plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
What's the proper way to hang pieces in an acid copper tank?
Hi! this is the second question I've posted here. I got a lot of help last time so I thought I'd try again. The company I work for is new to electroforming but we are making good strides and getting the hang of it. We are doing so well we are thinking of electrofroming objects that aren't our company's "products". Other irregular shapes, one off art pieces and things of that nature. So my question, as elementary as it may seem, is how does one suspend pieces in the tank? we have a system we use specifically for our pieces, but that won't apply to everything, so would one use copper wire? or baskets?if so what kind? anyone have any other methods? so please don't laugh,because as simple a question it is, it was hard to find info about.
in closing, the site is great.keep up the good work.
thanks in advance for any help.
Basket, NO WAY.
Hang with a conductor of proper cross section to carry the required current. I would somewhat prefer using a similar material to what the to be plated "part" is. If you are throwing it away after one use, a little corrosion at the point of contact will not matter much. It also has to be stiff enough to live thru the preprocess steps without deforming.
I can tell you how we do it. On our routine pieces we use titanium rods (acid resistant) that are clamped to a "walking rod" (agitator) suspended a few inches above the tank. The walking rod is driven by a motor/crank rig so that we get a few inches of back and forth motion for agitation.
The walking rod is electrically hot, cathodic, that's where we pick up current. The piece to be plated (mandrel) is "masked" with electrical tape and sometimes that liquid plastic dip that is sold for use on tool handles.
Test pieces, I usually just hang on copper wire. The wire gets imbedded in the piece, but that's OK for a test. Radio Shack sells pure copper wire (7 strand) for antenna use, that's what I use.
I could email pictures if that would help any.
Hi! thanks for the responses! Sure, any pictures would be a huge help! I'd appreciate it. Hope everyone had a nice Easter!John Keen
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