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 Post subject: Effects of Ammonia on Anodized Aluminum
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:50 pm 
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Silent But Deadly
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What happens when ammonia-based solvent is applied to anodized aluminum? Will the anodized finish get dissolved and then the metal start to pit?

Stupidly of me, I cleaned my new AAC Evo in a solvent cleaning basin at the range. I'm not sure if the solvent contained ammonia, but I flushed the can for 5-10 minutes and then rinsed it out with soapy water when I got home an hour later (and then let it fan dry for another hour). Was the relatively short exposure enough to damage the baffles? Not sure if it's due to carbon fouling, but the alu finish looks rough in some places. Still kicking myself over the idiocy, but am glad I didn't soak it overnight :oops:

Also how do most of you dispose of used solvents and cleaning solutions? Properly at the local recycling center? or down the drain or gutter? :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:30 pm 
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" but I flushed the can for 5-10 minutes and then rinsed it out with soapy water when I got home an hour later (and then let it fan dry for another hour). Was the relatively short exposure enough to damage the baffles?"

If you washed it out with soapy water and rinsed it I wouldn't worry, that should have helped dissolve any residue and I doubt the short exposure time would have done much if any damage.
If you have or know someone who has a borescope you could check it that way to feel better about it or e-mail the mfg. to ask there advice.

I find anodized aluminum to be a tough finish but unanodized is asking for trouble, it will turn chalky, oxidize unprotected or exposed to harsh chemicals or water.
I've cleaned my Ruger 10/22 thousands of times with Hoppe's #9 and the reciever is aluminum and I can see no damage, maybe microscopically?
But I doubt its on there long enough to do anything.

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Last edited by Hush on Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:36 pm 
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Ammonia will bleach out the black and it will look purple. If that has not happened, then I would not worry.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Back in November, there was a thread like this over on subguns.

Someone "ruined" their Pilot by cleaning it with Hoppe's (an amonia based cleaner).

At the time, I put an Omega 22 baffle in a jar of Hoppes. This thread made me remember I did it. I just went and looked at it, there was NO damage after soaking in it for 6 months.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Since we're on the topic, I found a post in this thread that I found pretty interesting:
http://www.silencertests.com/silencer-f ... 729b903833

Here it is:

FWIW, I conducted my own test some time ago. Posted some results on subguns.

For stainless cans, 50/50 peroxide/vin. mix is the bomb. It indeed does the trick and your can will be spanky clean with no damage. I tried electrolysis with the solution and it made no difference in the cleaning speed.

As a test for aluminum, I placed a piece of 6061T6 in a container of the solution along with a 40gr lead bullet setting on top of the aluminum. After several changes of solution, the 40 gr bullet was totally disolved, the 6061 was unharmed, not even discolored or etched. I then placed the piece of 6061 in fresh solution buy itself and left it for a week. It began to pit on the rough edges.

My conclusion: The lead acts as a sacraficial metal in the prescense of aluminum much like the zinc anode on an outboard motor. In the case of an outboard, the zinc will be slowly eaten away, especailly in salt water while the aluminum is unaffected.

I would like to see a chemist confirm this mathmatically but my own tests indicate this is what happens. In addition, the mix is consumed and must be replentished based on the amount of leading. I'm certain a chemist could calculate the amount of solution required to consume X amount of lead in grams and a can could be accurately weighed when new and fouled and the correct amount of solution used without fear of attacking the aluminum. The reaction is fairly slow. I cleaned my stainless can over a period of a few days changing the solution once or twice a day.

Water as a rule and anything alkaline like lye or other soaps attacks aluminum.

If I used the 50/50 solution to clean a sealed can I would monitor it carefully over a period of a few hours. I would allow it to drain, rinse it, blow it out with compressed air and purge/soak it with several changes of denatured alcohol to purge all water from it. Then use a suitable lube to coat it internally.

The 50/50 solution is cancerous and poisonous as is any lead based solution. Label the waste container Lead Acetate and take it to you local waste handler, most municipalities have one. Do not dump in the city sewer. Wear gloves at all times when cleaning any leaded firearm.


What do you guys think about this, especially pertaining to cleaning a can with aluminum baffles?


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