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"Acid copper plating" problem -- high amps / low volts ?

October 8, 2010

Hi, my name is Jeff, I'm from Adelaide south Australia, and I'm a hobby plater. I copper plate plastic and non-electroconductive items. recently my tank has developed a conductivity problem that I'm yet to investigate thru my chemist, but I thought I'd share this problem with you first. usually the volt and amp meter on the rectifier travel up the scale together, but the volt meter seems to be lagging behind by 4 volts. so if the amp meter is at 10 amps, the volt meter only reads 6 volts. when I juice the power up, the amp meter races up, but I can't seem to get the volts to read the same on the scale. I don't use the tank every day, and it normally needs heating up before I plate. I've just topped up my anodes and they're free of any sulphate residue. I will get my solution tested, but would you have any thoughts as to why the volts are lagging. I'm not too informed on the tech side, but I have been plating for several years, using conductive electrodag. normally when I plate die-cast items (that have been severely pitted, and then repaired) they cover with copper fairly quick, and then I can settle them in with a steady flow of power, but now that the gauges are not in the same position, I can't tell how much I'm giving them. I have to watch the colour of the copper. I usually get brightness in the first hour, but since this is happening it's a bit harder to get the power rite for an even deposit without over plating. any thoughts would be great.

regards jeff

Jeff Montana
hobby plater/car part resto - Adelaide, Australia

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