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What causes red rot in brass


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638skibum
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:17 pm    Post subject: What causes red rot in brass Reply with quote

I like to play & collect vintage trumpets. Can anyone tell me what causes "red rot" in brass & how to avoid it?
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Irving
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basically, not keeping the instrument clean and dry can cause red rot. If you want to prevent it, swab the lead pipe and tuning crook out after every playing session.
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trpt.hick
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bacteria
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ghelbig
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:59 pm    Post subject: Re: What causes red rot in brass Reply with quote

638skibum wrote:
Can anyone tell me what causes "red rot" in brass & how to avoid it?

Red rot is the de-zincification of brass.

Zinc is highly soluble in hydrochloric acid. Human spit is (very) weak hydrochloric acid.

Spitting into the horn is what causes red-rot.

The only way to avoid it is to keep the inside of the horn clean and dry. (Just like Irving said.)

The reason it shows up so often in older horns is that so many of them were played hard and put away wet.

Gary.
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mm55
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The principle cause of dezincification of brass is contact with water containing dissolved oxygen, chloride ions, sulfur, or CO2. Strongly acidic water can promote dezincification if it has a very low mineral and salt content.

Although there is some evidence that microbes can contribute to some kinds of corrosion, I don't know of any credible evidence that dezincification can be caused by bacteria.
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Bluesy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never put the horn away with the tuning crook inserted. And there's no reason to seal up the horn in a case that's zipped up or snapped closed if it's in your practice room.
Also, this gives you a chance to blow some lead pipe tones before you start the next day without having to remove the tuning crook.
It's what I've always done, anyway.
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Matthew Anklan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mm55 wrote:
The principle cause of dezincification of brass is contact with water containing dissolved oxygen, chloride ions, sulfur, or CO2. Strongly acidic water can promote dezincification if it has a very low mineral and salt content.

Although there is some evidence that microbes can contribute to some kinds of corrosion, I don't know of any credible evidence that dezincification can be caused by bacteria.


+1.
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trpt.hick
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I stand corrected.
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheap alcohol... I've never had a problem with it in any of my horns and I do very little to them before putting them back in the case on a daily basis.
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Irving
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not everybody is prone to getting red rot. It depends one one's chemistry. Personally, I have rotted out Bach pipes in a very short time when I was young. People's chemistry can change over time as well, or it can change because of taking medications. If you know that you are prone to getting red rot, then you need to prevent it. If you have never gotten it, then you don't need to be concerned about swabbing out the lead pipe and tuning crook constantly. Cleaning your horn once in a while is never a bad idea regardless.

I bought a Mt. Vernon Bach trumpet in a pawn shop a long time ago. This horn had been put away wet, and all valves and slides were seized up. Everything was green on the horn, and it smelled horribly. There was some pitting on the valve casing but not too bad. Anyway, I had the horn professionally cleaned, and there wasn't a speck of red rot anywhere, even though I thought it would have certainly had some. The opposite can also be true ( a shiny looking horn can have rot), so when looking at a used horn, look for bubbles on a silver plated lead pipe, or brown spots on a lacquered horn. Then pull out the tuning crook and look down it. If there are craters, then that is red rot. You can also used a BRASS wire brush to get any scale off of the inside of the lead pipe. If there are still craters, then that is where the red rot is occurring. Don't use a steel wire brush because you will damage the lead pipe.
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hose
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dezincification is the most common cause. It can happen in the manufacturing process or other cleaning process where acid tanks are used to clean. Left in the tank too long bleaches out the zinc, hence red rot.
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Bluesy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Red rot' is caused by electrolytic corrosion. El. corr. needs an acid or alkaline solution and the presence of metals. A local electrical field is set up in this electrolyte solution, and whichever metal is more active as an anode will lose electrons and be dissolved while the metal that is more cathodic is not.
With brass, since zinc is more anodic, it loses electrons to the copper and is dissolved, leaving only the copper.
In the case of trumpet lead pipes, depending on the acidity (or alkalinity) of the player's saliva there will be more or less (or none) 'red rot', localized to small electrolytic fields.
From my years in the yacht business, I unfortunately have had much experience with this phenomenon.
www.cherubiniyachts.com
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Last edited by Bluesy on Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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638skibum
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:12 am    Post subject: Red rot Reply with quote

Wow!!!! There are some really knowledgeable horn men in here! thanks guys for all the explanations. Larry
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aed6
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coat the leadpipe with valve oil after playing to protect the horn while it sits to slow damage.
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heim0087
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any truth to the suggestion to brush your teeth before playing, especially after eating? I know this is an issue with WW players, but not sure about brass.
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jazztrumpetbill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not exactly on topic but I have a relatively new lacquered horn that has a couple of spots on the outside surface of the main tuning slide. Any idea how to remove these spots? Could it be red rot on the outside of the horn?
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AusTrumpet
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good old wet
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heim0087 wrote:
Is there any truth to the suggestion to brush your teeth before playing, especially after eating? I know this is an issue with WW players, but not sure about brass.


I never blow a horn w/o brushing my teeth first.
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Red rot Reply with quote

638skibum wrote:
Wow!!!! There are some really knowledgeable horn men in here! thanks guys for all the explanations. Larry


A lot of very knowledgeable ski bums on here too! How many days did you get in this season?

The best leadpipe swab made is hand crafted by a TH member. I follow that up with blow dry brass, and then a strip of micro fiber cleaning cloth on a gun cleaning tool up the bell. Putting a clean dry horn away is the perfect time for Schilke's suggestion of valve oil down the leadpipe.
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mcgovnor
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:12 pm    Post subject: spit Reply with quote

spit and the composition there of.
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