Plating tank keeps polarizing
I have a 550 gallon plating tank that keeps polarizing. The lab has checked out the bath and everything checks out OK. I checked out the rectifier and that to checks out OK. I then found out that the operator is not cleaning off the anodes before he does another dummy plating cycle to build up a film on the anodes. I told him to remove the anodes from the tank and scrub them clean and run them down the cleaning line and put them in new anode bags before he does any more dummy plating. Now I was told that this was not needed to be done to correct the polarizing that is going on we are plating at 20 ASF and we still have trouble with polarizing going on.
We need to know what kind of metal you are trying to plate.
Tin, for example, requires a special start up procedure for 'filming the anodes'. Nickel anodes passivate when the current density is too high or the chloride is too low, but there are things you can do like increasing chloride content or using sulfurized anodes. Problems with anodes for copper plating can be minimized by using phosphorized copper, etc.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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