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How to remove black oxide from sheet metal?

Posted by nherold (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 23, 07 at 1:10

I used the search engine to find an answer to my question, but I didn't see one so hopefully this isn't redundant.

I'm trying to remove the coating off a piece of 1/4" plate steel (sorry, don't know if it's cold or hot rolled). It is a gray-ish/black-ish coating covering the whole piece (almost 4'x8'). There were some digitized numbers printed on the plate if that helps you understand what the coating might be.

I've been using a 7" grinder (5000 RPM) with a 24 grit pad but I'm not making much progress. Only where there was red rust from a wet tarp that had been placed on top did the coating come off and I can see the metal underneath.

Someone at the metal shop suggested acetone, but that didn't seem to do much either.

Any suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated. This steel is our hearth (in a modern remodel) and I want to polish it as much as possible before I put it in place.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to remove black oxide from sheet metal?

The black iron oxide you have encountered can be removed with an acidic soak, but if you do this, the steel will immediately begin to rust. For this reason, I would not remove the black oxide, if the hearth was mine.

RE: How to remove black oxide from sheet metal?

Thanks for the info.

I did some more research and found that phosphoric acid/Naval jelly would help get it off. I haven't tested it yet, as that is my weekend activity.

I knew it would start to rust so I'm planning on coating it with a wax to prevent it from doing so. I'll probably have to reapply the wax every so often (months?), but that's OK. We really don't want the oxide on it since we are trying to go with the stainless look w/o the stainless price.

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