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post #14 of Old 02-03-2013
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Re: rusting stainless

I have been making custom stainless yacht fittings in tropical Australia for 15 years.Before you do any work, get a magnet place it near your problem stainless, it will not react if the metal is 316 grade,if you feel a slight pull towards the metal or the magnet sticks your panel holders have been made with 304 or a lower grade, if this is the case my recommendation would be to sand and paint the metal with a good quality 2pac epoxy paint otherwise the 304 will absorb salt over time and become brittle and crack near the welds and other heat affected area's... if after magnet test you believe the panel rack to be 316 ( I suspect it is a lower grade from what you say ) you can buy a stainless passivating paste at welding supply shops I use to clean the weld areas when I am fabricating. This is a gel, paint it on with a brush, be careful not to get it on your skin or eyes, leave for 30 min then hose or wash it off with water, it comes off easily, make sure you get it all though! As for sanding always finnish with at least 600 grit and make sure it is good quality (some cheap brands have iron filing embedded in the surface and this will re-contaminate your stainless) sand before passivating then polish.... remember stainless is just that ..stain less not stain proof.. maintenance is the key to a long lasting polish
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