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I have repaired a corroded battery terminal by neutralizing it in vinegar and then cleaning it with a wire brush. The result is a terminal lead which now has bare steel visible where the protective chrome layer has been destroyed.

What kind of treatment can be done to this surface to protect it from oxidation now that the steel is exposed? Even if it doesn't corrode again in the future from a battery, I believe oxidation of the steel can still lead to further damage to the surface and it's electrical conductivity.

I am interested in both inexpensive solutions such as an aerosol spray as well as other more expensive options for an electronics hobbyist that relate to this type of repair.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Where is this being used? \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Jan 21, 2020 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is a lead from inside of a wireless keyboard that takes two AAA batteries. Batteries were left inside for too long and caused this to corrode. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zhro
    Jan 21, 2020 at 23:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ If that's the case I don't think you really need to be worried about additional corosion. At most just dunk it in some PPE contact cleaner before putting it back in. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Jan 22, 2020 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ google.com/search?q=electroplating+gold+at+home \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2020 at 10:12

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WD40 displaces moisture but allows contacts to penetrate the thin film for a reasonable resistance ~ 100 mOhms, if there is sufficient force.

It will eventually dry out and leave a thin residue so it is not permanent.

If you had liquid Tin, after cleaning off oxide, dip then rinse in water. That is better but you have to buy bulk (2L?) so this is not practical.

Solder works but will oxidize rapidly in humid weather >90% RH.

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Any spray is likely to be an insulator, negating the function of a contact.

Most solders, whether pure tin, older (non-RoHS) Pb/Sn, or newer Bi-RoHS types, are more corrosion-resistant than plain steel. Having had the same issue, I sand the actual contact area to remove any oxidation and cover just that area with solder. Making solder adhere to steel or iron is more difficult than to copper, though, and may require acid flux and higher temperature.

BTW, you've already done a good job of surface preparation.

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You can use technical Vaseline (best solution), or - if you haven't - any grease or machine/engine oil. And don't use any vegetable or animal fat, or vegetable oil - these tends to hardening because of oxidation, or to decomposing, and can cause corrosion.

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