November 7th, 2020
After your employees, your equipment is your most important investment. So what happens when you discover that the steps you are taking to protect one may be causing damage to the other?
That was the costly situation facing a California mold maker who was puzzled recently by the appearance of oxidation on a mold and signs of rust on some mold pins. After getting some technical advice, the company determined that the culprit was likely an ingredient in the hand wipes and sanitizers that were being used to clean employees hands and wipe down equipment to protect against transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The issue was described in the article “ALERT: An Unintended COVID Consequence” by Christina Fuges on the MoldMaking Technology website:
“…like many shops, M.R.’s initial instinct to combat COVID was to bleach everything in the entire building—machines, tables, chairs, doors, etc. It turns out that the hand wipes and sanitizer they used to clean their hands and wipe down machines, for example, contain ammonium chloride, which can lead to oxidation and severe pitting after baking at temperature.”
The Mystery Ingredient Revealed
All of that extra cleaning was doing more than killing pathogens: it was creating an invitation to corrosion. As part of its investigation, the California mold making company wiped down M2 and 420 stainless steel components with the cleaning solutions and put them in an oven for three hours at 350F. Afterward, both components showed oxidation and pitting.
The company was surprised to learn that its COVID-19 precautions were the source of these unintentional consequences. Even under ordinary circumstances, the oil from a fingerprint can create an initiation point for corrosion. In the case of the California mold maker, fingerprints were also transferring ammonium chloride from the products they were using to sanitize their hands and other equipment .
The good news is, while the best practice is to avoid leaving handprints or fingerprints on your molds and to prevent contact with hand wipes and sanitizers, you don’t have to choose between keeping your employees safe and keeping your molds protected against rust and corrosion.
One-Step Corrosion Protection for Your Molds
Slide’s Acid Vapor Neutralizer is a one-step rust preventive that can be applied for interim protection and reapplied after baking to protect molds against moisture, acids and other corrosive ingredients.
Formulated to protect molds against corrosive attack by hydrochloric and hydrobromic acids, fingerprint acids, and most common atmospheric corrosives, Slide’s Acid Vapor Neutralizer also prevents oxidizing and pitting caused by incidental or purposeful contact with hand wipes and sanitizers – it’s a cost-effective aerosol solution to a potentially costly problem.
At Slide, we’re committed to doing more than providing the products you need: we’re here to help you solve the problems that keep you up at night and provide you with solutions that boost your efficiency and profitability.
If you’re experiencing problems with pitting or corrosion of your molds, contact us so we can help.