Metal getting eaten in developer or fix

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by GraemeMitchell, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    I have a film rack for tanks that I had to fashion a handle too, b/c the orginal one fell of. It was actually easy, as I bought a screen door handle and used two small bolts and nuts through the cage. Viola...or so I thought.

    I ran two batches of film this evening and noticed on the first batch the reels were really dirty. I thought it was strange, but didn't panic, so I wiped them down. Then on the second run of film, I noticed the reels were worse and that there was gold color flakes running all over the film. Lame. I got most of it off, though it was really everywhere. It quickly occurred to me the bolts were black and corroding, and it appears the handle is too.

    So, a few questions. First out of curiosity: What is it, and what is eating it? Then the more practical questions: is there hardware that will work for this? If it was flaking in the developer, any guesses if these metal flakes pose any adverse effects to my tank of developer (replenished). And/or any effects to the film I've processed (opposed to the obvious fact that there are flakes of metal on it.)

    Unless I'm missing something else getting eaten...I'm surprised at how much of this grit there appears to be so quickly.

    Advice and wisdom greatly appreciated!
     

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  2. KOG

    KOG Member

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    It looks like the handle is aluminum or chrome plate, the screw and the nut are carbon steel, and the basket maybe made of stainless steel. When you combine dissimilar metals in acidic or base solutions, one of the metals will transfer to plate one of the other metals. Just like the chrome plating process.

    Make sure all the metals are the same, and it is best to use stainless steel.

    Kevin
     
  3. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    The reels,racks and tanks are made from stainless steel for a reason.It's high resistance to corrosion fostered by the chemicals.The handle has no such resistance.Remove it and fab something up from an old rack/reel or some stainless.If you go looking for some stainless use 301/302/304 stainless.It can be found here but you'll have to buy like 6 feet of it.It is handy stuff to have around if you like fixing stuff to overkill status.
     
  4. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Type 316 stainless is the only metal recommended for photographic applications. All others will corrode.
     
  5. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Well I didn't know that.316 aint cheap.
     
  6. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Awesome info guys. I obviously had no clue.

    Any idea on the possibility of it contaminating my developer? I'll find out sooner or later, but wondering if there's an obvious answer to that too?
     
  7. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    And also any advice on uncaking it...I'm just seeing now the extent...stuff got everywhere.
     
  8. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    You developer may have become contaminated the second time you used the rack. Apart from washing it with nitric acid which I do not recommend from a safety standpoint, I suggest getting a small stainless steel wire brush from a welding supply shop and giving the whole rack a good cleaning.
     
  9. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Perhaps this will help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion

    When I was in the Navy the ship I was stationed on was made from the main deck up of aluminum alloy and below was a steel alloy. Everywhere they met there was plastic that separated the two metals otherwise corrosion would take place. Certain chemicals, present in a solution such as water & types of metals can speed up the process, the article in the link above addresses those and others.

    Hope this helps you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2010
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Back in college I had a job picking steels, including stainless to crane in from a storage yard in to a fabrication shop for cutting for manufacture of pulp and paper and sewage treatment and mining gear.

    I used to sort offcuts as they came back into 316, 316LS, 304, and a real exotic one 254smo, and then periodically have to test them with some mega nasty acids and bases to make sure the stuff was grease pencil marked correctly.

    The 254smo stuff was dear enough we even used to keep the drill and saw shavings along with too small offcuts and sell them back to the distrubutor.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Do not use brass, bronze, galvanized or aluminum in any way in which they contact photographic solutions.

    Use plastic or stainless.

    PE
     
  12. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    PE, still wondering if I should worry about the developer. Do you have a thoughts on this. It's a 4 gallon tank of xtol.

    Thanks.
     
  13. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    If it were me I'd throw the stuff out and get new chemistry. Clean all the containers and parts until they look like they're brand new. And I'd make sure of using the proper metals when attaching accessories to the developing system. But that's me because many of the photographs I make are from events that could never be duplicated ever again because the people usually are not actors and couldn't replicate the emotions shown during the event, except they would be very unhappy if it had to be staged a second time because of my screw-up. As you can tell from the "tone" of this memo I take this quite seriously.
     
  14. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Yeah, I scrubbed the reels and tanks, and replaced the fixer. The developer is a bit more painful to dump though b/c it's a 4 gallon tank for xtol that I just finished getting seasoned after about 100 rolls. I will dump it if need be, but wanted to ask wiser minds before I just assumed it was bad.
     
  15. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    You have beautiful photographs on your web site. Do you develop more for fun or do you do this for your business? I find there are only so many hours to the day and I like to enjoy life, especially at my age (I'll be 62 in June) and I've learned to delegate whenever possible, freeing up my time to do the things I want to do and will max out my sales/profits.

    At any rate, beautiful web site and wonderful images!
     
  16. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Take a roll of film and just shoot it and process. If it seems ok you might get away with it. Whenever I had doubts with my processors, I would rather sacrifice a $300 rebatch than risk screwing up a job.
     
  17. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Bill, thanks for those nice words.

    Richard, I actually ran 15 rolls this morning. It was a bit thin, maybe 15 percent underdeveloped. But I'm still trying to find a equilibrium w/ xtol, so who knows if the tanks bad or what.

    Guess I dump it and start over. Lame. Don't mind the $, but do mind the time and film to get it back to a decent state.

    Thanks again for the help guys.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Just a thought...

    Decant and filter at least a gallon of the developer.

    Then experiment with "seasoning" a small quantity of new developer by adding the old.

    You may be able to make use of all or part of the old.
     
  19. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys.

    Dumped it all. Worries over.

    I did get a new handle welded on the rack yesterday. But they only had 308 stainless, not 316... But the great part is the welder, when I asked him how much, just asked if I had any spare film I could give him. Love it. Gave him 10 loose rolls of film outta the freezer.
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    308 will be just fine.

    PE
     
  21. RichA

    RichA Member

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    How about plastic?

    If you fabricated something from plastic, and used Crazy Glue (cyanomethacrylate) as the adhesive, do you think that would have an adverse effect on the chemicals, for developing 4x5 black and white film?