Copper plating - electrolysis

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Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Lynx_Gen » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:25 pm

Well, tried searching for electrolysis, no results. tried searching for copper plating, and copper gets ignored.. so, enter new topic here.

I recently have been doing some electrolysis projects. In my research, I stumbled across copper plating. :idea:

this is a fairly simple proccess, on a school science project level.

now what I was originaly thinking, was I have this big ole turkey fryer, aluminum of course. I bought it to make my still out of originaly, came with a nice big propane burner etc as well. this was before I discovered the complications in making aluminum barely acceptable, and decided it best not to use it.

Now copper plating onto aluminum is a little more complicated, altho it can be done. I may tempt it in the future. However for now, I belive it would be simpler to use a larger metal container. It also opens up possibilities for using other things that can be reliably plated with copper. I have to look into it a bit further, altho maybe simply experimenting with it to see the results would be my best bet.


anyways, long storey short, has anyone tried or used electrolysis to copper plate anything? Has any one used or experimented with it for thier stills?

Im pretty sure it would work rather well, especialy since the object/pieces would be nicely sealed in a solid layer of copper...


Hmmm...

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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Prairiepiss » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:04 pm

Use the Google search tool. You will find there was a thread about this. About a year ago. I think.

Here first hit with a Google search.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=21588
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Lynx_Gen » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:Use the Google search tool. You will find there was a thread about this. About a year ago. I think.

Here first hit with a Google search.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=21588


hmm.. why do i never think to use google when searching HD??

Altho as it is, it was kinda a 50/50 split on opinions. mostly the downside being on the cost of doin it, and the risk of the chemicals involed. Too bad there isnt any further followups to that thread. I wouldnt use it or tempt it on something like brass.
I already have a power supply that would work realy well, and have come across a couple ways of doin it, basicaly just using copper and water or viniger, so the chemical risk is null from that point.

The other main concern being the tickness and longevity of it. However if one were to use a large metal bucket, IE 5 gal, you could coat the inside rather thickly, also it would last a long time,most of it wouldnt even be in a high concentration of vapour, and you'd be able to see any coating issues developing before it became an issue. I have enough copper scrap kicking around that im certain it would be well worth the attempt, if for no other reason than to see how it turns out.

I think I may give the aluminum pot a try after some test attempts. even if the coating does fail, then at least the aluminum is considered safe, with its oxidization layer that would be certain to form on it.

I just need to wait for my power supply unit to finish up its current task, and get ahold of some copper sulfate. Prolly just make some, its pretty simple to do.

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It should say... All plastic or synthetic material is considered to be unsafe unless NASA and GOD prove otherwise!"
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Prairiepiss » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:51 pm

Now the aluminum thing. Copper and aluminum doesn't mix. Galvanic corrosion would be a problem. I don't think you would ne able to get a thick enough coat on the pot. That if scratched it wouldn't expose the aluminium. And as soon as its exposed the galvanic corrosion would set in.

Just don't send like a good idea to me. At all. Buy a stainless pot and be done with it.
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:25 pm

copper plating is not solid..dont know how to explain but its sort of particles stuck together.
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Lynx_Gen » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:27 pm

Dnderhead wrote:copper plating is not solid..dont know how to explain but its sort of particles stuck together.


sorta like dusted on, particles stuck to it? hmm.. i know runnin too high current will cause it to turn out all flakey and stuff... but most plateing is sorta like wrapping it in a foil coating of water element you use to plate it with. I wonder if theres any way to every realy know without some expensive lab equipment.. lol

Prairiepiss wrote:Now the aluminum thing. Copper and aluminum doesn't mix. Galvanic corrosion would be a problem. I don't think you would ne able to get a thick enough coat on the pot. That if scratched it wouldn't expose the aluminium. And as soon as its exposed the galvanic corrosion would set in.

Just don't send like a good idea to me. At all. Buy a stainless pot and be done with it.


:D have a stainless pot now. its just so small, it takes 2 runs to off a 5gal bucket of wash. Have to save some mula and make a special 2.5 hour trip one way if I wana find anything bigger...
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby maheel » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:44 am

you can coat SS with copper using stuff you will have around the house.

pretty much all you need is salt, vinegar a bit of copper and a 3V power supply and you can try plating SS

done right the copper will stick to the SS very well and by sticking i mean like "solder to copper" (done well).

the process takes time for a DIY system and some stronger acids can help get it working better (hydrochloric / mutric acid)

i don't no about ally / copper plating but don't know why you would want to bother with it. it would be a waste of time i reckon.
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Samohon » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:12 am

maheel wrote:you can coat SS with copper using stuff you will have around the house.

pretty much all you need is salt, vinegar a bit of copper and a 3V power supply and you can try plating SS

done right the copper will stick to the SS very well and by sticking i mean like "solder to copper" (done well).

the process takes time for a DIY system and some stronger acids can help get it working better (hydrochloric / mutric acid)

i don't no about ally / copper plating but don't know why you would want to bother with it. it would be a waste of time i reckon.

I agree maheel. On the subject of electrolysis, on stainless steel I heard that a good copper plating can be achieved if done right. Its not something I contemplated when building my stills, I used solid medical grade copper. But plating copper to SS would be ok in my book.

I would definitely be worried as to when the copper plate would wear off if electrolyzing anything bar stainless steel...
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Lynx_Gen » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:37 am

so basically it goes back to the point where it would only be usefull for an aesthetic use, I cant think of the word for it, (guilding??) but putting pretty patterns of say copper on stainless, or like knickle on the outside of the copper???

meh..

Oooo.. after watching a vid of a guy copper plating an Iphone, (It was just a small section of the back with a logo in it,) I think I know How I could make pretty scrollwork n stuff on the still.. maybe add some copper prettiness to the boiler...? hehe..

but that kinda takes this idea away from anything preoductive or effectively usefull.. lol

on the other hand, I wonder, if one was to say copper plate a stainless steel lid/bowl, if it would make it easier and simple to solder a collum too. I personaly had great success with soldering my copper collum to the stainless lid, but meh, just another thought.
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Re: Copper plating - electrolysis

Postby Prairiepiss » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:42 am

It would make for some nice fancy bling. :thumbup:
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