metal, not as bad as zinc or magnesium, but definately not as passive as stainless steel. (As long as the stainless is not deprived of oxygen at which point it becomes active and will corrode). From what I have seen it doesn't form a crust in the same manner as iron. It forms a white dust with the pits down below. The pits on the roof of my Caravel are deep but not anywhere near as thick as the skin. I think wax and keeping the rig washed should be as much of a protectant from a normal environment. As far as the pits go, it's a cosmetic issue. I'm sure I could get them out, but not without having to get some 400 grit sandpaper and wetsand them. The ones on the roof will have to stay. The ones on the sides I would like to get rid of. The filiform and the tiny pits show up a lot more when the skin around them is polished. My Nuvite G6 arrived last night and I tried some with the DeWalt compounder and it did not get the filiform or the tiny pits out with three passes. I'm going to go back through the forum and see what others have said about dealing with this stuff. I also wonder about how the different grades of aluminum stand up to corrosion.

Paul Mayeux
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