Corrosion of any part of an aircraft reduces its value, its appearance--and most important--its safety. The corrosion can lead to the failure of essential parts while flying and even lead to complete structural failure which may result in an accident. Corrosion on magnesium parts of the aircraft typically begins with pitting and etching on the surface combined with a gray or white powder. Magnesium skin corrosion is most likely to occur around the edges of the skin panels or in areas damaged by impact or drilling.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic sheets
- Paint stripper
- Coarse sandpaper
- 24 oz. chromium trioxide
- Container made of stainless steel, lead-lined steel or 1100 aluminum
- Nonmetallic bristle brush, 0.010-inch diameter
- Calcium sulfate
- 400-grit aluminum oxide abrasive paper
Mask of areas that you do not want touched with plastic sheets and tape.
Clean the corroded area of dirt and debris. Using a wet, soft sponge scrub the area to remove dirt, oil or exhaust stains so that you have a better look at the entire surface.
Strip the paint from the corroded area. Use a paint stripper and rub with a coarse sandpaper to remove the paint.
Chemical Removal of Corrosion
Mix a chromic acid solution. The solution should contain 24 oz. of chromium trioxide mixed with 1 gallon of water in a stainless steel, lead-lined steel or 1100 aluminum container.
Apply the chromic acid solution with a nonmetallic bristle brush. Allow the solution to set on the area for 15 minutes.
Rinse the solution off the treated area. Use clean water and rinse thoroughly.
Hand Removal of Corrosion
Feel the thickness of the metal to be certain is will not collapse from hand pressure.
Remove the corrosion. Scrub the area with a bristle brush until all signs of corrosion have been removed.
Polish the area. Use a 400-grit aluminum oxide abrasive paper and scrub the area clean.
Reconditioning the Corroded Area
Apply a chromic acid brush-on treatment. The solution should contain 1.3 oz. of chromic acid mixed with 1 gallon of water and 1 oz. of calcium sulfate. Brush on the solution until the metal surface appears dull in color.
Apply the primer to the area and allow it to dry according to the product’s instructions.
Apply the paint to finish restoring the area.
Remove the plastic from the protected areas.
Tips & Warnings
- Power tools may be used if the corrosion is heavy; use a pneumatic drill with an aluminum oxide abrasive wheel or rubber grinding wheel.
- Be certain that the area you are cleaning is magnesium to avoid damaging other types of metal.
- Cuttings and small shavings from magnesium can be a fire hazard.
- If the magnesium shavings ignite, extinguish with a dry powder extinguisher.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
How to Clean Aluminum MAG Wheels
Keep your car looking it's best when you maintain your Aluminum MAG wheels. The wheels on your car are constantly exposed to...
How to Clean Magnesium Chloride Stains
Magnesium chloride stains are most commonly caused by the salt that is used to de-ice roads in winter. A magnesium chloride stain...
How to Remove Magnesium Chloride Stains From Chrome
The reflective, mirrored finish of chrome makes it a popular decorative metal, particularly in the auto industry. However, this decorative finish is...
How to Remove Surface Rust
When metals react with oxygen, it forms a chemical compound that contains both that compound and oxygen. If the metal is iron,...
How to Prime & Paint Magnesium Metal
Painting any type of metal surface can be challenging. Because metal is hard and nonporous, it is not an ideal surface for...
Parts of an Airplane for Kids
Teaching the parts of an airplane to children may confuse them if they do not have a visual reference. Plan a time...