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  • Black soot on flash copper

    I'm getting a black sooty coating with crustacean like bumps instead of copper in my flash copper setup. Any suggestions??

  • #2
    Re: Black soot on flash copper

    could you give us more information on the steps that you are taking from start to flash copper. What kind of metal are you working with? YOu might have too many amps or the part is not clean enough.
    www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Re: Black soot on flash copper

      Originally posted by fly
      could you give us more information on the steps that you are taking from start to flash copper. What kind of metal are you working with? YOu might have too many amps or the part is not clean enough.
      I have to agree with Fly here you are either to many amps improper preparation or even improper
      agitation .
      Jim Eaton

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      • #4
        Re: Black soot on flash copper

        Also sounds somewhat like what happens when your power is reversed. Are you sure you have positive to anodes, negative to part?
        --
        Mike Caswell
        Caswell Inc
        http://www.caswellplating.com
        Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

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        • #5
          Re: Black soot on flash copper

          Material is mild steel

          Process is clean, degrease, rinse, zincate, rinse, #4 pickle, rinse, zincate again, rinse, #4 pickle, rinse, flash copper

          Part is a 2" round tube with a flange resulting in an area of 18sq in.

          I have checked the leads for polarity and it is correct unless someone switched the colored nuts.

          Thanks for all the help.

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          • #6
            Re: Black soot on flash copper

            Originally posted by jlmccuan
            Material is mild steel

            Process is clean, degrease, rinse, zincate, rinse, #4 pickle, rinse, zincate again, rinse, #4 pickle, rinse, flash copper

            Part is a 2" round tube with a flange resulting in an area of 18sq in.

            I have checked the leads for polarity and it is correct unless someone switched the colored nuts.

            Thanks for all the help.
            Zincate is for aluminum why did you zincate the part? For carbon steel stainless steel just sand out any imperfections depending on the surface I start with 60 and work my way to 220 then I use a rope sisal with black compound to remove any scratches then brown compound with a spiral wheel then white with a spiral wheel remember to clean in between polishing steps so you don’t cross contaminate wheels then degrees then plate remember your water brake test befor plating hope this helps
            Jim Eaton

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            • #7
              Re: Black soot on flash copper

              I zincated in the hopes of gaining some corrosion resistance.

              If I reduce the amps, I get an orange soot.

              The surface has been prepared by glass bead blast and degrease. Definately passes water break. Part is 23 sq in.

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              • #8
                Re: Black soot on flash copper

                Originally posted by jlmccuan
                I zincated in the hopes of gaining some corrosion resistance.

                If I reduce the amps, I get an orange soot.

                The surface has been prepared by glass bead blast and degrease. Definately passes water break. Part is 23 sq in.
                try skipping the zincate
                your amps should be around 1.5 the copper plate should come out pink salmon color
                Jim Eaton

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                • #9
                  Re: Black soot on flash copper

                  I didn't see if you have the flash copper at operating temp. the temp. is around 120 degrees. THis will help if your not heating up the solution. Make sure you have large bubbles also this will help with plating too.
                  www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Black soot on flash copper

                    Is the filter pump not supplying enough agitation? Should I add an aerator as well?

                    Also, if I don't get the black soot, I get an orange coating that looks like powdercoat before it is baked. Basically, it looks and feels just like the black, only orange.

                    I am getting some copperplate. When I glassbead the soot off I have a very faint copper color left.

                    Also, another question re flash copper. If I try to replate a part already coated with flash copper do I need a pickle process, or just degrease and rinse?

                    Thanks again for the help.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Black soot on flash copper

                      Im just guessing your probably using a small kit 1 to 5 gal right? If this is the case the pump sent with the kit is sufficient. The manual says 1 amp per 10 to 15 sq? make sure you are with in this parameter. You should not have to pickle again just degrees and rinse also make sure your anodes
                      are not closer then 3" form the part
                      Jim Eaton

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                      • #12
                        Re: Black soot on flash copper

                        You said the part was mild steel, but are you sure, because it sounds like you might have aluminum or pot metal. From the steps that you took the steel should have plated, but it could be one little step that could throw us off. Do the magnet test.
                        If the part is steel blast the part, polish it to a shine, make sure you have rubber gloves on before you degrees, degrees, water test, solution (flash copper) at 120 temp., make sure you have bubbles, set machine at 2 volts, connect part to neg. wire before you go in solution, put part on bus bar, after 30 sec. go to the proper amps for one min., then check part. Then get back with us and let us know what happened.
                        www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Black soot on flash copper

                          I have also used this kit for aluminum. Is it possible the zincate from the aluminum has contaminated the flash copper solution too much. SHould I dummy plate?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Black soot on flash copper

                            It would take alot of drag out from the zincate to contaminate the flash, and Yes I would plate a practice piece.
                            www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

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