Re: Stainless Steel track conductivity

George Galyon

At our club layout we had some 10+year old "steel" HO track "lying
around" and it is unusable..highly rusted. I imagine if you had
installed it when it was new and maintained it regularly it might be
alright Our club layout has 10+ year old Atlas nickel-silver flextrack
and we need to clean it regularly for good performance. We find that
some sections of track do develop that "yellowish" sheen mentioned by
others in responses to your query..I analyzed some of those "yellowish"
sections and found them to be around 10% Nickel instead of the more
desirable 20% Nickel content... so they are really more like straight
brass (Cu plus Ni) than jewelry grade nickel silver.

I should also add that we think our club room has a more corrosive
atmosphere than many of the member home layouts due to the need for more
frequent track cleaning. So I think it likely that many individual
"experiences" with HO track are tempered by the corrosive nature of the
individual environments.

If your stainless steel "holds a magnet" than it is almost certainly a
low nickel 300( or at best a 400) series stainless which is the cheapest
and most common stainless used in low cost fabricated metal "pieces".
And if it came from China you're lucky if it has any nickel in it.

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Capt. Brigg" wrote:

The track I have, though I'm fairly confident is some formula of
Stainless as it will hold a magnet, is easy to solder a wire to, so I
won't need any strong chemicals.

Since I am only using 5 sections of flex track in one hidden area I
have decided to use Nickel-Silver and not worry about the conductivity
and maintenance of the Stainless. The rest of the main and yards will be
hand laid Nickel-Silver. I can use the stainless flex in my staging yard
which is easy to get to over my work bench and I can clean when needed.

I greatly appreciate all the input from this group and will try to
update any information on problems with this SS flex track.

Capt. Brigg

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