Use of the Hull Cell in Maintaining Electroplating and Electroforming Baths

Chemistry, Electrical
[caption id="attachment_23592" align="alignright" width="480"] Hull Cell[/caption] Electroplating is the depositing of a metallic film onto a substrate, whatever form that substrate takes. One most unusual substrate is baby shoes! The electroplating industry contributes both functionally and aesthetically to a host of consumer products. Plating is both a science and an art. Electroplating bath chemistry is crucial. It is dynamic, ever changing. Frequent adjustments, tweaks, keep it in top operating condition. Plating Bath Components Every plating bath is different, but there are some components that are pretty standard for the majority of them. 1. Water 2. Metallic salt 3. An acid or an alkali version of the same salt as the metal 4. Brighteners 5. Anodes Example One example demonstrating the art-science dichotomy is the cyanide-copper flash bath, primarily used in…
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Random Electroform Art – How It Can Be Created

The Arts
[caption id="attachment_14086" align="alignright" width="480"] Gold-plated dendritic copper electroform art.[/caption] Art takes many forms. As a chemist, I was assigned the task of forming high frequency electrical devices. I "grew" them from water based solutions of copper salts. I then electroplated them in gold baths. I'd found my kind of art - random electroform art! No one can say it is unoriginal. Preparation A form, or mandrel, was made of machined aluminum. A sodium zincate dip and rinse followed. Copper was grown over that. Not all areas received growth, though. Forms were masked to prevent growth in certain spots with a vinyl coating. This was applied by dipping and "painting." Growth After drying, the mandrel was inserted into the bath. Electricity was applied. Copper deposition began. After growth completion, the piece…
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