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topic 61096

Rotating field for electroplating


April 19, 2020

Q. hi,
I was wondering if I can use a three phase ac source to essentially create a "rotating electric field" (similar to RMF of induction motors), by connecting three phase's of source to three anodes placed in bath and neutral to the object being plated.

This can help create sort of a general purpose electrode for various different shapes of plate-able objects, with controlled parameters.
May also bias the field for selective plating.

Will it work?

Please refer to any similar/same practice in plating if any.

vedant aggarwal
- delhi,india


June 5, 2020

A. Somehow I don't think so, but it depends on the metal being electrodeposited. Remember that the average current in an ac source is zero, because it follows a sine wave geometry. Using a 3 phase power supply results in 3 off-set sine waves. A positive current results in metal deposition and a negative one will remove or dissolve metal, so if the deposition and dissolution efficiencies are the same, then the result will be no metal deposited. However, if the deposition efficiency is greater than the dissolution, there will be some metal deposited.
I do not know how the 3 phases will interact on a single workpiece, so I suggest you try it and report your findings here.

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

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