A Meteorite Lands in White Bear Lake
Some of you may have stayed up until the wee hours last November to watch the fiery spectacle of the Leonid meteors. Parts of the Tempel-Tuttle comet entered the earth's atmosphere to give us quite a light show. Sometimes, meteors are not just packed ice and dirt that fall on our planet, but solid metals.
Once these meteorites reach the surface of the planet, it is definitely a different world altogether. They left the corrosion-free environment of interplanetary space to enter the warm and humid atmosphere of Earth. While they lasted many millenia without suffering oxidation, they now could turn into a pile of rust in less time than it takes the average high school graduate to name our solar system's planets.
A slice of a meteor, which landed in China, was brought into our labs at Cortec. Uncommon Conglomarates, a Cortec Customer, was looking an effective and safe way to clean and preserve the meteor's surface. Cliff Cracauer, one of Cortec Labs Technical Service Engineers, reported that the surface was very sensitive. It begins rusting in less than one hour in ambient conditions. Cliff started by cleaning off the surface with VCI-426 liquid and VCI-426 Gel, Scale and Rust Remover. He then successfully neutralized the newly cleaned surface by rinsing with VCI-417, cleaner degreaser. VCI 393 Epoxy Coat was applied last, as a the final sealant for permanent protection. The coating was left to dry for 12 hours. This procdure is now fully documented as "The Meteorite Rust Removal and Preservation Process".
Closer to home, Cortec can protect metals that have been on our planet for a much longer time. Now that they have been processed and turned into useful metal parts, it is definitely our mission to ensure that they stay free of corrosion.