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Crystal texture on steel - WTF

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  • Crystal texture on steel - WTF

    I was treating rust on some hand tools with a 85% pure food grade phosphoric acid. I re used the solution over and over again, and it eventually turned black. When I went to treat a rusted machete, and I found that salts formed on top of the steel. The salts were water soluble, after rising them off, I found that the steel had been completely corroded, leaving a crystal texture on the surface. I also accidentally got some of the solution on black clothing, which quickly bleached it, leaving red stains (household bleach leaves a more orange stain). Any idea of what happened? I've read online that hydrochloric acid can bleach black cloth red, but i'm not sure how I could have possibly generated that. The tools I had treated previously were primarily chrome plated sockets, and one large black oxide coated impact socket. Thanks.
    Last edited by burnettm; 07-31-2012, 04:00 PM.