plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Plating copper, zinc, or gold onto an styrofoam/epoxy sphere!
I am making a Van de Graaff generator which requires a highly electrically conductive toroid or sphere. Currently I have made an extruded 18" polystyrene foam sphere, and can cover it with epoxy to increase dent resistance. After this, I plan to coat it with an electrically conductive paint. Would a graphite/epoxy mixture be suitable, and is the graphite porous? Then I plan to coat the sphere with copper,using a recipe from www.pupman.com. (search copper plating) Then I am not sure what to do. My dilemma is that the copper oxidizes because hands will touch it,and thus will not conduct as well as I need it to, and if I coat the copper with a lacquer or wax, it will not conduct well either. Is there conductive wax/lacquer? I could coat the copper in nickel, and then gold, but I did not just win the lottery. Would zinc work? I am open to all suggestions,preferably inexpensive ones. By the way, I will be sure to exercise precautions and wear safety equipment. Please help me solve this problem.
Sincerely and hopefully,Chris Walker
- Spokane, Washington, United States