My first electrolysis attempt ---- LOOK !

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by sefaudi, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. sefaudi

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    Dear All,

    This is the story of my first electrolysis attempt. I was reading previous messages regarding electrolysis and was very keen to attempting one for me.

    A while ago I had bought a vintage coleman 502 stove and been working to clean her. The paint on her tank was dirty and I needed to remove it before repainting. I decided that this would an opportunity for to start action. :twisted:

    Last weekend I bought an adaptor (220/12v) with 500 mA capacity and started to make a set-up. But I could not find proper steel rods for anode. :evil: Then I thought that anode part is being used to complete circuit. Hence instead of using any separate anode I decided to use metal saucepan as an anode ;) . Of course anode and cathode parts are required not to touch each other. Hence below the tank I put there a glass dish. You can see this separation. Meanwhile let me tell that the saucepan is made of aluminum.

    electrolysis1.jpg

    electrolysis2.jpg

    electrolysis3.jpg

    I put warm water into the saucepan and added 5 spoon of sodium carbonate. Finding soda is too easy for me as you may know I am working for a soda ash company. :lol:

    electrolysis4.jpg

    Finally I started the system. Seeing bubbles coming out of the tank was very pleasure for me. I measured the current and saw it was between 80 mA and 200 mA. It was interesting to see that when I mixed the solution by means of wooden spoon the current increased :-k .

    electrolysis5.jpg

    electrolysis6.jpg

    After 2 hours later I saw that the adaptor became out of order. :evil: I may have caused a short circuit. But the process was completed. As you can see the paint became like a paper and very easy to strip out from the surface.

    electrolysis7.jpg

    You can see cleaned tank after electrolysis. I did not use any sand paper for cleaning.

    electrolysis8.jpg

    electrolysis9.jpg

    I would recommend you to use 1000 mA adaptor in order not to have adaptor to burn early. Mine was getting very hot during the process. Three days later I found an adaptor with 18 V output with 900 mA current. This adaptor was performing quite higher efficiency. I cleaned other parts of the stove by this adaptor. Rust and all other dirt was removed very easily.

    Nothing bad happened to saucepan :^o . Just the area covered by soda solution was a bit lighter colour but I could clean it very easily. I recommend all of you that you can do electrolysis with this kind of set-up any time. Now I am going to paint the tank. If you have any question, do not hesitate to ask.

    Best regards,
    Sefa
     
  2. barrabruce

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    All ears here, Sefa. Working on having a go at it too.
     
  3. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Sefa, Be aware that you are losing metal from the anode, into solution during the process. This does not matter if you are using an old piece of steel, but if you are using your wife's best saucepan, you are in trouble.

    Regards,
    Kerophile
     
  4. fyldefox

    fyldefox R.I.P.

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    Hi Sefa

    You don't need steel rods, an old piece of iron will do perfectly well, just remember to connect your power supply to the anode above the liquid, else your crocodile clip will go the same way as the anode . . . . down the drain !

    I would use a non-metallic bucket, and if you start with just water, when no current will pass, then add your soda so that as the concentration increases you can keep it below what your power supply can deliver by using your meter.

    Kerophile is right in that it won't do your saucepans any good in the long term, :shock: but it is a useful technique for cleaning ferrous items.

    Cheers
     
  5. kevin cansler

    kevin cansler Subscriber

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    I have had very good success using a stainless steel container as the anode. With bailing wire I suspend the part to be cleaned in a stainless container so that it is contact with the solution only. The negative terminal attaches to the bailing wire and the positive to the stainless container. If the piece is well disposed, all surfaces have a 'line of sight' between cathode and anode, obviating the need to reposition to remove rust from different surfaces.
     
  6. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Hello, Sefa!

    Great to hear from you, and to know you've had such good success with your experiment!! Someday, I will give that a try, too. But, I think I will go with a large plastic tub, so I can do large parts, or lots of smaller parts, at the same time. Again, very good success, and thanks for sharing it with us!! Take care, and God Bless, my Friend!!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc Mark
     
  7. oops56

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    This is the one I made last summer. It's big. Made to do a suitcase. In bottom is a plastic food tray, upside down. The rod is bolted to the tray and a rubber hose over it. The other end I put a piece of copper for the battery clip then a single one to the object. Going to make a small one as soon as the snow's gone.

    1219335976-clean2.jpg
     

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  8. Headless_T_Gunner

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    Is that a broken off bolt in the top if the fount?

    Best Regards,
    HTG
     
  9. oops56

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    Its a threaded rod two nuts at the bottom of tray.
     
  10. bark2much

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    Looks good, Sefa! I was wondering, however, how the burner bowl turned out.

    And here is a very informative site about electrolysis. I think everyone who attempts electrolysis could use reading once every while, in order to keep up with safety.

    The author recommends against using stainless steel for environmental reason.

    Rust Removal Using Electrolysis
     
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  11. exeter_yak

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    Hey !
    Nice job Sefa, hope you will show some photos of the completed stove.

    Thanks all for the informative comments and also thanks bark2much for the link. It's now saved for future reference.

    Doug
     
  12. sefaudi

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    Hey Bark2much,

    Burner bowl become very cleaned also. But the surfaces where nickel finishes are already burnt previously could be turned to shining surfaces. But I can say that all rust and all dirt was easily removed.

    Thank you very much for the web site you shared with us. Really it covers great information.

    I recommend electrolysis everyone at least just for one attempt since you have nothing to lose.

    Best regards,
    Sefa
     
  13. nzmike

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    Nicely done, Sefa, I like the saucepan-as-anode idea, I'll try that sometime. I've just started the electro-thingie, too, using the power pack from a dead PC. It reads 5.1 volts, dont know how many amps but it seems to work ok, 9 hours saw an 8R casing back to shiny steel. I have exactly the same multi-meter too 8) I picked up a pair of jumper cable type clips from an electrical goods shop and joined them to some 2.5mm copper single core wire I had, I dont worry about them getting eaten away, when they get chewed up, I'll replace them. It's only one at a time in the solution anyway. Interesting system, wish I had got into it years ago. :roll:
     
  14. barrabruce

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    Thanks Bark2 much. Have now got out a power pack 12 volt 200ma in a tank etc rough but worth a go!! Reads 5 volt, no mA across circuit as yet. See how it goes. Thanks Sefa and NZ mike for the ideas. Tried a small 12 battery charger and things started to sizzle quick but it didn't like it. Sort of switches off and back on in an overload sequence. See if I can find a light bulb and see if that helps any. See if anything happens overnight.

    Thanks for the prod now I want to see it work too now!!! dam pot rings looked too hard to clean up without destroying them with an angle grinder. May even be usable once I have finished.

    Barra

    May find object gone and plate nice and shiny!! :lol:
     
  15. davidcolter

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    This is a good run through the electrochemistry of what happens during rust removal. More useful to the scientific mind rather than the purely practical.
     
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  16. klr650

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    Sefa, as the previous post indicates in it's link I, too, have had great success using a car battery charger. At 6volts or 12volts the only thing that changes is the time it takes for the process to be done.

    I'm very interested in applying this process to stove fettling in the future.

    Nice work by the way!
     
  17. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill Subscriber

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    Hello all. Glad to see some more converts to using electolysis. I've been using this method for several years now. Here's a couple of lessons I've learned:
    1. If you use a power supply like the chargers above try fo find one that has an output of at least 12 volts and at least 1 amp (1000mA).

    2. You can use multiple power supplies to increase the current available. Just hook them up as though you were using them individually. You can use this method to hook up multiple anodes on different side of the work piece to get better coverage.

    3. If you use your wife's cook pots she's gonna have your ass. Also if you keep using the same pot it will eventually spring a leak and you'll have a mess. Sit the pot inside a plastic container for damage control. Ask me how I know.

    4. If you can, scrounge some power supplies from electronic equipment. If you can find a regulated supply that's even better. I found a couple of power supplies that put out 20 volts at 5 amps. They are great for lanterns and stoves. Check at a TV or appliance repair place. They may have some power supplies that they'll give away or sell very cheaply.

    5. As long as you stay under about 40 volts everything is pretty safe. At 40 volts you'll get a little tingle if you stick your hand in the water. Above that you're starting to get into risky territory.

    6. You can clean the inside of a rusted fuel tank the same way. Make anodes from an old bolt or steel rod. Wrap it with tape to make it fit and insulate it from the tank. Stick one in the fuel fill hole and another in the hole where the valve screws in. Fill the tank with your water/soda mix, stick in the anodes and hook up the power supply. Just be sure to leave an air vent somewhere. When I do a lantern fount I remove the non-return valve and that hole serves as a pressure relief. Remember negative lead to the work piece, positive to the anode.

    7. Better steel makes better anodes. Cast iron and low grade steels make poor anodes. Tool steel seems best but rarely do you want to use items made of tool steel for sacrificial anodes so something in between is the answer. Old lawn mower blades make great anodes.

    Hope this hasn't rambled too much and provides some useful info.
     
  18. itchy

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    Another good reason not to use stainless steel is that, despite it being somewhat inert to the process, oxidation at the stainless anode does occur and can release an oxidized form of Chromium which is pretty toxic -- so you don't want to be handling it or disposing of it willy-nilly.
     
  19. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith Subscriber

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    :-s :? Why don't you just forget the metal pot altogether and do it in the plastic container instead...
     
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  20. klr650

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    I'll second David's statement.........get rid of the pot!