|Humidity is one of the
biggest problems for any meteorite containing iron. The
combination of moisture in the air and oxygen is the main factor in
There is no sure fire way to stop rusting, short of living in a
completely dry and arid area such as Arizona and Nevada. Barring that,
you will need to educate yourself and arm yourself with the proper
tools to keep your meteorites as stable as possible.
Years ago, a method called the Galvanic Treatment was used for the
control of rusting and metals. This method involved the use of aluminum
foil and soda ash. We have used this process on our solid iron
meteorites successfully, but it is not recommended for pallasite
The Galvanic Treatment induces chloride ions into
the meteorite, via the soda ash, which makes it unacceptable for
pallasite use. The Galvanic process does not seem to affect the iron
meteorites adversely, though and is quite good for that.
Reduction is used primarily for deep sea recovery of iron items that
have been underwater for hundreds of years. It has been tried and used
for meteorites in several studies and applications, with some success.
The process involves the use of a tank of specialized liquid, various
chemicals, and electricity to conduct the chemicals through the iron in
an effort to remove the corrosion, chlorides and sulfides
that are inside the meteorites which contribute to rusting.
This process takes a substantial amount of time, chemicals, education,
and Oxygen absorbers are another option for helping to control
oxidation and rusting problems. Storing your meteorites in riker boxes
with a layer of dessicant beads or packets will help. VCI sprays and
VCI foam pads are another product on the market but we have not heard
that they work for long.
With dessicant or any of these other
methods, they only work as long as they are changed very regulary so-
depending on the area in which you live in that could be monthly or
even more often.
are many different companies that make and manufacture dehumidifiers
for almost any size space. Many of these units are free standing and
use a colored strip to let you know that they need to be plugged in to
an outlet to dry them out again. After that you merely replace the
dehumidifier back into your display case.
Here is a link to a site which has many different types and styles:
Eva-Dry dehumidifiers (Click back to go back to KD Meteorites!)
your display case at an even temperature at all times. This should help
maintain a more even environment for your meteorites. Remember - before
that meteorite was recovered it was removed from a nice, stable home
underground, where it is basically mummified and protected. It is once
we unearth them that they get exposed to air and water, and begin
oxidation and erosion.
use a display case with a dehumidifier inside it, even living here in
Arizona. In fact, once we have completed a cutting and etching job for
ourselves, we usually store the slices, wether they are pallasite or
iron, in transmission fluid until we are ready to ship them. Our
personal collection is stored in a hexagone shaped lighted display case
we purchased from KC Store Fixtures. They offer a wide variety of styles and prices, from countertop to upright. (Click back to go back to KD Meteorites!)
are amazing and unique pieces of our history that have travelled a long
way to be here with us. Looking at it that way, it is really not such a
problem to take the time that is necessary to learn about proper care
and maintenance of them.
there is one thing that we would ask you to keep at the fore front of
your thoughts when it comes to meteorites, it is that humidity is
probably the worst problem you will have to deal with. We all want to
be able to keep our beautiful collections out in full view all the
time, but maybe you should consider storing your meteorites in ATF
(automatic transmission fluid) during the humid months in your area,
and putting them our for display the rest of the year. Otherwise,
please make sure to check your specimens weekly for any changes and do
what is needed to keep them looking great!