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Just another modeller
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9,967 Posts
*** If you clean with a coarse abrasive, this will scratch rail and therefore increase the surface area that will oxidise - and the oxides will accumulate in the scratches too.

The black gunge is more than 90+ percent copper oxide which is an insulator par excellence. I already added a readout from a spectrum analyser analysis of that gunge somewhere on MRF I think.

Nickel silver really is a rotten choice for rail material - the Mfrs really need to re-think it, or at least use a grade with far more nickel content and less copper!!

Re track rubbers - Erkut, all the trainset brands are ALL far too coarse. You really need to find the finer grade ones designed for PCB preparation... if you use them at all.

I go along with Jim S W ... use a metal polish and don't abrade the rail - even better, change to steel rail and a more realistic look, far less oxidisation and better pulling power from your loco's too :) :)

Richard
 

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Just another modeller
Joined
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9,967 Posts
***Brasso is a super fine abrasive in a carrier liquid - it has no "polish" in it, all the shine is because the smoothness of the clean metal reflects light well. There may well be a chemical inhibitor in it too, to delay further oxidisation, but I am not sure.

This use of super fine abrasives to polish ges back many many years, on anything from furniture to armour and decorations and still works well because any smooth surface stays cleaner as it does not encourage added oxides/grab and hold dirt.

Brass, and any metal polish that is similar, is applied wet, dries on the metal as it is rubbed into it firmly then removed totally when rubbing is done... It is a true pain to do but it does work well.

I often do exactly the same sort of thing to loco wheel treads and pickup areas using a really good quality material designed for very high level audio connector use. It makes a BIG difference.

Your part of the world has a fine tradition in working silver, copper, brass, gold etc - find out what they used (the older more traditional craftsmen) to polish their work, and I'd bet the same stuff will work well on your track!

Richard
 
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