Brightening Castings

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Brightening Castings

Post by SAM. C. » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:25 am

Does anyone have any advice on how to brighten Aluminium castings? These are in situ and I want to clea them up as much as possible and seal the with matte clear.



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Re: Brightening Castings

Post by TechMOGogy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:09 pm

Good old fashion elbow grease is best.
Plastic scrapers, brass and tooth brushes with degreaser.
Wire wheel or brush to finish.
I tried Alumibright chemical cleaner from Eastwood but was pretty much a waste of time.
Be careful with clear 1. will not stick very well to raw aluminum and 2. tends to go yellow with time.

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Wire wheel
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Andre did my Pinz and used a similar manual process and finished with a very light coat of alum spray paint on the cast alum
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Re: Brightening Castings

Post by one2many » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:45 am

To back up TechMOGogy's advice....I used a similar aluminium cleaner, BLITZ made by ChemTech, I also found it to be a waste of money...sure it did clean but no better than any degreaser and I didn't notice the "brightening" effect at all. Just wash them as best you can with whatever you've got lying around with a weak solution as strong mixes of highly alkaline or acid degreasers can make castings a dull powdery grey by removing some of the zinc from the surface of the casting. When clean the best thing I've found is elbow grease and a brass bristle toothbrush and small brass wire brushes and wheels, use wire wheels as well but use a MUCH softer approach with them. Even if you happen to accidentally remove some surface zinc with cleaning solution and they goes dull and powdery you'll be surprised how easily they can be brought back to their original lustre with just a brass brush. Super fine wet and dry sandpaper like 2000 grit also does a great job at the end. I also have found common clear coat (enamel etc.) to be a waste of TecMOG said it just doesn't wanna stick, I'd choose a purpose made product made for sealing aluminium like mentioned above. If you've got access to a blasting cabinet I believe glass bead, soda or walnut shell work very well but I doubt that'll work out very well in situ :? . Have fun, I reckon brightening filthy castings is a really rewarding job.
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Re: Brightening Castings

Post by davies435 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:21 pm

DO NOT LAUGH......but in work we used to clean bikes aluminium and stainless-steel casings/ fittings with "cheap as chips" harpic toilet cleaner, a nylon brush, 30 minute tea-break and a garden-hose (sometimes it needed doing twice)
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Re: Brightening Castings

Post by rmel » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:06 pm

Hydrochloric acid!! Just what Grandma used for those nasty porcelain stains [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

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