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Thread: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

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    Senior Member Hazza97's Avatar
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    Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    I've always known fertiliser is very corrosive and damaging to machinery weather it's liquid or granular but what is it that makes it so corrosive and why is it so quick to corrode? We were spreading N last thursday and friday and washed off the tractor and spreader on saturday afternoon and despite this short timescale all the galvanise is peeling and rough all on the top link and the various couplings, the tractor is less than a year old so it was quite a shock!

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    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    You want to try Fibrophos! Strips the paint off if left in the spreader.
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazza97 View Post
    I've always known fertiliser is very corrosive and damaging to machinery weather it's liquid or granular but what is it that makes it so corrosive and why is it so quick to corrode? We were spreading N last thursday and friday and washed off the tractor and spreader on saturday afternoon and despite this short timescale all the galvanise is peeling and rough all on the top link and the various couplings, the tractor is less than a year old so it was quite a shock!
    Firstly, it is acidic, second it actively attracts moisture to it to produce a concentrated solution and lastly, it is oxidising, meaning it is an oxygen donor.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Thank god we don't spread it all over the fields.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Thank god we don't spread it all over the fields.
    Yes it's nearly as bad that stuff that comes out the back end of farm animals, that's like toxic waste that is.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Isn't milk more toxic still?

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Isn't milk more toxic still?
    Ah but how corrosive is it?

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    See how corrosive seawater is, it is a sodium chloride solution and we eat sodium chloride!!!.

    penntor

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    Senior Member wr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    And the red stuff which flows through our veins will take paint off.
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by wr. View Post
    And the red stuff which flows through our veins will take paint off.
    Does this mean that a mix of sea water, milk and blood would be a good alternative to artificial N? Storage might be a challenge.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pasty View Post
    Does this mean that a mix of sea water, milk and blood would be a good alternative to artificial N? Storage might be a challenge.
    Milk and blood are great fertlizers. i dont think salty water will grow much. Neighbour of ours injected blood into a grass field one winter. The grass grew as it if had 150kg of n.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    Isn't milk more toxic still?
    To fish and Vegans only.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by kildare View Post
    Milk and blood are great fertlizers. i dont think salty water will grow much. Neighbour of ours injected blood into a grass field one winter. The grass grew as it if had 150kg of n.
    I remember slicing a poor old Fox with the mower one year and the grass growth was phenomenal on that spot.

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    Senior Member sprocket's Avatar
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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Fertiliser always seems to burn a hole in my cheque book!

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazza97 View Post
    I've always known fertiliser is very corrosive and damaging to machinery weather it's liquid or granular but what is it that makes it so corrosive and why is it so quick to corrode? We were spreading N last thursday and friday and washed off the tractor and spreader on saturday afternoon and despite this short timescale all the galvanise is peeling and rough all on the top link and the various couplings, the tractor is less than a year old so it was quite a shock!
    You have to wash out the spreader every night, or it will rot.
    My centreliner is 19 yrs old and still going strong.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by danseyspass View Post
    You have to wash out the spreader every night, or it will rot.
    My centreliner is 19 yrs old and still going strong.
    The age of your spreader speaks for itself, but having religiously washed a small spinner out every time, the hopper still rusted through in about 10 years. I think it may have been fertiliser dust getting into the cracks along spot welded and folded (not continuously welded) seams, and then washing not being very effective in those places. However, given that the hopper was a fairly simple box on a funnel shaped section, it was easy enough to make up another one using plywood, and then cover the whole thing in glass fibre cloth + polyester resin. 15 years later, I can thoroughly recommend the technique - the hopper still looks pretty well like new. The dispensing gate and disc are plastic anyway.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Firstly, it is acidic, second it actively attracts moisture to it to produce a concentrated solution and lastly, it is oxidising, meaning it is an oxygen donor.
    It is probably also a catalyst. A catalyst is an accelerator of a chemical reaction without actually taking any other part in the reaction. Pure water is not corrosive -- until you add something like salt which causes a reaction but also acts as an accelerator.

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    Re: Why is fertiliser so corrosive?

    This reminds me of a fertiliser factory I visited where my mate did some work. All the machinery , although no more than two years old, looked to be on it's last legs because of rust.Mate was building a silo for store urea, and he duly completed it, knowing that it was corrosion resistant. However, nobody had realised that once full, the urea set solid, and could not be extracted.
    Silos, tanks, - and much more! www.mickmoor.co.uk

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