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List of Zinc Pest / Zinc Rot affected japanese model trains

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I haven't investigated in great detail but I got the impression it's more wishful thinking than a cure for this kind of thing.


Anyway the chassis pictured has already been disposed of in several dozen parts in a little baggie as even as an inveterate hoarder of parts I could see no possible use for crumbly bits of metal.

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Yeah, I think your options for preventing this are slim. If it was in contact with water I’d suggest attaching a lump of magnesium to act as a sacrificial anode, and if it wasn’t in contact with plastic then perhaps coating it in oil, grease or paint would help. But these are just crazy materials science suggestions, and have no grounding in model trainology 

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Lots of lore but I couldn’t find much of folks posting actual experiences trying this. Also is never going to be a fix as it only reverses the oxidation and damage done is not repaired and the lead can oxidize again and re-expand if water gets in (easier now with cracks).


in thinking on this some there may be ways to try to slow more damage once you find it starting, a quick pickle may reduce some of the accessible the lead oxide back to lead and thus relieve some of the internal metal stresses in cracks that have started. Again you would need to really dry the piece out super well after pickling and washing throughly, like in an oven for a while. Then maybe flood the cracks with thin cyanoacrylate glue to fill and stabilize the cracks. Only issue is if it’s dryed out well it may take a long time to completely cure as CA curing is facilitated with water. Then dry well seal the whole piece in a lacquer or epoxy (not water!) based paint to prevent more moisture getting in. 


This is just best guesses based based on the chemistry going on, but might be worth a try if you find you have a problem. From what I’ve seen though usually the time folks notice a problem the metal crystal structure has been weakened enough that it’s like railsquids it just crumbles.


its a bit of a death spiral as as soon as the rot starts to crack things it’s going to make a lot more paths for more water to get in and accelerate the rot.


prentive measures like sealing with paint and keeping low humidities is best you can probably do. Any suspect trains just put the box inna big ziplock and add some desiccant pellets. If there is an extra car slot then put the pellets in a bit of cloth and stuff into the open car slot and keep the case in a sealed bag. It’s the 99% of the time sitting in the box stored when it will be corroding so this should help a lot if it is an issue to prevent it. 



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