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Thread: Resolving salt corrosion on ratchet straps

  1. #1
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    Default Resolving salt corrosion on ratchet straps

    I have six 2" ratchet straps that were used last winter. Apparently they did get salted a bit because they now show some white powder corrosion and some rust spots. I wish I had rinsed them right away, but it was the middle of January and an exhausting machine move. The galvanized coating is the gold colored stuff.

    I am going to give them a good rinse. The priority is to get rid of salts which will be re-activated whenever condensation forms (they are kept in cold storage). But I'm wondering if I should do anything to neutralize the active parts. The concern is that this is just going to keep coming back. And I don't want to make this a career project. I had thought possibly baking soda or vinegar but I think either might make it worse.

    Looking at them, I don't think there is any structural risk at all. On these heavier straps the cross pins for the webbing are actual bolts and those appear to have a better coating on them.

    The long strap and hook - that's easy if awkward. Just rinse and done. Once the ratchet part is done, I'll blow it out with compressed air, probably dry in front of a heater. Not sure if I need to bother with WD40 to displace water. I think it is fairly critical to keep solvents and the like out of the webbing - especially that critical 180 degree fold at the attachment point.

    Post rinse lubrication and rust prevention is another concern. I have a gallon of CRC-3-36. So that may be a good go-to for the pivots and sliding bits. I don't want to compromise the webbing and CRC can attack plastic. I suppose I could dilute some fluid film liquid in paint thinner and brush it on all the other metal surfaces.. Though I don't want these to be slimey.

    Come to think of it, this is a pretty good after the fact anti-rust test - at least for this certain type of corrosion challenge.

    I did find this decent article on this type of corrosion.

    https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=1220

    Thanks!

    Edit: That link is now broken so I am providing the cache version.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...&pws=0&ct=clnk

    Galvanising - White Rust Prevention and Cure

    Download PDF Copy
    Request Quote

    Written by AZoMFeb 1 2002

    One of the commonly encountered problems with galvanised coatings of all kinds is ‘white rust’ or ‘white storage stain’. It is manifested as a bulky, white, powdery deposit that forms rapidly on the surface of the galvanised coating under certain specific conditions.

    White rust can cause considerable damage to the coating and is always detrimental to the galvanised coating's appearance.

    The surface of galvanised coatings is almost 100% zinc. It is the durability of the zinc that provides the outstanding anti-corrosion performance for steel, yet zinc is a relatively ‘reactive’ metal. It is the stable oxides that form on the zinc's surface that determine its durability, and these oxides are formed progressively as the zinc is exposed to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide in particular is a contributor to the formation of these stable oxides.

    With newly galvanised steelwork, the zinc's surface has been subjected to little oxidation and is at its most vulnerable. For this reason, a chromate passivation should be used in conjunction galvanizing operations to provide protection to the galvanised coating during the ‘youth’ period of the coating. This passivation coating provides short term protection to the zinc to give the stable oxides time to form on the surface.
    White Rust Formation

    Pure water (H2O) contains no dissolved salts or minerals and zinc will react quickly with pure water to form zinc hydroxide, a bulky white and relatively unstable oxide of zinc. Where freshly galvanised steel is exposed to pure water (rain, dew or condensation), in an oxygen deficient environment, the water will continue to react with the zinc and progressively consume the coating. The most common condition in which white rust occurs is with galvanised products that are nested together, tightly packed, or when water can penetrate between the items and remain for extended periods.
    Avoiding White Rust Formation

    There are a number of simple steps that can greatly reduce or eliminate the formation of white rust. These are:

    • Keep the packed work dry

    • Pack the items to permit air circulation between the surfaces

    • Stack the packed items to allow water to drain out

    • Treat the surface with proprietary water repellent or barrier coatings to prevent moisture contact with galvanised surface
    Treating Galvanised Surfaces Affected by White Rust

    Once the galvanised surface has been attacked and the zinc hydroxide compounds have formed, it is desirable to remove the oxide products from the surface because:

    • Their presence inhibits the formation of stable carbonate based oxides and

    • They are unsightly
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    The effect on the galvanised coating can range from very minor to extremely severe and various levels of remedial treatment are available to deal with white rust problems at the various levels at which they are likely to occur.

    The following treatments are recommended to deal with white rust on galvanised products:
    Light White Rusting

    This is characterized by the formation of a light film of white powdery residue and frequently occurs on galvanised products during periods of heavy rain. It is particularly evident on areas that have been buffed or filed during quality assurance operations. These treatments remove the passivated surface from the galvanizing and expose unoxidised zinc to attack from rainwater. Provided the items are well ventilated and well drained, white rust rarely progresses past this superficial stage. It can be brushed off if required but will generally wash off in service with normal weather. No remedial treatment is generally required for this level.
    Moderate White Rusting

    This is characterized by a noticeable darkening and apparent etching of the galvanised coating under the affected area, with the white rust formation appearing bulky. The galvanised coating thickness should be checked to determine the extent of attack on the coating. In the majority of cases, less than 5% of the galvanised coating will have been removed and thus no remedial work should be required as long as the appearance of the affected area is not detrimental to the use of the product and the zinc hydroxide residues are removed by wire brushing. If appearance is unacceptable, the white rust affected area can be treated as follows:

    • Wire brush the affected area to remove all white corrosion products

    • Using a cloth pad wet with aluminium paint, rub the surface with the pad to apply a thin film of aluminium paint to the affected area to blend it with the adjacent unaffected galvanised surfaces.
    Severe White Rusting

    This is characterized by very heavy oxide deposits. Items may be stuck together. Areas under the oxidized area may be almost black and show signs of red rust. A coating thickness check will determine the extent to which the galvanised coating has been damaged. Remedial treatment to reinstate the coating should be undertaken as follows:

    • Wire brush or buff the affected area to remove all oxidation products and rust if any.

    • Apply one or two coats of approved epoxy zinc-rich paint to achieve required dry film thickness of 100 microns minimum.
    Re-Passivating the Galvanised Surface

    Where white rusting has occurred and the item may be subject to continuing exposure that may propagate similar corrosion, re-passivating of the surface can be done by treating the surface with a solution of 5% sodium dichromate 0.1% sulphuric acid, brushing with a stiff wire brush for 30 seconds before thorough rinsing of the surface.
    Conclusion

    White rust is a post-galvanizing phenomenon. Responsibility for its prevention lies in the manner it is packed, handled and stored prior to the galvanised product’s installation and use. The presence of white rust is not a reflection on the galvanised coating's performance, but rather the responsibility of all those involved in the supply chain to ensure that the causes of white rust are recognised and the risks of its occurrence minimized on newly galvanised steel.
    Last edited by Glug; 05-21-2019 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Try some fluid film. Lanolin based with C02 propellent IIRC. Shouldn't hurt a thing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    I.............................. The priority is to get rid of salts which will be re-activated whenever condensation forms (they are kept in cold storage). ...................
    After you get them cleaned, store them in an airtight container. Maybe a surplus ammo can of the appropriate size.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Mine have some corrosion on them but I haven't worried about it because the straps wear enough they should be disposed of before the ratchets will rust up. I store my straps in Kitty Litter bins with the snap top lids. Works great for storage and they are semi weather tight. When I'm ready to make a run somewhere just toss them in the truck.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    Mine have some corrosion on them but I haven't worried about it because the straps wear enough they should be disposed of before the ratchets will rust up.
    I agree it is very likely that the webbing will degrade before the rust is an issue (other than being difficult to use). But I don't use the 2" straps often, and I'm pretty careful with the webbing. I'm not too worried about it. But when I do this cleanup, I don't want to miss any simple steps that would help.

    It is worth noting that the military operations manuals on slings and webbings do require fairly prompt removal of salt from contaminated straps. That refers to salt water, not the other types of road way de-icing chemicals.

  6. #6
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    Disregard
    Last edited by BigMike782; 05-22-2019 at 09:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    I spray my straps with chain lube.

    I also have 3 different sets of straps.

    Old crusty ones for hauling in the slop.

    Middle of the road daily uses ones but not to be used in salt or dirty conditions.

    Then a whole new in packaging yet set.


    Then all that junk sits in plastic totes in the back of my vehicle.

    Andy

  8. #8
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    I too will vote for the fluid film. I got some at NAPA. They had spray cans and gallons. A spray can will do it. Then store them, as was suggested, in an ammo can.

  9. #9
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    I soaked the ratchet portion of my straps in cold water today. I don't think it did much. I'm still wondering about baking soda or acid solutions to help neutralize this. I see conflicting info on the 'net.

    I wire brushed a few areas but obviously can't get to the key internal sliding surfaces. Guess I'll go hang them up and blow them out with the compressor and then put them in front of a fan. Probably be some wd40 involvement at some point.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Glug;1217184]I have six 2" ratchet straps that were used last winter. Apparently they did get salted a bit because they now show some white powder corrosion and some rust spots. I wish I had rinsed them right away, but it was the middle of January and an exhausting machine move. The galvanized coating is the gold colored stuff.

    I think the gold plating is yellow zinc chromate. Same stuff used on transport chain. Supposed to be more corrosion resistant. I never saw it to be.
    I like the stainless ones. Didn't know they made them in SS.

    JL.............

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