Remove zinc

The removal of zinc is usually about galvanized metals. In addition, a distinction must be made between the removal of zinc itself and the removal of resulting zinc rust (white rust). Here we show you how to remove zinc as well as white rust from a metallic surface.

Various galvanizing

Often, metal parts, for example, galvanized steel or stainless steel to protect the respective metal or alloy against corrosion. In addition, galvanizing is also carried out as an important step in, for example, the chrome plating of aluminum or other metals.

What should be specifically removed?

In most cases, however, it is a galvanizing, which was applied as corrosion protection. When removing then goes to the following options:

  • Remove zinc yourself
  • Remove zinc rust (white rust), but not the zinc layer itself

Lyes and acids to remove zinc

To remove zinc are particularly good acids and certain alkalis. Again, various acids and alkalis are used:

  • hydrochloric acid
  • caustic soda
  • potassium hydroxide

The relevant workpiece is hung as possible in the solution. This can take several days for the leaches; when using hydrochloric acid, care must be taken to be able to attack the underlying metal or alloy.

Dezincification with the help of a catalyst

To do this, wrap the workpiece with copper wire (is particularly good at conducting electricity) or place a piece of bare copper in the caustic soda solution. The copper acts as a catalyst and significantly speeds up the process of removing the zinc layer.

Remove zinc rust or white rust

But not always the zinc itself should be removed, but rather the resulting corrosion layer, the zinc rust or white rust. Under no circumstances may you use a wire brush for removal from the white grid. It's better to use a nylon-brushed brush. Make sure that the workpiece is dry.

The metal must be dry when removing from the white rust

You may need to dry it in advance with a hot air blower. A wire mesh scratches the thin layer of zinc, making the underlying metal even more susceptible to corrosion. However, the white rust does not necessarily have to be removed, as it turns into a zinc patina over time. If there is a lot of white rust, you can also resort to special zinc rust removers from specialist retailers.

Tips & Tricks

White rust is not the expression of a bad galvanizing quality. Rather, existing zinc rust says something about storage since galvanizing. White rust is created by the constellation of air and water on the zinc. This may be rainwater or humidity (for example, dew) inappropriate storage. When storing zinc-coated metals and alloys, always ensure good, well-ventilated and dry storage.

Video Board: Remove Zinc Coating From Metal - The Safe and Easy Way