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topic 17936

Commutator plating


2002

I race 1/64 scale slot cars as a hobby. In some classes we run custom wound armatures that cost between $35 and $60. The armature commutators (copper) wear with use. We can recut the comms a couple times, but then the remaining copper is too thin for a recut, and the expensive arm is junk. Is it possible to copper plate the comm, building up around .005 - .010" of copper? And if so, will the plating be able to be cut on a lathe without chipping?

Thanks,

John Pileggi
- Holden, Massachusetts


2002

To answer your question theoretically, yes it is no real problem to plate copper to that thickness and get good adhesion. But to answer it practically, that's a pretty thick plating and replating might not cost less than a new commutator. If you are an avid hobbyist you could get a brush plating setup and perhaps replate thinner but more frequently.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2002

Thanks Ted. Replacing the comm with a new one is not really a viable option since successfully desoldering the wires from the existing comm is extremely difficult. Where could I obtain a brush plating setup? Thanks.

John Pileggi
- Holden, Massachusetts


2002

Search for 'brush plating' in our Worldlink directory of Chemicals for the contact info for a bunch of suppliers.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2002

Ted,

These comms segments are only around 1/8" x 1/8" in size. Do they make brush plating systems small enough? I've seen the pen plating systems which might be more appropriate, but film build appears to be very light?

Thanks,

John Pileggi
- Holden, Massachusetts


2002

Brush plater, pen plater -- that's just semantics, John. You can get a convenient size stylus from any supplier.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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