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Corrosion SEAS Magnesium Drivers
Corrosion SEAS Magnesium Drivers
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Old 15th December 2016, 09:45 PM   #1
Mardi is offline Mardi  Australia
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Default Corrosion SEAS Magnesium Drivers

About five years ago I bought some SEAS Excel drivers (W12CY001). I put them in a pair of loudspeakers I built for a friend. Recently he informed me that the drivers had developed corrosion on the magnesium cones. I have attached some images of the drivers. One is much worse. The speakers were located in an old and somewhat damp house, but not excessively so. I assume that the protective coating on the magnesium cones was not applied properly.
I contacted SEAS about it and this was the reply:
"Hi John,
We are glad to hear that you are happy with the sound and the speakers.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the corrosion Iím afraid. We treat the magnesium to make sure that they donít, but this does not work in warm and humid areas of the world.
It is difficult for us to find a solution for this as the climate here is so different, and it usually takes 3-5 years before the corrosion starts. However, we can assure you that this is purely cosmetic, and has no effect on the sound quality.
Med vennlig hilsen / Kind regards
SEAS Fabrikker AS"
I did reply to this that, if corrosion will occur in damp climates, then the ethical thing to do would be to add a warning on their website about magnesium drivers. I did not receive a reply.
Regards,
John
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Driver 1.jpg (498.6 KB, 829 views)
File Type: jpg Driver1 side view.jpg (493.8 KB, 812 views)
File Type: jpg Driver 2.JPG (748.7 KB, 787 views)
File Type: jpg Driver 2 side view.jpg (633.1 KB, 768 views)
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Old 15th December 2016, 09:54 PM   #2
eriksquires is offline eriksquires  United States
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Are they near the ocean??
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Old 15th December 2016, 10:04 PM   #3
Mardi is offline Mardi  Australia
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Default Corrosion

Not really. The house is about a kilometer away from Rushcutters Bay - but this is a fairly enclosed body of water so not much sea spray at all.
John
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File Type: jpg Map.jpg (404.0 KB, 728 views)
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Old 15th December 2016, 11:22 PM   #4
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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This is very common in warm coastal areas in Australia. I've had this corrosion on Vifa drivers with magnesium baskets and nothing could be done to stop or fix it. On the second picture, I imagine that the corrosion is on the top when it was in the speaker.

I live a few kilometres away from the coast and a kilometre from the lake but the air can still be salt laden. On warm humid days a good air conditioner can dehumidify the room and provide a better environment.

Put some grilles on the speaker and ignore it.
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Old 15th December 2016, 11:29 PM   #5
Tromperie is offline Tromperie  Australia
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Quote:
The speakers were located in an old and somewhat damp house
Sydney has the enemy of any material that can corrode, high summer temperatures and high humidity, more so with a damp house.
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Old 15th December 2016, 11:39 PM   #6
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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One thing that can help is to keep materials like this dust or dirt free as the dust or dirt absorbs the moisture and aids the corrosion.

That nice cool NE breeze in the summer brings a lot of salt and moisture.
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Old 16th December 2016, 12:06 AM   #7
eriksquires is offline eriksquires  United States
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I'm wondering if there isn't a spray that would work. For machines with cast iron surfaces there's a spray that displaces water vapor and prevents corrosion but I don't remember the name.

Best,

Erik
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Old 16th December 2016, 01:22 AM   #8
leadcoma is offline leadcoma  Canada
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Thanks for posting this.

Hard to believe it doesn't affect performance. Looks like the surround and voice coil former may eventually detach from the cone. Unacceptable for such a relatively expensive driver.
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Old 16th December 2016, 03:56 AM   #9
eriksquires is offline eriksquires  United States
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So I struck a little Google Gold! I searched for woofer corrosion and found an interesting thread. Bottom line was that the formaldehyde off-gassing inside the cabinets from the MDF was responsible for the crystals forming. More here:

Driver durability in hot & humid SG
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Old 16th December 2016, 04:45 AM   #10
Waboo is offline Waboo  United States
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I have W18's in the home since 2001 that are brand new looking, and seeing these pics are quite disappointing. For the money that SEAS gets these days for their mag speakers, they should not be doing this whatsoever. I'm in agreement with OP that SEAS and all Distributors should be providing a disclaimer regarding humid climates.
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