plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Removal of excess oil in acid zinc tank
April 22, 2012
Q. My name is greg,
I'm an electroplater in Australia.
We have an excess oil problem in our acid zinc baths. I was wondering if there was a way of removing just the oil?
We have stepped up our pre-treatment to reduce contamination to zinc baths, and have added extra carrier to help break done the oil, but still have some oil on parts when removed from plating.
plating shop employee - Geelong, Victoria, Australia
A. Hi Greg.
I think the first thing you need to determine, either by analysis or by looking at the rinse tanks preceding plating, is whether the oil is being dragged in or your plating brighteners are "oiling out". There are polypropylene non-woven mats that can be used to absorb the oil, and there are even oil separation machines (with small continuous belt and scraper system), but eliminating the problem is more promising than dealing with it. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey