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Remove corrosion

Posted on 2001-07-08
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I have some old motherboards where the battery has leaked.  The copper traces on the board and the solder joints go green.  I clean the crud off by soaking them in vinegar.  Now I want to protect the cleaned surface.

What do you recommend?  I was looking at a light coat of varnish or something similar.

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Question by:dbrunton
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RoadWarrior earned 320 total points
ID: 6262211
Hmmm better rinse well to make sure you get all the vinegar off. Steal nailpolish off the Missus, use polyurethane varnish, one of those paint markers even, thin coat of epoxy resin is probably closest to original coating and very durable, should bond well to board either side of trace, and be more heat reistant. I'd just splurge on whatever was handiest.
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LVL 11

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by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6262214
Oh, one thing I wouldn't use is rust inhibiting paint, it is designed to resist corrosion on steel and iron, could do funny things to tin and copper, due to different chemistry.
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LVL 23

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by:slink9
ID: 6262303
No idea on suggestions, but I am interested.  Maybe this one will develop and produce some really innovative suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:tmj883
ID: 6262619
Cleaning acid corrosion with acid...I just use TV tuner cleaner on a cotton swab, leaves a corrsion inhibitor as it evaporates...T
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by:andysalih
ID: 6263000
i would use cotton swab with nail varnish remover, i prob would actually bin the mother board and spend about 30 pound on a new for whats its worth.

cheers
Andy
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:genguy
ID: 6263422
I use epoxy car paint (clear coat) just because it's handy. You could probably get some at a hobby & craft store. I would stay away from lacquer based products, since they may cause damage to the surrounding components, just as you would use rosin instead of acid flux for soldering. I think neutralize the acid with baking soda, and then clean with the contact cleaner, it's expensive, but it works well and leaves no residue.
Sorry Slink, nothing innovative or hi tech so far.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:cumbo
ID: 6263958
I would be careful about using nail Polish Remover. Most of these contain Acetone and Acetone doesn't treat
plastics kindly. Could damage the MB. Plain old Rubbing Alcohol should also clean it up and, won't damage the plastics.

Cumbo
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6264143
Board should be either an epoxy/glass composite or amphnenol resin, will survive the little bit of acetone in nail varnish, wouldn't give much for it's chances if you boiled it in acetone for a few hours though :-)
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by:WiZaRd
ID: 6265868
how about good old metho ? (methylated spirits). Dilute before trying & increase strength to taste (effectiveness).
You're on a mission I know but frankly if the mobo's have deteriorated to a rust state I'd liken it to bringing someone back from the dead. Is it really worth it?
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6265903
Maybe it is.  I was reminded by one questioner that not everybody has money or materials to throw at a problem.  I suggested replacing a mouse instead of repairing the cord.  Who could have guessed ...
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:WiZaRd
ID: 6266111
OK slink9 since you put it that way...

hey dbrunton what about Vaseline (petroleum jelly)?
found it worked great on my bike wheel rims for preventing rust & is inexpensive (in fact you've probably already got some).

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LVL 49

Author Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6266715
Comments/suggestions are interesting. Plenty of alternatives here.

I know the vinegar works.  Use it to clean copper sealing rings.  Comes up nice and shiny.

Corrosion is only in the battery area.   Had to remove the keyboard connector cause it was stuffed (nothing to do with the battery) and discovered the green copper crud.  Battery wil be tossed and replaced with an external pack.

It's only an old 386/486 board with 16 Mb of RAM but as a DOS games machine or Win 3.1 workstation or possible Linux experimental box it's ideal.
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LVL 49

Author Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 6283145
Thanks for the ideas.  Nail varnish might be the way I go.
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