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Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

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  • 68commando
    started a topic Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

    Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

    I've been messing around with this PNPCC9 solution plating small nuts and bolts and special items for my m/c using the immersion technique. I'm only plating small parts, the largest is maybe a disk about 2 1/4 diameter, mostly nuts and bolts, so the plating area is pretty small. I started plating with an adjustable voltage PS and measuring the current in line with a meter. At first kept the current around 50-60 ma and plated for maybe 15 minutes. That resulted in not complete plating, so I increased the time to 45 min. to an hour. That seemed to work a bit better, but now was getting grey junk that polished out with a loose cotton wheel with white compound. Then I found I could plate at a current of about 200ma or less for 15 to 30 min. but was still getting grey and streaking that would polish out. Now that I have used this stuff for a while, I am getting heavy streaking that I cannot polish out unless I go to the sissal wheel with black compound. I'm plating in a small 12 oz. glass, with the ss wand covered and copper wires to the parts. I'm wondering;

    Is my plating solution getting old?

    Am I polishing off the plating? How can I tell if the plate is there or I have buffed off the plating, other than waiting for it to rust?

    Do I need agitation?

    For these small parts, maybe a square inch, should I hold the current at 50ma and plate for a longer time even though the voltage is quite low, like 1.5-2Vdc?

    I'm getting sludge in the bottom of the solution, is this normal?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • 68commando
    replied
    Re: Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

    Jimmy,

    Thanks for all the info. I have knocked the current back to 100ma, plate for an hour and that seems to give me a more even plate with no streaking, if it is gray, it buffs right out. I was trying to rush things because in a 12 oz glass, you can imagine I can only do 1 or up to 4 small items at once. I only have a few more items, so I will probably be able to finish up with my tiny setup. If I take on any other projects like this I'll spring for the 1.5g electro kit. Being an ex engineer, I have plenty of power supplies and can pump up to 50A but doubt if I would ever need that.

    Thanks for the encouragement and good luck with your setup.

    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • woodjames
    replied
    Re: Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

    I think that the electroless cobalt needs the same style replenishment as the electroless nickel, and that can add up very quickly. Whereas the copy chrome kit replenishes itself from the anodes, but in both cases, there seems to be unresolved issues with the final color of the product, as other posts reveal.
    Definitely it's the scale that you are trying to work with is making things difficult for you. I've been using the same bright nickel for almost 2 years now, and other than a slight adjustment of the salts (mainly my fault) the same bath is working great. Obviously the anodes need replacement after soo much plating, and there is brightener addition, but I always get consistently great results, and know that I will continue to do so. I've got a 4.5 gallon setup but will shortly be bumping that up to 20 like I've done so with my 2 copper processes. I've got to upgrade due to the scale of things. I'm sure once I get everything up to 20 gallon$ that will need upgrading too. I don't think tanks ever get big enough. If you know what your intending to plate, it's easy to get an appropriate sized setup. I see all sorts of different pieces lately, and need tanks to accommodate. The 1.5 gallon setups aren't too badly priced, and the results will be much better. I never have to buff nickel, it always just comes out great, till I put something too big in the tank.

    A big part of plating is having a reliable adjustable power supply. Without that you're not going to get consistent results. Luckily with Copy Chrome or Nickel, the current requirements are rather low, so a small unit will go a long way.

    -Jimmy.
    Originally posted by 68commando View Post
    James,

    I really appreciate your reply. I have been struggling with this PNP plating for several years on this motorcycle. To buy all the special parts that need plating or replacing with SS would be several thousands of dollars, and me being a cheapskate, I am trying to do this on the cheap side. I have had good luck with some parts, but some seem to be not so good, especially as time goes on. I am seriously looking at the electroless cobalt plating at this point, although most of my items are already Copy Chrome plated at this point. Maybe I should continue with the copy chrome at this point and if I have trouble with the plating later, I could go to the Cobalt plating. It is quite a bit more reasonable in price for a small kit and if as it claims is harder than nickel, and doesn't need polishing, doesn't need the electronics, and would be a good alternative and supposedly looks like chrome, but it wasn't available when I started.

    I guess I should have used a nickel anode, but was going on the instructions of the PNP instructions. Now I know. Agitation in such a small setup is a real problem, but I have has some good results. From your comments it sounds like I am trying to do things on too small a scale, and that is probably the biggest issue.

    Again, I really appreciate your input and if I am serious about this plating, need to get something that will work for the size of project I am doing.

    Many thanks,
    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • 68commando
    replied
    Re: Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

    James,

    I really appreciate your reply. I have been struggling with this PNP plating for several years on this motorcycle. To buy all the special parts that need plating or replacing with SS would be several thousands of dollars, and me being a cheapskate, I am trying to do this on the cheap side. I have had good luck with some parts, but some seem to be not so good, especially as time goes on. I am seriously looking at the electroless cobalt plating at this point, although most of my items are already Copy Chrome plated at this point. Maybe I should continue with the copy chrome at this point and if I have trouble with the plating later, I could go to the Cobalt plating. It is quite a bit more reasonable in price for a small kit and if as it claims is harder than nickel, and doesn't need polishing, doesn't need the electronics, and would be a good alternative and supposedly looks like chrome, but it wasn't available when I started.

    I guess I should have used a nickel anode, but was going on the instructions of the PNP instructions. Now I know. Agitation in such a small setup is a real problem, but I have has some good results. From your comments it sounds like I am trying to do things on too small a scale, and that is probably the biggest issue.

    Again, I really appreciate your input and if I am serious about this plating, need to get something that will work for the size of project I am doing.

    Many thanks,
    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • woodjames
    replied
    Re: Copy Chrome with PNPCC9

    You can only use so much of the solution before the nickel content depletes. Had you used a nickel anode, the solution would be in much better balance, which is why on larger tanks they use them. The nickel anode gets dissolved into the solution whilst plating, which replenishes it.

    You can tell if the plate is there by looking at the polished reflection in a piece of paper. The steel will be bluish in color, the nickel is unmistakable yellow.

    Usually you get sludge from the anodes, and can get it from salts if the solution isn't heated.

    Agitation helps with burning, which is part of you're problem using such a small setup.

    2Volts is okay. A lot will depend on anode distance. A bath using brighteners will require more power to make the most of the brighteners/leveling ability.

    I would suggest, not that you've got the hang of things, to purchase a small kit, like the 1.5 gallon. The increased anode distance, agitation, consistent heat, filtering, brighteners, and use of nickel anodes will help tremendously.




    Originally posted by 68commando View Post
    I've been messing around with this PNPCC9 solution plating small nuts and bolts and special items for my m/c using the immersion technique. I'm only plating small parts, the largest is maybe a disk about 2 1/4 diameter, mostly nuts and bolts, so the plating area is pretty small. I started plating with an adjustable voltage PS and measuring the current in line with a meter. At first kept the current around 50-60 ma and plated for maybe 15 minutes. That resulted in not complete plating, so I increased the time to 45 min. to an hour. That seemed to work a bit better, but now was getting grey junk that polished out with a loose cotton wheel with white compound. Then I found I could plate at a current of about 200ma or less for 15 to 30 min. but was still getting grey and streaking that would polish out. Now that I have used this stuff for a while, I am getting heavy streaking that I cannot polish out unless I go to the sissal wheel with black compound. I'm plating in a small 12 oz. glass, with the ss wand covered and copper wires to the parts. I'm wondering;

    Is my plating solution getting old?

    Am I polishing off the plating? How can I tell if the plate is there or I have buffed off the plating, other than waiting for it to rust?

    Do I need agitation?

    For these small parts, maybe a square inch, should I hold the current at 50ma and plate for a longer time even though the voltage is quite low, like 1.5-2Vdc?

    I'm getting sludge in the bottom of the solution, is this normal?

    Thanks,
    Dave

    Leave a comment:

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