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Raiyuki

Chainmail in the Rain

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So I'm still pretty new to chainmail but I have a project idea in mind that I need a little help with. I can't really say what it will be yet, but hopefully I won't need to.

 

The project is a gift for some friends of mine at a local Buddhist temple but it will most likely be put outside. While I could probably suggest to them to leave it inside the temple itself, if I can make it rust proof against the rain then thats what I really want to do. Problem is, it needs colored rings. For most of the projects I've made so far, I've just used anodized aluminum rings and scales, but I don't know how well they deal with rust, or any water damage at all for that matter. Sorry if these are things I should know, but I just learn stuff slowly as I go. The main colors I will need are blue, pink, green, and brown, though green and brown are more important. I've had other craft friends suggest things like spraypainting rings I already have and stuff like that, but none of them actually work with chainmail so I think I'd rather get advice here, just in case. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks everyone

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Anodized aluminium should be fine in the rain.

 

Red rust is iron based, and aluminium does not contain iron. That is only found in steel (be it stainless or mild steel). Aluminium does oxydize, but the oxide is passive and seals the metal from oxygen, preventing further oxidation.

 

Fun fact: the coloured layer on anodized aluminium is oxide, coloured with a dye.

 

I would be concerned about the colours fading over time, though. Daylight can cause some dyes to break down.

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AA and BA doesn't really rust from what I've seen. I have a permanently attached bracelet made from AA and BA that's been on my wrist for a while with almost no signs of the metal's state declining. It's been exposed to swimming pools, bath tubs, dish water and motor oil without showing any hints of rust, odor and not even that much wear off of color from the blue rings of the AA. Of course this is on a jewelry item (picked aluminum because, if it DOES snag on something I know I can pull hard enough to break it free) which is cleaned regularly even while on my wrist but it's the best example I can give of how aluminum holds up to moisture and a few other bits of mean treatment.

 

Edited to add: Though, as mentioned above, the sunlight may fade the colors. I have not personally experimented with that but, I have no doubt it could as UV light will fade about anything over time.

Edited by Blind Maille

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Direct sunlight will fade anodized colors over time, normal use outside is usually ok though, but take care if you have them sitting out on a table in the sun for many days...and some colors fade more then others. the shiny AA seems to be the most fade resistant, scales for the some reason the large red seem to be more susceptible then the other colors or the small ones.

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Depending on the scale of your project it may work to use metals that would react with the elemental exposure.

steel rusts, aluminum oxides, copper patinas, brass/bronze can make for a very dramatic piece that changes over time.

In outdoor instalations I find the dynamic nature of the materials very striking.

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Oh...! I'm seeing sort of a mandala inlay made with mixed metals, left to exposure so it develops rust and/or patina(s)...would be pretty sweet. It wouldn't quite capture the same transience of a sand mandala--but the changing look would still sort of attest to it's impermanence...

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Dusken: How much did you have to drink before posting that buddy? Or were you trying to make all of us wonder about you?

It was just total luck that the player still worked after being soaked like that. I just like seeing the look on people's faces when I say that.

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It was just total luck that the player still worked after being soaked like that. I just like seeing the look on people's faces when I say that.

Well you most certainly got a "What, huh?" expression from me for it XD

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Maille is waterproof. I know this for a fact. I once made a cover for my mp3 player. Washed  and dried it through a full laundry cycle. The player still worked.

? LOL

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Was actually coming on to ask a question along these lines! Definitely convenient that. heh

 

I'm more looking at the fading aspect of things, though. We have a little flag/banner thing in our yard that has seen better days. I was thinking of replacing it with a chainmail inlay, but wasn't sure how it would hold up to the sun. Not something I really want to bring in all the time, so I'll have to keep this in mind. Doing for a little American Flag kind of thing, so there will be red and blue... guess I'll just see how they hold up? Has anyone actually gotten an idea how long the colors will hold out for? 6 months? A year? Less? More? (was also thinking of making the same for my Mom and step-Dad as they bought us the one I'm looking to replace, but... if it's not going to last very long it doesn't make sense).

 

Edit: Oh, and Madd... you now have me wondering about that... and thinking I might be ordering some other rings to play with. Could use something to hang on the big brick expanse that is the front of our house. No windows, just lots of plain brick....

Edited by Katlee

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I have some pieces I wore in the sun constantly (being a professional lifeguard for 12 years), and I experienced the color scraping off slowly over time more than fading from sunlight. and to be honest, that "time wore look" is awesome. I know it's from scraping cause I have one piece that is Euro 4-1, and it hardly lost color, but my Full Persian item "aged" significantly. they both spent the same amount of time in the sun (one item held the whistle, the other acted as a sun glass holder.)

 

Funny side note: do not drop your AA items in hydrochloric (muriatic) acid. they never fully recover....... :(

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I've had more issues with AA wearing than with fading, and BA goes cloudy after a while for me (probably in the presence of salt). Is the temple close to the sea? Reminds me I should leave some AA chain out in the sun & rain for a few weeks & compare with control.

Titanium won't fade with UV & is hard wearing & comes in the colours you want albeit muted. But it's hella expensive, so. (Apparently a new process for refining Ti could see it become a lot cheaper in future.)

Good luck, sounds like a great project!

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 (Apparently a new process for refining Ti could see it become a lot cheaper in future.)

 

Don't be a tease, tell us more!

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Uhhhhm, can't remember where I read that, to Wikipedia! Ah. It doesn't say how much cheaper, or when, or how probable, but replacing aluminium?

 

A more recently developed method, the FFC Cambridge process, may eventually replace the Kroll process. This method uses titanium dioxide powder (which is a refined form of rutile) as feedstock to make the end product which is either a powder or sponge. If mixed oxide powders are used, the product is an alloy manufactured at a much lower cost than the conventional multi-step melting process. The FFC Cambridge process may render titanium a less rare and expensive material for the aerospace industry and the luxury goods market, and could be seen in many products currently manufactured using aluminium and specialist grades of steel.

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That was an interesting read, thanks. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for this, in my experience processes that use really corrosive molten salts don't tend to be very practical, hopefully I'm wrong.

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