Kingsvale, NSW 1963

Kingsvale, NSW 1963
A view of Kingsvale station, looking north towards Cowra c1963. Courtesy Ken Ames, "From Grease to Gold Braid".

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Ballasting problems

G'day viewers

Here are some photos I took a while back of the corrosion caused by ballast cement.

I thought it may have been due to the flux I use to solder, but because it has only appeared where I used Chuck's ballast cement, I have to blame that.  All the other parts of the layout are unaffected.

 I don't know what's in it exactly, but the rail has adopted a very un-protoypical filigree look (nickel-silver oxide must look a lot like copper oxide).


Going to be a pain in the bum cleaning it off the finer details of pointwork and rodding.


Here is the culprit.

Has anyone else had this experience?

Cheerio
James

9 comments:

  1. Well that would suck immensely!! What's in the glue, surely its PVA based?

    Cheers,
    Rob

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  2. I don't know the recipe, Rob. I think the adhesive is pva or latex based mixed with some kind of wetting agent. Obviously not pH balanced though!

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  3. The green patina is because nickel silver is 50 - 80% copper. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_silver

    Probably the ph of the glue/water/detergent mixture was in a range to cause the copper oxidation. This happened recently on some ballasting done on our exhibition layout. That was the first time I have ever seen it happen. Your example is the second.

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  4. James

    While this is in hindsight, over the years I have resisted buying anything deemed as specialised type glues for trackwork & used to stick to the old tried & true diluted PVA mix.

    I have also used a product purchased in Sydney from Paint Wholesalers at West Ryde called Perma Plastik clear paint extender again diluted in a 4:1 mix, this gives the best result as it does not dry to any sort of waxy look that can affect PVA mixes. along with changing the ballast to a somewhat darker colour.

    I have also used it for setting static grass to the layout as well. Only issue with it is that if separates in the tin & needs a fair bit of mixing, through before doing a brew, & only doing enough for the job intended. The best part is that it dries perfectly matte.

    I certainly hope the track can be cleaned up without any ongoing issues.

    Cheers

    Col

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  5. James, just a bit of a further comment. Have you been in touch with the glue manufacturer to get his comments? He may be able to help with suggestions or better still a solution.

    The problem certainly is visible on the rail heads as no doubt those areas are not painted, but the glue would have got on the sides & could it also get into the paint & affect it as well? which really is something for a later concern.

    While it does seem strange to market a product that could cause this problem after all a ballast glue has a reasonable chance of getting on the rail sides, the problem is to fix it.

    I would try Metholated Spirits with a course cloth to rub over the areas, but also use a track cleaner, my favourite being the Fleischman brand block, looks like the Peco but larger & seems much finer & certainly cleans better with less effort than the Peco one.

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  6. Thanks all for your comments. Sounds like the perma-plastik is worth a try. I've also used matte-medium in dilute pva to tone down the waxy lustre for attaching static grass, flock, etc
    Metho for cleaning is also a good idea.
    Although it's a pain, I'm not too concerned about having to re-do part of the trackwork if that's what it takes. This particular module was always about having a go and having the courage to make a few mistakes along the way.

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  8. A case of the solution being the problem.

    Sorry, couldn't resist

    Cheers
    John

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