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Conductive Layer on Wax




2000

I am interested in drawing on a wax substrate (candles) with a conductive layer for a later silver or gold electro plating.

The final layer should be self supporting when the wax melts away.

Which would be the best process to achieve this? Thanks for any help.

Antonio Carlos Berardi
- Sao Paulo - SAO PAULO - Brazil



Your choices for metallizing the surface would seem to be between a conductive paint and a two-part silvering solution. The two-part silvering is used where extreme precision is required, such as for stampers for vinyl records and videodiscs; but conductive paint should be adequate for your needs. Talk to Acheson Colloids [Port Huron, MI] for these products.

To make the item free standing you will want to electroform it, probably from nickel, before plating the silver or gold.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
2000



2006

I am interested in a machine for drawing on a wax substrate (candles) with a conductive layer for a later electro plating.

Since silver and gold are a bit expensive, can I use other metals such as aluminum and other shiny metals.

The final layer should be self supporting when the wax melts away.

Which would be the best process to achieve this? Thanks for any help.

Nestor Santamaria III
equipment supplier - Quezon City, Philippines



First of two simultaneous responses --

You can use any metallic paint. A suspension of fine copper powder will give you a good conducting layer, as will graphite. I would not use aluminium because it has a tenacious oxide layer on it that will cause you problems. Only select metals that are at the noble end of the electrochemical series.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK
2006



Second of two simultaneous responses --

If you want to do it yourself the best process to achieve what you want begins with taking a course or getting yourself a book about electroforming. Search NiDI (Nickel Development Institute). Good luck!

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
2006



Aluminum surfaces are difficult to plate. You need to Zincate, then Electroless Nickel or copper.

You are better off using conductive paints with copper base materials.

Hamilton Solidum
- Mays Landing, New Jersey
2006




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