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Aluminium window corrosion

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  1. #1
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    Default Aluminium window corrosion

    Hi,
    Corrosion, a white putty like substance - which is eating away at the aluminium, is showing on a couple of domestic windows. Nobody, builder or supplier, wants to accept responsibilty. Any ideas - what the cause(s) might be and/or how to rectify the problem. Or even how to have a go at the builder and/or supplier.

    Thanks,
    Bob H.

  2. #2
    K_S
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    sawdustmaker
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    Ask a large Al supplier if they have heard of the problem.
    Ask the Aus Al Council or whatever theyre called - I asked them some questions recently, very helpful.
    After that you may have something to pin down whoever is liable

    Good luck

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkinob View Post
    Hi,
    Corrosion, a white putty like substance - which is eating away at the aluminium, is showing on a couple of domestic windows. Nobody, builder or supplier, wants to accept responsibilty. Any ideas - what the cause(s) might be and/or how to rectify the problem. Or even how to have a go at the builder and/or supplier.

    Thanks,
    Bob H.
    Have a good one
    Keith

  3. #3
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    Default Science

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkinob View Post
    Hi,
    Corrosion, a white putty like substance - which is eating away at the aluminium, is showing on a couple of domestic windows. Nobody, builder or supplier, wants to accept responsibilty. Any ideas - what the cause(s) might be and/or how to rectify the problem. Or even how to have a go at the builder and/or supplier.

    Thanks,
    Bob H.
    The metal, Aluminium, is actually quite reactive and very easily oxidised.
    So what you actually "see" when you look at things made from aluminium is the coating of aluminium oxide. Scrape it - and the metal almost instantaneously re-oxidises... Now Aluminium oxide is actually quite stable which is why 'aluminium' products last so long - without corroding...
    I'd suggest that your piece of aluminium actally contains some impurity introduced at the smelter - and it's this 'impurity' that is corroding - not the aluminium...
    But how you convince the supplier is a matter for a lawyer - maybe a metallurgist's report would help...
    Jedo
    When all the world said I couldn't do it - they were right...

  4. #4
    Old Goat
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    How close to the ocean are you? Salt air will do quite a stunt on Al, unless anodized, and maybe even then depending on concentration.

    Joe
    Of course truth is stranger than fiction.
    Fiction has to make sense. - Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Default Salt...

    I just googled "aluminium corrosion" - tons of refs

    Like this:
    http://www.alu-info.dk/HTML/alulib/modul/A00100.htm

    As Joe Greiner said - salt (sodium chloride - NaCl) will attack Al2O3 but would be generalised - all over - whereas I gathered from yur post that it was "spot" damage...
    Anyways - research it via google...
    Are your windows anodised....
    Jedo
    When all the world said I couldn't do it - they were right...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe greiner View Post
    How close to the ocean are you? Salt air will do quite a stunt on Al, unless anodized, and maybe even then depending on concentration.

    Joe
    Between 9 and 10 kilometres, nearer 10 I reckon.

    Bob H.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedo_03 View Post
    I just googled "aluminium corrosion" - tons of refs

    Like this:
    http://www.alu-info.dk/HTML/alulib/modul/A00100.htm

    As Joe Greiner said - salt (sodium chloride - NaCl) will attack Al2O3 but would be generalised - all over - whereas I gathered from yur post that it was "spot" damage...
    Anyways - research it via google...
    Are your windows anodised....
    Jedo
    The supplier's letter says 'Powder coated' and they say
    "we suspect that the underlying cause is a result of crevice corrosion...'.

    Bob H.
    p.s. I'll go to the website you mentioned. I'm really at a loss to understand how the builder and /or window supplier can deny responsibilty, it's just a domestic dwelling!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Big Shed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkinob View Post
    The supplier's letter says 'Powder coated' and they say
    "we suspect that the underlying cause is a result of crevice corrosion...'.

    Bob H.
    p.s. I'll go to the website you mentioned. I'm really at a loss to understand how the builder and /or window supplier can deny responsibilty, it's just a domestic dwelling!!!!!!
    How old are the windows?

  9. #9
    A Member of the Holy Trinity echnidna's Avatar
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    I wonder if it was initiated by an incompetent brick cleaner
    Regards
    Bob Thomas

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Shed View Post
    How old are the windows?
    Ten years BUT I first reported this to both the builder and the window supplier in 2001. At that time the supplier said 'brick cleaning', the builder said 'No, not brick cleaning', the supplier then offered a choice - scrape out and repair or replace the damaged section. Considered that a repair would suffice, on condition that it worked. It hasn't. Now the supplier has come up with 'crevice corrosion.

    Bob H.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by echnidna View Post
    I wonder if it was initiated by an incompetent brick cleaner

    The damage, except for one window, is at floor level and where the mortar upright joints occur. The one window which is different has sings of corrosion at one jamb, again at mortar joints.

    Bob H.

  12. #12
    Old Goat
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    Anything more than 1 or 2 km from the ocean shouldn't be affected by salt air corrosion. More often seen on bridge railings directly above salt water. Sounds like the old game of "the other guy." Best consult a professional if the stakes are high enough.

    Joe
    Of course truth is stranger than fiction.
    Fiction has to make sense. - Mark Twain

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkinob View Post
    The damage, except for one window, is at floor level and where the mortar upright joints occur. The one window which is different has sings of corrosion at one jamb, again at mortar joints.

    Bob H.
    It almost sounds like salt attack, does the brickwork have fluffy salt deposits on it?

    If so, then the mortar had salt in it.

    Al

  14. #14
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    Thanks to all you responded. I live in hope of a resolution!!!!

    Regards,
    Bob H.

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