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topic 59467

Can iron plating restore an 1850's cast iron turbine?

November 20, 2013

Q. I volunteer at the Up & Down Sawmill in Ledyard, Connecticut. We have a circa 1850 Tyler turbine. It's been sitting in stagnant water for 150 years and has experienced bacterial induced corrosion. After some crack repairs, the welder commented that there has been some significant leaching of iron and the turbine blades are now very brittle. I'm exploring fixes and looking into plating/coatings. Can you electroplate iron onto cast iron? If so, will that improve the ductility of the component? What's the best electroplating that will add strength to the buckets while minimizing the bacterial induced corrosion problem?

Steve Tomichek
volunteer - Waterford, Connecticut

November 2013

A. Hi Steve. Iron plating is highly problematical for a number of reasons including it's multiple oxidation states (ferrous, ferric). I think very heavy sulphamate nickel electroplating (essentially electroforming an encasement) has some chance of success. But the best approach may be to make a sand casting from the existing turbine, and cast a replacement.

As a minimum, make the sand casting and a plaster cast from it before altering the existing turbine with a layer of plating, so you'll have a Plan B :-)

Luck & Regards,

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

December 5, 2013

A. Try galvanicrus.ru website; there you can find some very good and download free booklets on iron plating. Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

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