Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Strange Fast Rusting

Metacelsus - 26-7-2013 at 12:58

My lab is in my basement, and lately I have noticed that things there are rusting at an inordinate rate. Even stainless steel is not immune, although it is resistant. I'm starting to get worried about my pipes, which are cast iron. The rusting is centered around my workbench in about a 20 foot radius. Is there some gas I could be producing that accelerates rusting? I've heard that HCl causes rust, but I haven't worked with it for about a month and a half, and my bottle in storage is tightly sealed. Is the rust caused by HCl delayed in action?

If people want, I can provide pictures, but I don't think that they would help much. It looks just like normal rust.

bfesser - 26-7-2013 at 14:40

It's likely the HCl. Even if you think it's tightly sealed, it escapes.

plante1999 - 26-7-2013 at 17:42

HCl is the worst stuff for metals, keep it outside as I do, I used to keep it inside, but I deeply regret it.

cyanureeves - 26-7-2013 at 18:37

HCl for sure and chlorine also and it keeps rusting and rusting forever and ever until the end of time.i have rusted shelves,nail heads,tools,tool box,bottle caps and lids,LAB STAND,screws,nails.i work around rust always which leads me to ask,what is it?iron chloride?iron oxide?i figured it was iron chloride of sorts because i had to shoo my dog away from it because he always licking on it. s.o.b. would even push against me trying to get at it.

bfesser - 26-7-2013 at 19:16

<a href="http://lmgtfy.com/?q=iron+rust&l=1" target="_blank">rust</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />

Pulverulescent - 27-7-2013 at 03:00

Quote:
i figured it was iron chloride of sorts because i had to shoo my dog away from it because he always licking on it. s.o.b. would even push against me trying to get at it.

Your dog may have anaemia which could be caused by infection . . .
Have a vet check him/her out just in case?

Endimion17 - 27-7-2013 at 06:51

It's probably HCl vapours. It can't be stopped by rubber stoppers. The only way to stop it is to have the acid in a bottle made for hydrochloric acid. One bottle per <10 m^2 of room area that is always ventilated.

Occasional use of WD-40 is recommended, as well as grease on suitable metallic parts.

If you store acids in cabinets, their hinges will suffer a lot and will eventually fail. I use cabinets for flammable, organic stuff only, and the mineral acids go on the shelves equipped with plastic trays. The lab is passively vented all the time and that's the best way because if the electricity fails, the active venting stops. If you're out of the lab for extended periods of time, your lab is gonna have a bad time.


And check your dog. Dogs don't normally have the need to search for iron. Let him have more red meat and go to the vet.

[Edited on 27-7-2013 by Endimion17]

Metacelsus - 27-7-2013 at 07:12

Thanks for the advice. I will move my HCl bottle outside and see if it helps.

Antiswat - 27-7-2013 at 08:22

otherwise having some very low concentrated ammonia water without lid on standing centered with your acids should do the trick also? :P

ElectroWin - 27-7-2013 at 10:43

i kept some 31% HCl in my bathroom and it corroded the chrome plating on the tap, to bright green,
and rusted all the exposed steel and other metals. everything's corroded now

AndersHoveland - 27-7-2013 at 14:44

Quote: Originally posted by bfesser  
It's likely the HCl. Even if you think it's tightly sealed, it escapes.

This is very true. I have two bottles, one of ammonia, and one of hydrochloric acid. After only 2 weeks standing next to each other, fluffy white powder began to appear, mostly around the lids of both bottles.

Quote: Originally posted by Cheddite Cheese  
Thanks for the advice. I will move my HCl bottle outside and see if it helps.

Another idea would be to wrap the container in a large sealed plastic bag. And attach a sacrificial anode to the pipe, a strip of Mg.

[Edited on 27-7-2013 by AndersHoveland]

MrHomeScientist - 29-7-2013 at 09:01

I store my acids in a large Rubbermaid plastic tub, with a few inches of baking soda layered on the bottom. This serves as spill protection, and fume absorption. I've kept this inside in my lab for a year or two, and there's very little rusting evident. I'm sure the seal isn't perfect, but it seems to keep fume escape to a minimum.