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Old 03-20-2023, 11:43 PM
CaddmannQ's Avatar
CaddmannQ CaddmannQ is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: CenCal
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Default Stripping Plating from Random Parts

I’ve only used one electrolyte before (sodium carbonate) and it may not be the best for what I want to do.

I have some experience running a reverse electrolysis tank, in order to strip the rust off of steel parts, but I have seldom attempted to strip the plating off of cadmium plated or zinc plated parts. As I recall, it took forever.

Mostly I’m going to be stripping some fasteners and small steel brackets that might have cadmium, reverse cadmium or zinc. (Someday I may try to strip some chrome parts but not for now.)

I have one of these blue plastic orange juice drums that holds about 55 gallons, with the top cut off, and an old battery charger.

I know that this will work, but I don’t have a clue about the best electrolyte to use in this case. I am normally just using Arm and Hammer washing soda. About one cup in 50 gallons of water seems to work fine.

When I read through the article in the tech section here about electrolysis, there’s one thing that I didn’t see mentioned. This is a very line-of-sight process, between the rust and the sacrificial steel anodes.

I had my best and fastest results when I did two things. One was to surround the object being stripped 360° with sacrificial anodes.

The second thing was to use thin anodes with lots of edges and surface area. A screen will work but it doesn’t last very long. What I found worked well was laminations from old electric motors or transformers. They are thin and have lots of edges.

Also I’m wondering if the sludge that comes out of the bottom of tank becomes really toxic when you are stripping cadmium or zinc?.

When stripping rust, all I get in the bottom of the tank is rusty mud.
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