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Anyone here do electro-polishing?

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  • Anyone here do electro-polishing?

    http://www.electropolish.com/master.htm

    I stumbled across this site, and the technology looks very similar to anodizing/plating. Does anyone here use this? How difficult would it be to build an electropolishing kit, Caswell?

    Edit: I just saw their estimated prices. 6 Gallon tank = ~$6000 US. OUCH! Maybe that's why I sand/buff all my parts.

  • #2
    I would like to get answers to this also. Like, what chems are invloved and does Caswell sell them? What is is the cathode material? ect. Caswell Manual does not cover this topic.
    Rickc

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    • #3
      that would make life easy with that set up ....

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      • #4
        Sorry guys. We've looked at this time and time again. It's the nitric acid and high current requirements that are the problem. Too much liability for us.
        --
        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
          i wonder what all it will take to do a home brew set up ... but my insurance is sky high now i can see what it will be with some thing like that ...

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          • #6
            There is a Yahoo group forum for electropolishing that may answer some questions. From what I see, it is very very expensive and you still have to buff the part to a near perfect shine. The electropolish just makes it a little better, and is used to make the surface pure on a micro level for sterile applications. I maybe wrong on this, but that is my take on it.

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            • #7
              We'd make up a kit - but -!!!!!

              I've looked at this electropolishing thing many times over the past few years, with a view to making up a small kit, BUT - it ALWAYS comes down the same things.

              1. The use of concentrated nitric acid and other unpleasant chemicals make it have serious liability concerns for us at Caswell Inc

              2. The power requirements are similar to chrome plating, 1-2 amps PER SQ INCH of surface area.

              3. Fume emissions from the tank need to be controlled properly.

              4. If you are doing this on an amateur level, for the occasional small items, then the risks and costs are simply outweighed by standard buffing and polishing.

              5. If you are doing this on a semi-professional level, with larger items, setup cost is horrifying, not to say anything about EPA concerns.

              6. Whilst it would be great to be able to do this electropolishing, I personally think that using a vibratory tumbler and various tumbling media will give you excellent results, at a fraction of the cost, and more safely.

              See http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/...y_tumblers.htm

              So, thats my 10 cents worth! However, we're always open to suggestions and don't have blinkered vision.
              --
              Mike Caswell
              Caswell Inc
              http://www.caswellplating.com
              Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

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              • #8
                the epa is like a little cock roach problem ... i got them at or near my shop 2 the 3 times a week .... there were old tanks that leaked when it was a gas station and the creek next to it got most of the run off .... i just bought the place so i am no hurry to see if it was done right ,,,,, i had to set up my paint booth so it was to there liking and the filter set up is not like any i see before... i use hvlp guns i don't need any thing like it

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                • #9
                  Re: Anyone here do electro-polishing?

                  Originally posted by NeoMoses View Post
                  Metal Coating Process Corporation is a supplier of chemicals, equipment, and process technology to electropolish stainless steels. Our web site outlines the process, shows typical equipment, and provides details of our monthly seminar entitled, "Prin

                  I stumbled across this site, and the technology looks very similar to anodizing/plating. Does anyone here use this? How difficult would it be to build an electropolishing kit, Caswell?

                  Edit: I just saw their estimated prices. 6 Gallon tank = ~$6000 US. OUCH! Maybe that's why I sand/buff all my parts.
                  for Electropolising kit pl mail [email protected] for all details you will get very economical package

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anyone here do electro-polishing?

                    Hey Caswell what about using a less caustic electrolyte? I've seen some benign looking recipes that supposedly work just fine for stainless and ok for aluminum. Here's one:

                    one part by volume 80% phosphoric acid
                    one part by volume propylene glycol (auto antifreeze)
                    one part distilled water
                    1/4 part ethanol or isopropanol
                    1 to 5 grams liquid dish soap per liter of water

                    Supposedly the above works pretty good for stainless, but the final ingredient

                    1/2 part sulphuric acid

                    may be necessary for a true mirror finish. This can be left out for a safer formula. I really don't need absolute perfection, and probably many other hobbyists feel the same, but I sure wish there was a bit more info available for guidance. Somebody somewhere must have tested a non-nitric electrolyte with varying currency and recorded their results. I'd much rather be making the parts I want to electropolish than the electropolisher!
                    I'm just relating what I've read elsewhere, I haven't tried it yet myself but I will soon. I've got a buddy in college for electrical engineering who just got permission from his teacher to build an electropolishing unit for an assignment, so we'll be trying this out small and then scale it up if successful. Let me know if anybody has any relevant advice as to what we're doing, or if a reasonable, safer (non-nitric) e-polish kit is available somewhere...Or if Caswell changes their mind!

                    Disclaimers: Didn't mean to dis Caswell on this post! I love them and use their blackening and buffing stuff all the time...an e.p. kit would only increase my love!!
                    By "benign" I didn't mean you can gargle with it or bathe the cat in it, I just meant it is not as caustic as nitric acid
                    Joe Diemer
                    www.handmadebirdcages.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Anyone here do electro-polishing?

                      you must read this simple recipe makes a great metal polish that helps prevent rust and cleans most metal surfaces.
                      Instructions
                      Mix 4 tbsp. very fine pumice powder (yes, pumice is an abrasive) with 1/4 c. citric acid.
                      Add 1 tbsp. finely ground silica and mix thoroughly. (Silica will help resist moisture.)
                      Wet a soft cloth with water and rub the polish onto the metal with it.
                      Buff to a shine with a clean, dry cloth.
                      http://www.metal-supplies.com/

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                      • #12
                        Re: Anyone here do electro-polishing?

                        Originally posted by metalsupplies View Post
                        you must read this simple recipe makes a great metal polish that helps prevent rust and cleans most metal surfaces.
                        Instructions
                        Mix 4 tbsp. very fine pumice powder (yes, pumice is an abrasive) with 1/4 c. citric acid.
                        Add 1 tbsp. finely ground silica and mix thoroughly. (Silica will help resist moisture.)
                        Wet a soft cloth with water and rub the polish onto the metal with it.
                        Buff to a shine with a clean, dry cloth.
                        what does this have to do with electro polishing ?
                        http://www.peintureenpoudrepb.com
                        http://www.polissagepb.com
                        http://www.powdercoatpb.com
                        baz

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                        • #13
                          Re: Anyone here do electro-polishing?

                          The acid required is really nasty, If you can use a tumber with walnut shell is comes close to mirror.
                          The tumblers Caswell sells are the best too.
                          http://www.torontocycles.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Anyone here do electro-polishing?

                            I do tumble the smaller parts - and you're right it's great, but I'm trying to finish larger wire items: birdcages the size and shape of R2D2 or larger. I actually did feed a cage to a tumbler as an experiment once. I brought one to a ceramic exhaust coatings company that had a 5' x 10' tumbler, and we ran it for an hour. It came out a beautifully gleaming mangled mess.

                            Regarding the acid, the most common (in my part of the country) blends are nasty, but there are newer and less caustic proprietary solutions available now. My need is to find a supplier that has both the newer solutions AND good customer support (like Caswell) for newbies to electrochemistry like me.
                            Joe Diemer
                            www.handmadebirdcages.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There is an inexpensive kit product that easily converts your existing tig welder into a stainless steel weld cleaning / electro-polishing machine. It's called RETROPOL.
                              You can find more info on it here: www.retropol.com.au
                              And yeah it really does work well. It uses a non-dangerous phosphoric acid & citric acid electrolyte and a carbon fiber brush & adapter that fits into the tig torch in the same way as the tungsten electrode - so its super-easy and quick to fit/remove. The chemicals are all food grade, so it is safe to use with food/medical equipment too.

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