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can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

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  • can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

    I really like the way titanium wire holds parts when I anodize, can I use it in a copy chrome bath? When plating pieces without screw holes or where you do not want to leave marks the titanium is a lot easier to form a spring than copper would be.

  • #2
    Re: can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

    From Physical Properties of Titanium and Its Alloys

    Titanium is not a good conductor of electricity. If the conductivity of copper is considered to be 100%, titanium would have a conductivity of 3.1%. From this it follows that titanium would not be used where good conductivity is a prime factor. For comparison, stainless steel has a conductivity of 3.5% and aluminum has a conductivity of 30%.

    It'll work, but the amps you provide won't all make it to your part. You would be best off to submerge the titanium with a copper wire, then you'll be fine. It's rather expensive, be sure to consider that.

    Originally posted by Brintiff View Post
    I really like the way titanium wire holds parts when I anodize, can I use it in a copy chrome bath? When plating pieces without screw holes or where you do not want to leave marks the titanium is a lot easier to form a spring than copper would be.
    James Bateman

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    • #3
      Re: can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

      Thank you, maybe I should just stick with the copper, I like the titanium because it holds its shape so much better than copper so it's a lot easier to attach to the part by making a spring on the end.

      I already have the titanium, that's what I use for anodizing.

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      • #4
        Re: can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

        I didn't really word things well. You are fine with the titanium, just only use it in the solution, submerged. Have copper wire connect to it, and then to your negative lead - acting as a "liaison" from the negative lead from the rectifier to the titanium wire hanging the piece in the solution. I usually make an S shaped hook from 1/2" copper pipe that hangs over the tank bar, and extends into the solution about an inch or so. From there I use 14 ga. wire from the hook to the part. The copper pipe is good for a couple hundred amps. 14 gauge wire is only good for about 15 or so, after that you make heat, not conduct current. However, when I use the hook in my chrome bath, with 14 gauge wire submerged, I've plated pieces requiring over 100 amps. That's enough to melt 14 gauge wire - out of the solution. In the solution it's fine. The benefit of the s - shape is that you keep your wire use to a minimum. Also there'd be no more guessing if the wire you are using is long enough to submerge the part when using the hook, because the hook will make it long enough. From the hook, you can use very short wire. So make a hook, and then you can use the titanium from the hook, attached to the part with a spring shape or what have you, and it'll be fine as long as the titanium is completely submerged. Forgot to mention - at the tank bar side of the hook, leave a little longer tab there, and connect your negative wire to the tab. I usually bent the curve around the tank bar a little tighter, so that it's a snug fit, it'll keep your part more stable - you want good wire connection in all your tanks. I mentioned the expense of the titanium just in case anyone else reading this post was contemplating using titanium also, I figured you've done enough with it to know how expensive it is... If this is still confusing, I'll throw in some pic's to clarify. I've been talking extraordinary amounts of power, but it will still have an effect on the parts you are doing in copy chrome.
        James Bateman

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        • #5
          Re: can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

          Okay, now I got it, thank you. I'm plating strictly small low amperage stuff, the Glock side I just did required 2.5 amps. I understand if I go bigger I'll need larger wire (the 1/2" copper hook) , I work with amperage and wire daily.

          Unrelated to my last question, In the plating manual one symptom of a bad plate (forgot which one) is caused by copper in the bath, if we have copper extending into the bath are we not going to get copper in the bath?

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          • #6
            Re: can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

            I have no idea what the resistance of the titanium is that you are using, but a 2.5 amp load you are putting into the titanium will quickly drop, and less is actually reaching your part, which will affect plating thickness. You could figure it out with a multimeter, or I'm sure that if you looked up the resistance of you wire size you could figure it out that way too. As I'm sure you are aware of, but I'll throw it out for public view, if the wire is getting warm/hot it's resisting the current and you are shorting what's supplied from the rectifier. After it is submerged the heat dissipates into the solution, so it's no longer a problem.

            As far as the copper - it'll cause dark areas if I remember right. As long as the copper has a negative charge you're fine, like when you plate over flash copper, or acid copper. A couple things might cause you problems though. Let's say you make a hook, and the plating solution splashes up onto the hook. You'll have an acidic liquid on the hook. The splashed stuff evaporates a little - things are hot, etc... So now it becomes a little more concentrated and dissolves a bit of the copper, which then drips/falls back into the solution. That will potentially cause a problem, but it would be plated right out, so I wouldn't be too concerned about it. The big concern would be from incomplete rinsing after a pickling session. It's strong enough that it slightly etches the metal, and if you don't rinse everything off, the "pickle juice" left on the part (which is full of metal now) leeches out into the solution - that could be enough to cause a problem, not to mention how quickly that would screw up the ph of the plating bath.

            Hope this helps to dispel concerns.
            Jimmy.


            Originally posted by Brintiff View Post
            Okay, now I got it, thank you. I'm plating strictly small low amperage stuff, the Glock side I just did required 2.5 amps. I understand if I go bigger I'll need larger wire (the 1/2" copper hook) , I work with amperage and wire daily.

            Unrelated to my last question, In the plating manual one symptom of a bad plate (forgot which one) is caused by copper in the bath, if we have copper extending into the bath are we not going to get copper in the bath?
            Last edited by woodjames; 05-19-2009, 08:53 PM.
            James Bateman

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            • #7
              Re: can I use titanium wire with copy chrome

              Originally posted by Brintiff View Post

              Unrelated to my last question, In the plating manual one symptom of a bad plate (forgot which one) is caused by copper in the bath, if we have copper extending into the bath are we not going to get copper in the bath?
              Only if it's on the positive side. Hanging parts from copper wire is never an issue.
              --
              Lance Caswell
              Caswell Inc
              http://www.caswellplating.com
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