Does Aluminum Rust?
Kevin has been asked what the white, powdery, crusty stuff that shows up on aluminum is.
Basically, it's rust. Well, it's aluminum rust, which is oxidation, just like you see with steel.
Oxidation can occur when you have two pieces of aluminum standing up vertically in a rack or lying down stacked on top of one another.
Moisture gets between the two pieces of aluminum and gets trapped. That's when it oxidizes the aluminum.
Now what the heck do you do about it?
You just use an angle grinder. Whether you using a flap disk, a surface preparation disk or something else, you can use anything to clean the oxidation off the surface. It'll come right off.
This is important, though. Any time you're messing with aluminum, especially if you're using any kind of polishing wheel on it, the aluminum dust gets in the air, right up your nose, through your sinuses, and right into your lungs. This is not healthy stuff.
Always wear a dust mask or respirator, hearing protection and eye protection.
Now the next time you're down at the pub having a pint with your buddies, and someone asks the trivia question, "Does aluminum rust?" you'll know the answer!
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