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Does tarnish affect copper's strength?

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:54 pm

I was just wondering about the safety factor first, and thanks for your input.

I know that acid would clean this off, HCL, or whatever polish/cleaner you want to use, i just wasnt sure of names cause i never had to do this before.

The weather here in the summer is mostly good. The reason why it is tarnishing now is cause of the salt in the air and the cold temperatures, so in the summer i think it should be fine.

I dont mind the color of it. If it was more uniform, then i would leave it be, so i will see if it tarnishes more to give it a nicer look.

Another thing to point out is that my malleable iron fitting on the fill/pilot setup has also begun to rust. I dont thing its bad but its orange now (not entirely) so it actually matches the gun :) so my question being is will it become a problem? I doubt it but I'd still rater be sure.
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:11 pm

Sand the fitting, and give it a couple coats of paint.
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:29 pm

I actually forgot to consider that. I remember maxus painting his copper cannon.

Is there any kind of paint i would have to use? Like Krylon fusion? or something else?
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Unread postAuthor: Big-E » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:08 pm

any paint will work, provided you scuff the surface with sandpaper, and lay down primer first. automotive primer in a rattle can should work just fine.

otherwise, stick with engine paint, it'll adhere to metal no problem, but unless you have an oven to cure the paint, be sure to let the paint cure for over 24 hours.

Krylon fusion is specifically made for plastic. that stuff would be good on PVC, not copper.
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:35 pm

How about some tinning solution meant for circuit boards?

Expensive, certianly. Awesome, hell yeah :D
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Unread postAuthor: Big-E » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:34 pm

heh, yeah, that would probably work good too; My grandfather used to etch circuit boards for a living and taught me the process years ago; that would make the copper shiny, but I'd think you still need to worry about the finish oxidizing a little, although it wouldn't be nearly as bad, and polising wouldn't be nearly as desrtuctive, since you'd be polishing off the tinned coating, and not the actual copper... Poor man's chrome plating?

you know, if you had the money, sending off your copper bits to the local chrome plating service would be a neat idea, chrome is very tough and rust resistant. and because it's already copper, that would be one less plating step, just a bath in some nickel, and then the actual chrome.

that'd be an expensive prospect though :)
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:55 pm

daxspudder wrote:um HCL will produce copper chloride, the damaging verdigris(<<<means rust, but on copper not iron) rather than copper oxide, the tarnish... or course washing it off will not cause copper chloride, but the copper will tarnish as water help oxidize copper... use copper wool.... like steel wool but made from copper sheep instead

HCl + Cu<sub>x</sub>O<sub>y</sub> produces XCu<sup>+y</sup><sub>aq.</sub>. In other words, the insoluble oxide is converted to a soluble salt and removed by the water.

Copper oxidizes pretty slowly, getting it wet for a few minutes won't do anything to hasten the rate of oxidation. Indeed, if it is truely wet with water the oxidation process slows down since there is insufficient oxidizer (oxygen).

Bottom line, based on what plumbers and electricians do when they need a clean copper surface;

1. For chemical cleaning HCL is the fastest and easiest method but somewhat hazardous. (The fluxes for copper pipe are strongly acidic.)

2. For abrasive cleaning 200 to 400 grit Wet-dry sand paper (with or without water or some other lubricant) is preffered over copper (or steel) wool.
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