Wednesday 21 December 2016

XCP Rust Blocker V ACF50 testing and review.

XCP Rust Blocker is marketed as better than ACF50 along with various pictures on their site showing the results of testing to prove it is better. I have used ACF50 for years in the workshop so I'm obviously interested in anything that claims to be even better.

The first problem is the testing procedure used by XCP. I spent many years of my life working in product development specifically in the surface coating industry so I am very familiar with this test and I understand its short comings. Briefly the test sprays a 5% salt solution at the sample every 3 minutes, it never dries and it never exceeds 5% salt. I don't know many people who can ensure that the bike is rinsed well enough to reduce the salt to 5% or under every time they get off the bike and I don't know anyone at all who rides continuously in a 5% solution for a week at a time.
In the real world bikes get used on the road, they get coated in a salty solution and then parked up where the water evaporates leaving the salt as crystals on the surface. The bike than gets used again and even if the roads have not been salted again any damp or water will combine with the salt already on the bike and form a saturated solution. Then the bike will be parked up again and may or may not dry depending on where it is parked. The process will be repeated for weeks at a time. It is fair to say that just because something can with stand 5% continuous spray does not mean it can protect against stronger solutions, crystallised salt and continuous wet/dry cycling.

My test is as follows.
Apply saturated salt solution using a fine mist, to a sample which is flat so the water sits on the surface, then leave to dry for 24 hours, apply again, repeat, occasionally swap to straight water, again allow to dry, repeat. This test mimics what really happens when you ride your pride and joy in the winter and don't have time to thoroughly rinse off all the salt every time you park it up.

Two British Standard samples of fresh steel were degreased thoroughly and only handled with gloves to avoid any transfer of oils from my skin.
Both samples were then divided into two using tape.
The right hand side was treated with XCP Rust Blocker and the left side treated with ACF50.
The tape was then removed as a control area as it had no treatment of any product.
I used two samples to give the fairest results.
The first sample was treated with a much heavier coat of the product than the manufactures claim is required.
The second sample was treated with a light coat of the products as specified by the manufacturers. 
ACF50 does not dry and XCP seem a little vague about the exact drying time, so both test samples were left for 14 days to dry. Any product that claims to dry, should be dry after 2 weeks.

Both samples were placed on a flat surface and sprayed as follows
Day 1 = The samples were sprayed with saturated salt solution and left to dry for 24 hours
Days 2 to 7 this was repeated daily
This test should give an indication of the protection offered if you were to ride your bike everyday on salted damp or wet roads and then park it up after each ride.

Day 8 to 10 = The samples where sprayed in water with no salt once a day.
This should give an indication of the protection offered if you were to continue to ride your bike without rinsing the salt crystals off in damp or wet conditions

Day 11 to 18 = The samples were sprayed in saturated salt solution once a day.
This should give an indication of the protection offered if the roads are salted every couple of weeks and you continue to ride your bike everyday without rinsing or cleaning between rides.

I understand there may be a number of issues with my test method, just as there are with the British Standard salt water spray method. This is one test done in isolation and the makers of XCP dispute my results. I have no reason to fabricate results, I do not get paid by either company. I am not stating that any claim made by either manufacturer is either true or false. You can see the results and you can decide which product you wish to use. 

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