After almost 3 years my palm rest is getting like this

jffluis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 28, 2012
145
25
Title

Happened to anyone too?

It seems like an aluminium corrosion.



 
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Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
465
It's hard to tell from the photographs. They look like they could be marks or scratch/gashes from anything. I have a four and a half year old aluminum unibody and it doesn't have anything similar just from normal use.
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,903
480
Some very acidic sweat can cause pitting on the palmrests. Could also be abrasion, you don't happen to wear watches or bracelets do you?
 

jffluis

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 28, 2012
145
25
I wear my watch on left hand and I use trackpad with my right hand.. I think it is from sweat. I work with this computer at least 8 hours a day from Sept 2012 until today.
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
My 2012 MBP is doing the same thing in the same spot and also where my thumb rests on the lower part of the front edge.
 

shoehornhands

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2014
192
89
The exact same thing happened to my 2009 15" MacBook Pro. I don't wear a watch or any sort of bracelet so I always figured it's caused by my shirt sleeves constantly rubbing against it. With regular use, stuff like that is bound to happen eventually so I try not to worry about it too much. Although, if you usually end up selling your MacBook Pro to help finance a new one, it's probably not a bad idea to get a case to protect against the day-to-day wear and tear.
 

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2013
1,210
9
Exact same thing on my 2012. It's from my hand, 100%. I always use my right hand and it shows.

Started about a year in.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,381
Boston
I see a little of that on old laptop. I chalk it up to just wear and tear.
 
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newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,298
2,305
East of Eden
There was a thread on exactly this issue roughly six months ago. Sounds odd, but one of the posts correlated mercury in fish (in his diet) to this issue.
 

soupcan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2014
732
2,926
Netherlands
My old MacBook Air had this. It's the fluids of your hands and fingers eating away at the anodized aluminium. A good cleaning of the palm rest and the aluminium around the keyboard once in a while prevents this.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
He had an interesting explanation and IIRC there is a mercury interaction with aluminum. It's at least as plausible as, for example, a high-salt diet resulting in salty sweat.
After a quick look at aluminium and mercury salts reactions it is possible, and it was believed that mercury was used to sabotage aircraft in WW2. Certainly could be an issue especially if there is mercury chloride salts formed in the body. Learnt something new today.

If my mercury levels were high enough to damage my laptop with sweat though, I'd be looking at ways to lower my intake. It is very poisonous and makes you mentally unstable, it also has a very long half life in the body and takes months to clear from your system.
 

JHUFrank

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
645
54
Of COURSE you are NOT mentally unstable!!!:confused::eek:;)

After a quick look at aluminium and mercury salts reactions it is possible, and it was believed that mercury was used to sabotage aircraft in WW2. Certainly could be an issue especially if there is mercury chloride salts formed in the body. Learnt something new today.

If my mercury levels were high enough to damage my laptop with sweat though, I'd be looking at ways to lower my intake. It is very poisonous and makes you mentally unstable, it also has a very long half life in the body and takes months to clear from your system.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,298
2,305
East of Eden
Does anyone know whether the aluminum cases are "raw" aluminum or whether it's anodized?

Anodized aluminum is pretty resistant to wear and tear (including sodium and mercury salts). I would have thought this sort of damage, which doesn't seem to be unusual, would be unlikely with anodized aluminum, though my recollection of the pictures from the other thread is that the problem was also on the edge, so perhaps the anodizing has worn thin or away there.

I'll see if I can dig up the other thread.
 

cambookpro

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2010
6,402
1,840
United Kingdom
No idea why it happens (some have speculated pH of sweat?), but yes, it happens on a lot of MBPs.

Mine looks sort of OK after four and a bit years (I have a few marks, but nothing major), but my brother's 2011 MBP is absolutely awful:



Has he poured sulphuric acid onto it or something?!
 

MacInTO

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2005
1,149
180
Canada, eh!
I've heard and read that if you come into contact with certain things things like hair bleach, acne medication it is absorbed into your body and then when you sweat it comes out.
 

happyfrappy

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2007
343
49
Location eh?
There isn't much you can do unless you put a vinyl skin along the wrist/edge area and use a hardshell case. When you're sweating it would be a good idea to clean it as moisture and body oil/salt will slowly wear down/corrode metal. Apple's notebooks aren't the only one, HP wraps/stamps aluminum around plastic shells of several models and their notebooks developed corrosion from ownership too.

Its all about anything interacting with a persons body PH, it can be genetics of a more acidic sweat, medications, diet, salt intake, etc. For example if you eat tomato sauce and certain combos of curry an average persons' body will have a PH spike ~3-6 hrs... if you want to lower the acidic levels, add sliced/chopped carrots or potato in pasta sauce & curry dishes.

As far as my Macs, owned two PowerBook G4s without any corrosion spots and the only damage I ever got was in my mid-undergrad life of a light scratch on my 12" PB. My 2010 13" MBP still looks great for its age, no corrosion or scratches but I put a Speck case onto it to avoid losing the bottom feet--my 12" PB G4 lost two feet, thankfully back then Apple replaced them at no cost but unibody Macs it requires a new bottom case.