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Base Oxidation??

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
I hot-wax after at least every two or three days of skiing, and every spring before I storing my gear. But I'm curious and have never fully understood what precisely is the disadvantage of your Bases drying out or oxidizing. When techies advise waxing before storing your skiis, what's the downside if you don't and if the bases dry-out, who cares if they turn a little grey? The ski bases won't crack open, or will they? Why not just wax in the fall before your first day out?
post #2 of 49
I only take care of my skis during the season because I like the way they feel when sharp and well waxed.
Oh all right, I also like the tuning process. The shop, the tools,, the sound of metal cutting metal, scraping thumbnails on sharp edges, the smell of hot wax, wiping wax curls off the scraper. It's a guy thing.

I spent a couple hours on monday night doing two pairs of skis. At the end, I had to reflect Why? The seasons almost over, rocks and thin cover are assured. It's the process.

As far as summer storage, I wax em' up cause I read somewhere that it was the thing to do. One year I didn't and the edges got rusty That made me disappointed.

Why don't you do nothing and let us know how it works out? It's likely nothing a base grind wouldn't fix.

CalG
post #3 of 49
I can't say whether or not the bases can oxidize without knowing the composition. The edges will oxidize, however, and you can prevent this by applying a light coat of wax or a lubricant (e.g., WD-40).

During long-term storage your skis will likely experience changes in humidity which will result in moisture entering the bases at times, but also drying at other times. These moist/dry cycles may not hurt your skis, but it certainly will not benefit them.

Who knows, perhaps a fresh wax coating over the summer might also repel termites, woodpeckers, barn swallows, etc...
post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I always wax and sharpen etc. Tuned skiis are a lot easier to ski. I wax before storage because I was told that was the thing to do to protect your skiis and the bases. But I never exactly understood what disatorous consequence "drying out the bases", or "allowing them to oxidize" would really do. I thought someone else might know.
post #5 of 49
Advantage of a wax before storage is in the fall/winter when that first snow hits all you have to do is pull them out and scrape or just hit the snow and let the skiing take off the excess. no need to try and figure out where all the tools are. [img]smile.gif[/img]

You never know when Ma Nature will grace us with an early snow storm!
post #6 of 49
The main reason to keep bases from drying out or oxidizing is that this directly affects the pourisity(sp?) of the bases - which affects how well the bases will accept new wax product.

Basically if your bases are dry and oxidized the cell structure closes up and it will less readily accept new wax.

Keeping your bases fresh will allow you to always refresh your wax supply in the actual base substructure, not just on the surface.

Cheers,
Jeff
post #7 of 49
quick point...

WD-40 is NOT a lubricant. It's a solvent. Many people mistakenly believe it's a lubricant.

The name WD-40 comes from two things. "WD" comes from the intended use, water dispersal. The "40" comes from the fact that its creator found the successful formula on its 40th iteration.

A mild coating of petroleum jelly would be much friendlier to your edges.
post #8 of 49
Would using WD-40 on the edges tend to dissolve the base material that comes into contact with it? Just curious.

Regarding rusty edges, I once purchased a pair of used skis that had very rusty edges. Once fully tuned, they looked brand new.

If prevention is the reason for post season waxing, then wouldn't rubbing a stick of paraffin or any sort of ski wax on the edges and bases would do the trick?

But we have yet to hear from those in the manufacturing end of it, such as BetaRacer etc. How about it? Will base material oxidize if left unwaxed over the summer? and if so, what's the negative result, if any?
post #9 of 49
You're right about WD-40, Gonzo.

I will sometimes use it as a lube in a pinch and that's why I sometimes forget.

I used to live in San Diego where WD-40 was invented; I've heard the history of that stuff ad nauseum(?).

Hey, I'm reminded now. Do you still want info on Taco mods?
post #10 of 49
I know we have a PhysicsMan, but I don't think a ChemistryMan... Anyway, a base is essentially plastic/graphite. I agree that it is important to heep those micropores filled with wax, and that doing so probably also allows some level of wax secretion while skiing. Not hot waxing might allow those pores to close, and lead to a slower base. I don't agree with the drying out idea, however. Plastic that is capable of drying would be very unstable, and probably very soft. Look at car vinyl or even rollerblade wheels: they are much softer than P-Tex, but do not dry out. I think that what is perceived as drying is actually the result of snow abrasion, which raises very fine P-Tex fibers, creating the whitening effect. Wax offers protection from that.
post #11 of 49
Not being a chemist, I can only ask: Inasmuch as WD-40 and petroleum jelly each are petroleum based or derived, would they not dissolve other petrleum based substances such as ski bases?
post #12 of 49
I am not a Chemistry Man so this may not be the correct answer, but my understanding is that plastic like metal rusts--that is it oxidizes when exposed to air. Waxing skis at the end of the season simply protects against oxidation. The alternative is to take down the oxidized or rusted base layer and rusty edges at the beginning of the next season which involves more work. Wax will evaporate with time which is why a heavy coat is better than simply rubbing wax on the base and edges of your skis.
post #13 of 49
I am not a Chemistry Man so this may not be the correct answer, but my understanding is that plastic like metal rusts--that is it oxidizes when exposed to air. Waxing skis at the end of the season simply protects against oxidation. The alternative is to take down the oxidized or rusted base layer and rusty edges at the beginning of the next season which involves more work. Wax will evaporate with time which is why a heavy coat is better than simply rubbing wax on the base and edges of your skis.
post #14 of 49
eh...

oxidizing plastic? nope. what people tend to call "oxidation" really is just the result of the partly detatched "threads" of plastic that resemble very fine hairs. these threads give a white appearance, which somebody somewhere sometime in the past mistakenly called "oxidation" - and the name just stuck.

steel oxidizes because of its chemical composition, due mainly to its metal salts.

I'm pretty sure that ski base plastics don't have metal salts.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 28, 2002 11:18 AM: Message edited 1 time, by gonzostrike ]</font>
post #15 of 49
Um, Gonzo,
If we take oxidation as being the reaction between a substance and oxygen to create an oxide of the original, then it is very possible for plastics to oxidise, this is similar to how some plastics are "bio-degradeable" they react with the air, and break down. So, unless ski bases are made from completely inert materials, then they could, theoretically, oxidise, although with the plastics used in bases, this may well take a long time, compared with ferrous metals.

Just my 2 cents (which were dropped in a glass of Coke, and came out clean, cause the acid in the Coke dissolved the oxide layer off the cents, and left the bare metal) [img]smile.gif[/img]


S
post #16 of 49
I know I am just a simple Mechanical engineer and all this physics and chemical stuff is way beyond me, so whats the best stuff to put on the edges of my beloved Volants so they don't rust over the summer, Vasoline, WD-40, nothing? Any advice would be appreciated.
post #17 of 49
I suspect, as does TJazz, that ski bases are made of relativelty inert materials, such that over a few years time there will be no apparent degradation, if any, as a result of storage (just keep away the nasty stuff like acids, bleach, etc.).

As Gonzo and I pointed out above, unless you know the chemical composition of something, you don't know how it's going to react with air. And that's just clean air. If you live in a smoggy environment, your skis (and lungs) will be exposed to ozone and other lovely airborne chemical reagents.

Oboe, good point re. petroleum-based lubes. Some products are more reactive than others (e.g., gasoline vs.vaseline). I don't know the answer with respect to this topic.
post #18 of 49
Waxing for storage is to seal the ski's base and edges. It is avisable that you hot wax with iron, and then scrape the wax right away while it is still runny. This cleans the base, getting rid of all the tree crap and chemicals resorts spread to preserve snow. Then re-hot wax , making sure you cover the egdes (base surface). If you rub wax onto the side edges before, it will melt into a fine layer to cover the side edge surface. If you spend the time to tune your skis before you put them away for the summer, you will have less work at the start of next winter. Just scrape the storage wax off and go skiing. Don't worry about what wax to use. Parafin is fine, and works well as a glide wax too. Try not to use a candle that has coloring. And do not use bee's wax or glyster (XC kick wax).
post #19 of 49
Thread Starter 
BetaRacer,

Thanks for the info. Why not Bees wax? Bye-the-way, I posted a messages a week or two ago regarding the Concavity of a new pair of Atomic Skiis. Is that designed in? How do you tune them in the future? Can you shed some light

Thanks
post #20 of 49
Tamski,

The skis bases are porus. Oxidation brakes down the base composition, but only slightly for short periods of time. Warmer,summer time temperatures speed up the process.Chances are you ski about 4 months a year. Our skis aren't being used for twice that time period. During the ski season we wax our skis to protect our bases from damage and to enhance our ability to glide and make turns.

In the 8 month off season, we need to protect our skis by closing the base pores, and can do so by sealing them with wax. We prevent edge oxidation [ rusting ] by covering them with wax, or using some fine lubricating fluid such as a sharpening stone oil.

I hope this helps.
post #21 of 49
Again, I would be wary of using ANY oil on the edges because I suspect it may do nasty things to the base. Since wax is readily available, including paraffin, why not use that?
post #22 of 49
Lets see if I can share soon light on this subject.
Firstly, When something oxidizes there is a irrevesible chemical change that results in a new compound being formed (ie. rust). The base bonds with a oxygen molecule and becomes an "oxide" (iron oxide). Nothing disappears, more mass is added to the object. In the case of our cars they rust out and fall apart. With ski bases they become "railed" when dry. So, an oxide is "not" formed.
When I do my final tune for the season, I'll wax clean or solvent base clean, file and stone the edges till they gleam. Then I'll crayon on the wax into the base AND on the edges. Then as the heat is applied the bases and edges will be sealed into a seamless coating.
As far as the white stuff, that is snow burn.
post #23 of 49
I'm a chemistry student (almost finished [img]smile.gif[/img]). As i understand it the bases are made of p-tex (extruded polyethylene) and in some cases a little graphithe. Now polyethylene is a very inert material. The oxygen in the air is definately not able to oxidize it. I worked with a polyethylen type material (polyvinylidenfluorid) which surface we modified to accept other polymeres (Development of an new type of contact, that you can keep on your eyes 24/7). One of the first steps was actually to activate the polymer to get it to react with oxygen. For this we used a high energy microwave plasma. This is definatly not something you find on a skihill [img]smile.gif[/img]. I think that due to the abrasion of the snow first the wax gets taken off and after that you get the little p-tex hairs on the base that scatter/reflect light diffently than a 'flat' base and therefore the base appears white. Then you know you have to hot wax [img]smile.gif[/img]. As to using solvents like wd-40 on your edges or your base. While polyethylene is relatively inert you can still solve it if the solvent is 'strong' enought. I have no idea about the 'strenght' of wd-40, but to solve polyethylene you would need a very strong solvent. These are mostly not available to the general public (You could do a good job with gasoline though [img]smile.gif[/img] ). After the solvent has evapourated you could very well find that the polyethylenechains have rearanged themselves and the pores (the ability of your base to accept wax) of the extruded polyethylene are gone. This can also happen to you if you use a too hot a waxing iron.
post #24 of 49
Ahh, now that's what I was looking for!

Thanks Crosscarver! Congrats on finishing up your degree. What's next, grad. school?

WD-40 is not a very strong solvent. I believe its primary use in industry is to clean circuits and is marketed to the public as something to remove rust from fasteners.


Since the bases are organic perhaps one would need something like cyclohexane or benzene to do real damage.

You'd be surprised at what I've seen on the ski hill!
post #25 of 49
Crosscarver, that's it exactly. It's empirical, as well as sensible.
post #26 of 49
yep, thanks Crosscarver. Very good discussion.

Zorro, your argument was correct on its theoretical basis, but inapplicable to the present and also partly incorrect on biodegradable plastics.

Of the biodegradable plastics with which I'm familiar, the degradation occurs thanks to UV-generated catalysis, not due to oxidation. Crosscarver, isn't that correct?
post #27 of 49
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BadRat:
Ahh, now that's what I was looking for!

Thanks Crosscarver! Congrats on finishing up your degree. What's next, grad. school?

WD-40 is not a very strong solvent. I believe its primary use in industry is to clean circuits and is marketed to the public as something to remove rust from fasteners.


Since the bases are organic perhaps one would need something like cyclohexane or benzene to do real damage.

You'd be surprised at what I've seen on the ski hill!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes i'm thinking about grad. school. And you are very right about cyclohexane and benzene (both components of gasoline i think [img]smile.gif[/img]). Friend of mine left some toluene (a solvent like benzene but with an extra methylgroup) in a polyethylene/polypropylene graduated flask under a hood in the laboratory. When he came back he only found a little clump of plastic [img]smile.gif[/img].
Maybe I should think about an graduation project that takes the high energy microwave plasma chamber to a skihill. Where I then could modify the p-tex-surface to make it glide faster (Would have to test the gliding characteristics of the modified bases very extensively ) . I am not so sure about the steel edges and microwave combo though [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #28 of 49
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gonzostrike:

Of the biodegradable plastics with which I'm familiar, the degradation occurs thanks to UV-generated catalysis, not due to oxidation. Crosscarver, isn't that correct?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That could very well be the case gonzo. UV-rays a known to split atom to atom bonds and can so degrade some plastics.
But I think that the definition of a biodegradeble plastic is such that it can be consumed by microorganisms (bacteria and such). If you trow you polyethylene gabagebag into a forest and come back after 1000 years it will still be there, no bacteria will eat it it's just not tasty enough. But if you make a plastic out of the starch in for example a potato. This will be gone in like a month or so.
Of course you can also degrade most plastics by oxidation. You would simply set fire to them [img]smile.gif[/img].

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 29, 2002 11:48 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Crosscarver ]</font>
post #29 of 49
Crosscarver,
Thanks for correcting me, as you can see, unlike my last girlfriend, I'm not right all the time!
It's been over 10 years since I last studied Chemistry, so that's my excuse.
As for benzene, I thought it was banned as an additive from gasoline (or is that just in Europe) because it is a carcinogen. It does occur naturally in crude oil, and is not removed from petrol, but no more is added.
Toluene is found in Tippex thinners etc, and can induce strange reactions in people, depending on how they interact with it. Sniffing it makes you high. Adding three Nitrogen atoms to it makes you dead!

S
post #30 of 49
I was waiting for someone to bring up UV radiation as a thing to protect bases from. I had been told years ago that UV will reduce a sintered base's porosity quickly enough to cause concern.

Do you think there's merit to that advice?
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