MacBook Pro Rust

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by OMAN9520, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. OMAN9520 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2008
    My house is right on the Ocean so many of our appliances, bikes, etc. feel the wrath of the salty air. Do you think i will have this problem with the macbook pro's outside and inside components?
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
  3. MacFever macrumors regular


    Feb 1, 2007
    I too live near the sea and lost a few desktops to salt air corroding components.

    Laptops will last longer before corrosion sets in since they are more closed up and usually in your bag.

    I know some people who spray the motherboard with a crc 70 (not sure if it's plasticote) coating for protection and that tends to extend the life.. but it's a tricky

    But it's gonna happen inevitably.

    The fans tend to generate alot of moisture on the metals too from the surrounding air.
  4. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Aluminum doesn't rust. However, there are all sorts of other metals on the inside that can.
  5. Bury macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    All metal rust, it just takes a really loooooong time for aluminium, as long as you keep it in an environment with ph 4-9...
  6. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Surely you mean "all metals corrode" or something, since it's not really all that possible for Aluminum to form Iron Oxide, to my knowledge.

    Also, on the topic of rust - I live on a Sailboat right next to the ocean and even my eyeballs feel like they're corroding.

    My last macbook suffered an early demise, but not due to the salt ( i don't think). I've been in and out of that thing several times, and I did notice some corrosion building up on the frame down by the battery tray, but I'm pretty sure salt water made it inside there.

    My new macbook pro is tip top. Lots of my USB connectors and other connectors are rusting, but a thin layer of oil or wax prevents it. Wiping on WD40 might even do so. There are some comercial products specially made to keep things from rusting.

    (PS: Oil can be electrically conductive over short distances, so if you oil your magsafe, do so carefully)
  7. Fezzasus macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    aluminium is actually fairly reactive. As soon as it's exposed to oxygen, the surface of the aluminium is oxidised to aluminium oxide, unlike rust (iron oxide) the aluminium oxide doesn't delaminate so actually served to protect the case from futher oxidation.

    So, you don't need to worry about the case. Just the ferrous metals that make up components such as the latch and hard drive cover - in other words, non-vital components.
  8. Fezzasus macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    no. see my post above.
  9. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007

    Aluminum absolutely corrodes. You said so yourself " oxidised...". However, it does so very slowly for the reason you mention. In addition, the corrosion is typically very close in color to non-corroded Aluminum. These two facts lead to it appearing as though it doesn't corrode.

    Of much more concern than the case however, is the electronics inside. With fans blowing air heavy with salt across components there can be a serious issue.

    For some time, I ran a large saltwater coral growout facility in a small room and I ran a computer in the room as well. I can tell you that in that environment EVERYTHING corrodes, even aluminum.
  10. Fezzasus macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    Well done, you have managed to regurgitate everything I just said. With regards to appearing not to corrode, we are talking about the lifespan of a laptop, even in the hardest environments you will not see any corrosion.

    Given that the PCBs in the laptop will be coated in a non-conductive coating, there is very little damage that can be done, combined that with the fact that copper and lead (or silver if they are using lead free solder) is very inert IF the coating is penetrated.
  11. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    Thanks for the condescending response. :cool:

    But I assure you that the electronics certainly can have problems in a high humidity environment with salt. I've seen it with my own eyes. I can even take some pictures, I've still got some of the equipment around I believe.

    The real problem is that there isn't a solution other than perhaps a de-humidifier.
  12. tuneman07 macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    IIRC from cleaning aluminum truck wheels- aluminum actually corrodes nearly instantly unless it has a coating on it. The corrosion however is more of a coating (like the green stuff on copper pennies). I don't think the actual aluminum is corroding its just creating a layer on top. Anyway the point is the MBA certainly has a coating on the aluminum that keeps it from creating this layer otherwise they would look like they had been sanded with large grit paper nearly instantly.
  13. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Sillica gel sachets. If you're not using it all the time, you might want to invest in a zip lock plastic wallet to keep it in with some silica inside. Knowing that it's always going ot be a little humid in yacht conditions, this is probably a good precaustion (the operable condition rangess in terms of humidity is not to 100% afaik).
  14. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    You just described corrosion. That "thin layer on top" you describe is Aluminum oxide (corrosion), which does reduce corrosion below that layer. The same is true on iron as well, it just doesn't slow the process as well - and it's not the same color so it's very noticable. Because it's nearly the same color on aluminum it "seems" like it's not corrosion, but it is.

    One of the best ways to prevent corrosion on any metal including iron is to clean any oils or other substances off with an acid scrub / wash. This allows the initial oxidation layer to create a better "seal" against further corrosion.

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