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topic 0068

Copper sulphate crystals in plating tanks

A discussion started in 1995.
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I read that copper plating solutions should last for years with proper maintenance. In my solution which I used for about a month, I had about a 1/2 inch thick chunk of blue crystals in the bottom of my tank as well as on the sides and anodes. I assume this is copper sulfate. Is there any reason this would grow in there? Too much brightener perhaps? (I added a bit much I thinksmiley )   Thanks, Rob

G. Touch


There is nothing wrong with the bath. The solution is just saturated. It has either been made up and used warm, then allowed to cool beyond solubility, or excess acid in the solution has continued to dissolve copper from the anodes which has pushed the copper sulfate beyond the solubility limit. The latter is likely when vigorous air agitation is left on for long periods. The crystals are not a problem, unless they start salting out into the deposit. The best thing to do is analyze the solution, decant to remove excess copper sulfate, and replace any sulfuric acid and chloride necessary to return it to the vendor's recommended operating range (assuming use of a proprietary brightener).   Please dispose of all wastes according to applicable regulations.      

bill vins
Bill Vins
microwave & cable assemblies
Mesa (what a place-a), Arizona 

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