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Corroding nickel parts on instruments?

Black belt caterpillar wrestler 28 Nov 18 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,ripov 28 Nov 18 - 07:00 PM
Jack Campin 29 Nov 18 - 01:51 AM
BobL 29 Nov 18 - 03:52 AM
Jack Campin 29 Nov 18 - 07:54 AM
Mr Red 30 Nov 18 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Jerry 02 Dec 18 - 02:52 AM
Jack Campin 02 Dec 18 - 05:55 AM
CupOfTea 04 Dec 18 - 12:03 AM
leeneia 05 Dec 18 - 01:06 AM
Jack Campin 05 Dec 18 - 03:55 AM
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Subject: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 28 Nov 18 - 12:27 PM

I had an eye test today and the optician happened to examine my metal framed glasses. He said that he suspected that I had a nickel allergy as the nickel parts of the frames had green corrosion on them.
I told him that I had the same problem on the exposed nickel parts of my concertina ends, at which he declared that it looked highly likely then.
I had not heard of this before. It seems that some people react and their sweat then reacts with the metal.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 28 Nov 18 - 07:00 PM

Green coating on nickel may be nickel oxide (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel(II)_oxide) but in view of the 400C temperature needed to produce it this seems unlikely. More probably the metal parts of spectacles and concertina are nickel plated brass, and the plating has worn through exposing the underlying metal, which soon discolours.
The particles of nickel which have worn off may possibly become embedded in the skin and cause an allergic reaction (my suggestion, not researched).
I have seen green coatings on (eg) plated violin string adjusters, but this usually can be cleaned off easily, suggesting it is a surface coating of body fat (or motor oil if you do your own maintenance - you can't get it all off without a fortnight away from it!) somehow discoloured by a simlar reaction
Chromium, an alternative plating, can certainly cause skin problems; although this metal usually delaminates and comes off in small patches (see old motorcycle brake levers etc).


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Nov 18 - 01:51 AM

Nickel allergy is extremely common. I've got it. It always worsens with time and exposure. Untreatable except by avoiding contact.

I'm okay with the keys on my tarogato, clarinets and flutes, but the house keys in my pocket produce a raw bleeding patch on my thigh unless I keep them in a leather pouch. My brother has it much worse than me - his whole face swells up from contact with dental instruments.


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: BobL
Date: 29 Nov 18 - 03:52 AM

Jack, that must be dreadful. Do coins trigger a reaction, or stainless steel?


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Nov 18 - 07:54 AM

Coins probably would if I carried them loose - I use a folding pouch instead. British low-value "silver" coins are now allergenic nickel alloy - the government was warned about the problem when they introduced them a few years ago, and as usual ignored the advice. Euro coins and old British ones don't seem to be a problem: the Swedish government apparently made a delberate decision to make their coinage hypoallergenic, but I've never handled Swedish money.

Bimetallic coins like the £1 and £2 worsen the problem - in a damp pocket they can form an electrochemical circuit and release nickel that would normally be bound in the alloys.


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Nov 18 - 03:52 PM

Well!.
I have had, on occasions, reactions with my watch. One must assume there is nickle plating and when something else is involved, like maybe diet or soil (who knows), it irritates. Now I know I can deal with it. Only experienced in the last 10 years, and it is occasional. The watch strap is deliberately loose, which seems to help when the itching starts.


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 02:52 AM

I have to say I was unaware if this rather debilitating complaint, but is it also a problem playing nickel as opposed to brass/bronze strings?


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 05:55 AM

Maybe for some people. Quite likely all string windings contain nickel, no matter what the alloy is named, the plating wears off, and fingers get sweaty. But I haven't had a problem, even though other things can set off dermatitis in my fingertips.


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 04 Dec 18 - 12:03 AM

Developed a chrome-nickel allergy first set off by sweating in chrome-tanned leather clogs (the method used in most commercial leather) Iched like I'd been tromping barefoot in the poison ivy. Next problem was my leather concertina straps and insane itching. I have had to slipcover them in fake leather like fabric.

I never thought about metal ends and buttons on concertinas being a problem, but it will certainly now change the direction of my instrument lust for something nicer than the Stagi I have with well worn delrin buttons!

Never touch my Autoharp strings without fingerpicks- but this is useful information to ponder re: instrument choices.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Dec 18 - 01:06 AM

How about washing the metal parts, letting them dry, then coating with clear nail polish or clear varnish from the wood shop? Worth a try.


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Subject: RE: Corroding nickel parts on instruments?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Dec 18 - 03:55 AM

I haven't yet found instrument keys to be an issue, either the plating on my Ramazan Kor clarinet (about as hard and inert as diamond) or the bare German silver on my old woodwinds (which tarnish visibly very fast). If it came up I might try the varnish idea.

Just occurred to me, an instrument where it might be more of an issue is the moothie, where not only is it in wet contact with your mouth, there is an opportunity for electrochemical circuits if you have dental fillings. This is apparently the reason some people have issues with lip or tongue piercings - worst case, the fillings fall out and you get mercury poisoning. You always wanted an excuse to have a gold moothie, didn't you?


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