Rust removal, the results.
I regularly checked on the process and briefly documented what was happening as detailed below. I’ll then crack onto the real results and the details of a further test I tried to some success.
5 minutes – A film has appeared on the top of the solution and there is a clear presence of hydrogen bubbling. Some of this dirt may have been loose and some maybe from the bucket but its unknown. 30 and 60 Minutes – Not a great deal of change has occurred really, the film of crud is slowly thickening but otherwise things remain the same.
After about 5 hours, I removed the part and rinsed it in clean water using a soft scrubbing brush. I won’t lie, I was incredibly impressed by the results. I purposely left the part partly submerged in order to clearly highlight the difference between the dirty and clean. See below.
I also checked the current of the initial setup and found that it was drawing an average of 2.5 amps during the process and wondered what would occur if the output was increased. I grabbed a higher rated supply and set it to high output and re-submerged the part, dirty side into the water, newly cleaned outside. This worked to some extent.
The output was initially at 7 amps after 10 minutes this increased to 10 amps and this should probably have raised some alarm bells but I left it as it was. When I returned after an hour I noted a very strong smell that didn’t seem right so I checked the amps and switched it off. It was right up at 20 amps and the water was bubbling like crazy.
I removed the part, noting some steam cleaned it up and checked it out again. This had worked just as well as the slower process but had negative effects on the power supply. We soon worked out the issue. We hadn’t thought about the effects of the increased current on the solution. This increased current caused the water to heat up, thus making the solution more excited and clean faster which then removed the dirt faster to increase the working surface area of the part which then in turn increased the current and the cycle escalated until I found it. Much longer and it could’ve been boiling over. I wouldn’t suggest trying this unless you can properly control the output rating of your supply, mine was only a car battery charger which automatically steps up current. Here below is a picture of the part after this little test anyway. It worked really well apart from the side effects. It didn’t 5 hours work in only 1. I did note however the first cleaner left a much nicer shine and the high speed clean seems to have left a more dull coat.
All in all the whole experiment has gone really well and I shall definitely be using this to clean up my car parts in future!