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Author Topic: Corrosion and storage units?  (Read 712 times)

Jim Layton

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Corrosion and storage units?
« on: April 13, 2018, 03:23:38 pm »

Over the last 8 years I have stored gear in two different storage units. In both cases I noticed random corrosion issues with some gear. The aluminum on one road case turned an oxidized grey color. Other aluminum hardware did not.Today (different unit) I found that the face of an old but clean Crown amp was bubbled up where it had the crown logo and on the aluminum face plate. I also discovered orange rusty dust on some JBL grilles.One was so bubbled that it flaked off with a brush of my hand. Some of the screws have a little crusty corrosion too. Is this unusual and a dumb move on my part? Does concrete and moist air create a corrosive atmosphere? I have stored similar gear in a trailer and a large plastic walk-in shed (no leaks but not air tight) for similar time periods with zero issues. The concrete seems to be the main factor.

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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 03:33:41 pm »

Sounds like a dehumidifier is in order.
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Jim Layton

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 03:45:57 pm »

Sounds like a dehumidifier is in order.

Moisture coming up through the ground makes sense. All the other storage examples are off the ground and have airflow underneath. Lightbulb goes on...late.
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frank kayser

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 05:12:11 pm »

Sounds like a dehumidifier is in order.
Most storage units have no always on power.


Moisture coming up through the ground makes sense. All the other storage examples are off the ground and have airflow underneath. Lightbulb goes on...late.

I've seen similar things happen with storage units, mostly single-level units.

I don't know the cost difference between a climate controlled storage unit and an all-ground-level unheated unit.  If not climate controlled, try for an upper floor if the facility has an elevator. 


frank
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 06:10:50 pm »

Metal that bubbles is usually indicative of more than contact with just water. It indicates there is exfoliation taking place, which indicates there is a corrosive in the water. Steel will rust when in contact with water, but aluminum will generally only stain. I would be finding another place to store my hardware or looking for the corrosive agent seeping into your storage space. At the very least buy some desiccant and put it in the cases with the hardware. You may also want to leave the cases open a crack if stored for long periods of time, which will allow the hardware to breathe.

This is what happens to people who shut the cases on their expensive Gibson's or other guitars for extended periods of time. The outgas from the acrylic pick guards or other components will literally eat the tuners, pickup mounts, pick guard, and corrode the aluminum to a point where it becomes dust.
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dave milton

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 07:43:02 pm »

The concrete seems to be the main factor.

It is absolutely a factor.  Contact with concrete is a definite no no for things like electronics, metal casings and hardware, etc.  .  Always store stuff so that it doesn't actually touch the concrete (floors especially)....either up on a pallet, or in a case/box that isn't subject to corrosion, or heck even on top of some heavy cardboard if that's all you got.  But concrete floors can and do lead to some nasty corrosion.  Concrete IS permeable to moisture, and it usually has all kinds of nasty elements in it due to all kinds of weird stuff that gets incinerated in the process of making "cement".  In fact, it's fairly common for various types of "toxic waste"  to get incinerated in cement-making plants.   Especially the cheaper, "everyday" stuff that you would find in general use (such as the floor of a storage unit).  And yeah, some that "stuff" is likely to be pretty corrosive.



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Kevin Conlon

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 08:43:07 pm »

It is absolutely a factor.  Contact with concrete is a definite no no for things like electronics, metal casings and hardware, etc.  .  Always store stuff so that it doesn't actually touch the concrete (floors especially)....either up on a pallet, or in a case/box that isn't subject to corrosion, or heck even on top of some heavy cardboard if that's all you got.  But concrete floors can and do lead to some nasty corrosion.  Concrete IS permeable to moisture, and it usually has all kinds of nasty elements in it due to all kinds of weird stuff that gets incinerated in the process of making "cement".  In fact, it's fairly common for various types of "toxic waste"  to get incinerated in cement-making plants.   Especially the cheaper, "everyday" stuff that you would find in general use (such as the floor of a storage unit).  And yeah, some that "stuff" is likely to be pretty corrosive.
Agreed. I had a shop in a storage facility. Shop was fine, heat and ac. Units were concrete and metal roof and sometimes it would actually rain in them, not leaks but condensation. Carpet the floor if you can, fixed it for me at least.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Corrosion and storage units?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 08:55:19 pm »

Metal that bubbles is usually indicative of more than contact with just water. It indicates there is exfoliation taking place, which indicates there is a corrosive in the water. Steel will rust when in contact with water, but aluminum will generally only stain. I would be finding another place to store my hardware or looking for the corrosive agent seeping into your storage space. At the very least buy some desiccant and put it in the cases with the hardware. You may also want to leave the cases open a crack if stored for long periods of time, which will allow the hardware to breathe.

This is what happens to people who shut the cases on their expensive Gibson's or other guitars for extended periods of time. The outgas from the acrylic pick guards or other components will literally eat the tuners, pickup mounts, pick guard, and corrode the aluminum to a point where it becomes dust.
Sulfur in cardboard will definitely be a corrosive catalyst.  Either cardboard in Jim's or even an adjacent unit.  One of the big issues in electronics these days is creep corrosion in tin plating caused by high sulfur atmospheres in areas with high air pollution.
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