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Electrolysis anodes


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  #1  
Old 01-11-2005, 12:40:56 PM
Ken Adamson Ken Adamson is offline
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Default Electrolysis anodes

The first electrolysis barrel that I made was quickly put together out of scrap materials that I found in my shop. The #8 bare copper wire that I used for the sacrificial anode rapidly disappeared. After seeing that I realized why using copper pipe for plumbing in the house is so bad. It only lasted about 10 years. Getting back on track, I am in the process of building a new, better improved electrolysis barrel.

What is a good material to use for the sacrificial anode - that is inexpensive, easy to find and easy to use? I have asked this question to the electrical engineers that I work with, but they talk too much Greek in theory for me to understand.

Thank you
Ken Adamson
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:08:57 PM
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Mike Monnier Mike Monnier is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

I think a lot of people just use plain old cold rolled steel plate or strip. Although it works good, avoid using stainless steel because you will have chromium to dispose of. You may have to pull the anode out periodically and wire brush it to remove the rust pulled from the part you are working on. Search the archives as there is a wealth of information about electrolysis in them. Good luck, Mike.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:40:29 PM
Franz Franz is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

After a few years of playing with this process, I can absolutely state the best electrode is Carbon or Graphite. Carbon does NOT accumulate the crud/rust coming off the object being derusted, therefore the process does not self stop. Carbon electrodes last a long time, and are worth the investment when you are serious about the process, and intend to do a lot of it. The material I use is a fiberglass impregnated graphite sheet, that lasts well over 2000 hours of submerged time, when properly used, and protected from freezing. The cost is about $14- a square foot shipped anyplace in the US.

For somebody who only has a single piece to derust, I generally recommend old lawnmower blades, they are generally free from mower shops, and easy to work with. Use a sufficient number so the surface area equals the surface being derusted, and clean as the current drops off, and you'll get the same final result.
Sheet steel, if you can get it free, works well too.
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Old 01-11-2005, 03:09:12 PM
Ken Adamson Ken Adamson is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Hit pay dirt!!
It took a little time, but I found exactly what I was looking for. All kinds of info about electrolysis and a bunch more.
Franz – I ran across one of your old post where you responded to “Electrolosys Washing Soda” – it was very helpful just as this info is today.
Another question – why is it that some times the vat just kinda works real slow and then other times it is like there is a mixer working the vat and it is boiling?
Thanks again
Ken
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:51:00 PM
Brian Henderson Brian Henderson is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

I used old bits of rebar. I spaced vertical pieces equally around the perimeter of the "vat" and welded them together at the top end using short pieces of rebar to span between and connect them. Seemed to work well.
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:17:36 PM
Al Wait Al Wait is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

There is a local sheet-metal shop that fabricates parts bins. I scrounge flat steel pieces (8" x 28") that they have spoiled. I use a 17-gallon plastic tub that I bought for $8.00 at Wal-mart. I have just discovered that washing soda is getting hard to find. Most store clerks don't even know what it is. Anyway, mix one tablespoon of soda/gallon of water, hook the POSITIVE lead of your 12-volt battery charger to the anode and the negative lead to the part, and let fly. I use a brick to keep the anode away from the part. Just be patient and let it do its thing. Al Wait
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:21:44 PM
Jim Tremble Jim Tremble is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Adamson
Another question – why is it that some times the vat just kinda works real slow and then other times it is like there is a mixer working the vat and it is boiling?
Thanks again
Ken
Ken

You will find, when the anodes are clean and free of the rust build up, the solution will boil like crazy. When the anodes are dirty, the amperage will drop and the cleaning will decrease. At this point, clean the anodes and you will see the solution boil and the amperage will up on the charger.

Try it a couple of times and you will get the hang of it.

Hope this helped,

Jim
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:00:25 PM
Franz Franz is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

I probably should have posted this link to a better writeup.
http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...ead.php?t=1695

If you're having trouble finding Washing Soda at your local grocery store, you can buy the same product at pool suppliers naturally at a higher price under the name Sodium Carbonate. If you're near a chemicle supplier, you can get Sodium Carbonate fairly cheap.
You can also run the process at slightly reduced efficiency using BakingSoda.
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:03:05 AM
Ken Erman Ken Erman is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

Franz - I would love to find out where you get the fiberglass impregnated graphite sheet. I do a lot of this and wear out a lot of old lawnmower blades, i know i could do it more efficiently if they didn't crud up so fast.
  #10  
Old 01-12-2005, 02:10:21 PM
Orrin Orrin is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

The Shop Floor Talk link given above is excellent. It agrees pretty much with my experience which I've written up in this handout I use with my demonstrations.

http://users.moscow.com/oiseming/rustdemo/rustdemo.htm

Orrin
  #11  
Old 01-12-2005, 02:53:13 PM
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kerogas kerogas is offline
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Default Re: Electrolysis anodes

I use any scrap I have , lots of empty thinner cans around usually . Expanded metal and sheet for really largepieces . No stainless .
clinkinzeelinkee
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/hotube/electro.html
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