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"Restoring Aircraft Floor - Need good Alodine technique"
August 12, 2016
Q. I'm in the process of removing and treating corrosion on the 2024-T3 alclad (now worn) aluminum floor of my vintage aircraft. The floor is comprised of many lapped-over and riveted skins, with removable round inspection panels, and open small diameter holes where rivets and bolts have been temporarily removed; under this area is the inside 'belly' of the plane.
I would like to treat the floor with Alumiprep 33 [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] cleaner followed by Alodine 1201 [linked by editor to info/product on Amazon] to ensure a corrosion-free surface going forward. I am aware that both of these chemicals need to be water-rinsed and are corrosive if not completely rinsed; I am also aware that when applying the chemicals, any amount that leaks or wicks into the lapped aluminum joints will sit there and corrode the aluminum.
My idea, for which I'm asking your opinion, is to use an acid-resistant substance such as candle wax to form a tight seal along all the lap joints, and even plug up the open rivet holes, and form a border around the round inspection openings so that the wax prevents the chemicals from entering these areas. With all of this in place I intend to 'rinse' the chemicals not with a stream of water that could wash chemicals down into the aircraft's belly, but with multiple manual wipe-downs of a clean water soaked rag; again, the wax also preventing water from entering the lap joints, etc.. I like the idea of using wax because it would be easy to clean up and remove afterwards. My questions are: would my technique of rag-rinsing be sufficient to clean both chemicals from the surface and, is there a better material than wax to temporarily acid-proof the areas I described? Thanks for your reply.charles luzze
aircraft owner - USA