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The corrosion is zinc oxide which is 'extracting' from a poured casting of *pot metal* or *white metal* an inexpensive and dubious alloy of mostly zinc and varying % of tin, aluminum, magnesium, lead, etc. In the foundry trade this was also called *monkey metal*. This is a very weak alloy which quickly corrodes in the presence of water, especially seawater even if plated with nickel or chrome.
Last edited by RichH; 12-25-2011 at 10:20 PM.