Stainless Steel Passivation
"Passivation is the removal of exogenous iron or iron compounds from the surface of stainless steel by means of a chemical dissolution, most typically by a treatment with an acid solution that will remove the surface contamination but will not significantly affect the stainless steel itself. *ASTM A967
Periodic passivation is required to ensure the corrosion resistance of stainless steel products. Fabrication, shipping, handling and use of stainless steel may contribute to surface contamination, causing surface corrosion. Stainless steel's corrosion resistant characteristics come from its elements, specifically chromium and nickel. Chromium and nickel, when exposed to oxygen form a protective oxide film. It is this oxide layer that prevents corrosion. Use this product frequently and when the first signs of surface corrosion appear to reestablish the oxide layer.
Spectra-Clean SystemT System 1 is recommended for use on all stainless steel components that are employed on commercial aquatic facilities. Clean the stainless steel thoroughly before attempting to passivate.
Procedures & Techniques
Stainless Steel Care & Sealing
Initial Treatment of Stainless with Spectra shield
This is a three step process that must be completed very thoroughly to get best results.
1) Clean rails with passivation materials
Start with a dry railing
Apply passivation chemicals 77+ or 2310 to rail (spray or wipe on)
This chemical must be re-sprayed or re-applied as required to maintain a wet surface for 30 minutes.
After 10 minutes agitate the surface with a non-abrasive pad (3M scotchbrite white). (If visible rust does not seem to disappear, use a mildly abrasive pad (3M scotchbrite grade maroon).
On existing rails where there is visible rust &/or pitting you will usually require a maroon pad
Do not use a more course 3M pad than maroon, as green and higher will scratch surface, thus creating more corrosion points.
Re-apply chemical & agitate as required.
After 30 minutes of wet contact, very thoroughly hose off stainless. (Un-rinsed chemical will dry white; you want to get it all off with no residue after drying).
Hand dry so that watermarks do not develop.
2) Thoroughly Dry Stainless
Steel needs to be more than dry to the touch. Seams & crevices (as well as pit pockets) must be bone dry in order to accept the sealer.
Best practice: Allow steel to dry 48 hours (or more)
If treating steel during pool operation allow 4+ hours air dry & heat gun treatment to ensure water in pockets & seams etc. fully evaporates.
3) Apply Spectra shield Sealer
Sealing is the fastest part of the procedure. Use a cotton rage & wipe sealer onto steel so that steel is wet with sealer (very wet not just damp) Allow sealer to stay on rail for 10 minutes then use a dry cotton rag to wipe excess away. Spectra shield is not water soluble and is difficult to remove. Be Careful to minimize amount of sealer that hits deck, glass or other surfaces.
Spot Treatment Follow-up Care
Any area of rail missed will begin to show rust a few weeks after treatment (usually due to either: Not dry enough prior to sealer application or not sealed) Re-treat that small specific area using procedure above adapted for smaller scale, but do not change any of the steps.
Thorough cleaning of specific spot using 77+ spray; keep area wet with 77+ for 30 minutes.
Area must be very dry before final step; for small areas a heat gun is an ideal solution. Areas needs to heated to the point that the metal is warm to hot resulting in evaporation of water in crevices, seams and pits.
Final step is an application of SPECTRA SHIELD. Apply SPECTRA SHIELD generously to surface (surface to be very wet but doesn't need to be dripping) After 10 minutes wipe area with dry cotton cloth.
Floor Drain Covers Etc
These small removable items (floor drain grates, some escutcheons, & some compression anchor parts) can be treated by removing them. We recommend acquiring spares to allow removal and treatment. Remove small item and follow a variation of application procedure from above.
Soak in 77+ in a bucket or other plastic container. The plastic container must be free of any contaminants or residue of any sort.
Heavy Corrosion may require a stainless steel brush & or green scotchbrite. Scrub with scotchbrite as required to remove all corrosion.
Rinse very thoroughly.
Allow to air dry 24 hours or more. Ideally off pool deck, Ideally in a warm environment; and/or apply heat with heat gun as required to ensure all pits and crevices are DRY.
Soak in SPECTRA SHIELD in a bucket for 10 minutes. Remove from bucket & dry off excess sealer with dry cotton cloth.
Anchors imbedded in cement
Anchors in cement where rust is appearing need to be treated in place. (Stanchion post anchors & some compression anchors).
Remove post or grab bar if the is one, so anchor is empty.
Remove lids to anchor if present.
Clean with 77+ using a scotchbrite pad to agitate. Coarseness of scotchbrite pad should match amount of corrosion. Some heavy corrosion may require a stainless steel brush & or green scotchbrite. Scrub with scotchbrite as required removing all corrosion.
Rinse very thoroughly.
Dry inside and out the entire anchor with a clean cotton towel to remove excess water. Treat anchor with heat gun both at the flange at deck surface and the interior of anchor. The goal is to get enough heat onto metal that it's fairly hot to touch and all water in pores and seams evaporates both on top and inside.
Final step is an application of SPECTRA SHIELD. Apply SPECTRA SHIELD generously to surface (surface to be very wet but not dripping) After 10 minutes wipe area with dry cotton cloth.
Wall plates, door hardware, fountains and
other miscellaneous stainless
These pieces use the same procedure as SPOT cleaning as outlined above. However where you cannot hose a piece of equipment, use multiple wet rags to wipe off passivation materials prior to drying and treating with SPECTRA SHIELD.
Thorough cleaning using 77+ Spray; keep area wet with 77+ for 30 minutes.
Remove 77+ with wet clothes/sponges
Area must be VERY DRY before final step; for small areas heat gun is ideal solution or long period of air dry (24 hours +)
Final step is an application of SPECTRA SHIELD to seal surface, seams & crevices. Apply SPECTRA SHIELD generously to surface. (surface to be very wet but not dripping) After 10 minutes wipe area dry with a clean dry cotton cloth.