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topic 17936

Commutator plating

adv.   gold touch banner

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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