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Author: Subject: Electrolysis. See the light!
craig1410

posted on 22/12/03 at 12:28 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by blueshift
I don't think the amount of crap building up has any effect on the process.



Blueshift,
It certainly does in my case. I have a power supply with voltage and current meters and the current starts off at 4 Amps and dies away to around 2 Amps after about 20 minutes and drops further to around 1 Amp overnight. If I take out the anode and scrub it with some emery cloth and rinse it under the tap I can get 4 Amps of current flowing again. I think the crap which forms on the anode is reducing the surface conductivity and thus reducing the current. It also produces swathes of gunge at the anode which contaminates the solution badly.
Cheers,
Craig.

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blueshift

posted on 22/12/03 at 01:41 PM Reply With Quote
This makes sense I shuppose, a rust cake coating being less conductive than the bare metal. Does that mean you're using a mild steel electrode or does cack form on stainless too?

I thought you were talking about the poop that ends up suspended in the solution, before.. that's why I said I didn't think it'd have any effect.. my bad

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JoelP

posted on 22/12/03 at 01:47 PM Reply With Quote
how about using wire wool as the +ve electrode? should have enough surface area to resist some goop buildup!





Beware! Bourettes is binfectious.

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locoboy

posted on 22/12/03 at 02:00 PM Reply With Quote
with the strands being so thin it may just all desintegrate!

I thought about a stainless steel seive, but thought it may be too thin and get eaten away,

and be a bitch to clean.





ATB
Locoboy

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JoelP

posted on 22/12/03 at 07:23 PM Reply With Quote
maybe possible to clean the electrode easily by reversing the current with some scrap as the target?!





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locoboy

posted on 22/12/03 at 07:35 PM Reply With Quote
Gutted.........

Needed a battery charger for some time so thought now is the time and i can try this de rusting process too.

Inot Halfrauds and out with a nice looking all singing all dancing charger.

Halford Auto Charger
Halford Auto Charger


Got the washing soda and a nice stainless serving spoon (90p) and a plastic washing up bowl.

hooked it all up and nowt seemed to be happening.

Theni discover this "fully Automatic" charger is to fecking clever for its own good.

It only supplies power to the leads once it is connected to the battery, i guess it will detect some resistance of someting and allow power to flow.

I tried it with the power on and touched the 2 clips together and nowt!

Question,

Can i hook the charger to a battery then at the same time run 2 leads from the battery to the rusty piece and the stainless anode?

Word of warning, even battery chargers are getting smart these days!





ATB
Locoboy

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craig1410

posted on 22/12/03 at 08:19 PM Reply With Quote
Col,
Only thing to watch for is short circuits as the battery will supply a huge current if you short out the anode and cathode. A battery charger will only supply maybe 4 Amps before its internal protection will start to shut it down. The other downside of a battery is that it is always live so you won't be able to turn off the power so easily when rearranging the piece being derusted. Obviously you could just use jump leads but you don't really want sparks when connecting and disconnecting as this could potentially explode the hydrogen.

Why not try to get hold of one of those old CB (Citizens band radio) power supplies. They supply 13.8 Volts at a few amps and would be safer than a car battery in my opinion. Maplin are selling a 5Amp version for 29.99 inc vat (product code XM22Y)

HTH,
Craig.

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blueshift

posted on 23/12/03 at 02:12 AM Reply With Quote
I've got a nice old 7A CB power supply. you can pick them up dirt cheap secondhand, or at least you used to be able to. they might be thin on the ground these days.

The idea of cheating the automatic charger with the battery should work I think, you might want to put a fuse in the circuit though, else as craig says much melting.

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locoboy

posted on 23/12/03 at 09:08 AM Reply With Quote
Cheers chaps,

Think i will return it today and just try to get an old style battery charger, or failing that i have a transformer that i used to use to power my radio controlled car battery rapid charger, i guess that would do?





ATB
Locoboy

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Spyderman

posted on 23/12/03 at 12:57 PM Reply With Quote
If you have an old PC case you can use the power supply from that.
They are commonly used for small scale plating and should provide enough current for what you want!





Spyderman

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DaveFJ

posted on 23/12/03 at 01:23 PM Reply With Quote
AHAA - finally a use for those 30 odd AT style PC power supplies I kept in the garage 'just in case'





Dave

"In Support of Help the Heroes" - Always

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timf

posted on 23/12/03 at 01:44 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by protofj
AHAA - finally a use for those 30 odd AT style PC power supplies I kept in the garage 'just in case'


dave 1 or 2 ok but 30

definately a case of hoarding on your part

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MikeR

posted on 23/12/03 at 06:57 PM Reply With Quote
So nows not a good time to admit i had to shift 10 cases when i moved house ..... I had a clear out some time later and have still got a few cases and power supplies hanging around!!

Now which would be better, AT or ATX 1.0 or ATX 2.1 power supplies?


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blueshift

posted on 24/12/03 at 11:11 AM Reply With Quote
One of the nice old ones that doesn't have magic in them that only turns on the power rails when it has devices / motherboard attached.
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craig1410

posted on 24/12/03 at 11:52 AM Reply With Quote
Blueshift,
That's easily defeated anyway by placing a load resistor across the +5V to ground pins. You'll need a load of an Amp or so which would require a 4.7ohm resistor. Don't just use a little 0.25 watt resistor though as you will need to dissipate a fair amount of power. Something like 5 watts in fact (V^2/R)

Cheers,
Craig.

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Mark Allanson

posted on 29/12/03 at 05:51 PM Reply With Quote
Easier source of washing soda - Safeways, 79p Rescued attachment Soda.jpg
Rescued attachment Soda.jpg






If you can keep you head, whilst all others around you are losing theirs, you are not fully aware of the situation

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CairB

posted on 30/12/03 at 09:31 AM Reply With Quote
Mark,

You were robbed Tesco 51p

Anyone any cheaper? Rescued attachment 200312300907_00038.jpg
Rescued attachment 200312300907_00038.jpg

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blueshift

posted on 30/12/03 at 12:04 PM Reply With Quote
Raiding my dad's garage cupboards, 0p.

I win, unless anyone got paid to take some away?

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DaveFJ

posted on 30/12/03 at 12:37 PM Reply With Quote
Have to try ALDI or LIDL tonite - they just have to be cheaper.....

BTW defeating an ATX power supply is far easuier than all that - i just use a paperclip across two of the pins when testing them (can't remeber which but I have it written down somewhere...)

Dave





Dave

"In Support of Help the Heroes" - Always

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dave1888

posted on 13/1/04 at 06:36 PM Reply With Quote
can anyone tell me the mix water to sodium/wash soda.
thanks






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blueshift

posted on 13/1/04 at 08:16 PM Reply With Quote
It's in the FAQ liam posted as the first post on this thread.
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dave1888

posted on 13/1/04 at 09:31 PM Reply With Quote
Cheers got it now






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ijohnston99

posted on 14/1/04 at 09:20 PM Reply With Quote
Excellent thanks for that Liam. It got me digging around and I found a slightly simpler to understand version..

More electrolysis

Ian

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craig1410

posted on 14/1/04 at 10:35 PM Reply With Quote
DO NOT USE STAINLESS STEEL ANODES!

Bloody 'ell!
Have you guys read the bit about using stainless steel for the anode?? Here is the text:

"Many people using the electrolysis method for rust reduction swear by stainless steel, stating (incorrectly) that it's not consumed, stays clean and seems safe.
Stainless steel is indeed consumed when used in the electrolysis process, although slowly. The main problem with using it is the hazardous waste it produces. Stainless steel contains chromium. The electrodes, and thus the chromium is consumed, and you end up with poisonous chromates in your electrolyte. Dumping these on the ground or down the drain is illegal. The compounds can cause severe skin problems and ultimately, cancer. Hexavalent chromate is poisonous. These compounds are not excused from hazardous waste regulations where household wastes are.
These compounds are bad enough that government regulations mandate "elimination of hexavalent chromate by 2007 for corrosion protection."

Does your electrolyte turn yellow? That's a sign of chromates.

If you have been using stainless steel for the anodes (positive electrodes), wear rubber gloves when working with or near the liquids. If you need to dispose of it, allow it to evaporate into powders and dispose of the powders in sealed containers during your local "hazardous waste clean-up days".

Best bet - don't use stainless steel no matter how tempting it is."

Scary stuff!!
If anyone has seen the film "Erin Brochovich" with Julia Roberts then you will know how dangerous hexavalent chromium is. The worrying thing is that I didn't know about this earlier and have handled and disposed of this stuff down the drain as it was supposedly non-toxic and harmless. I can't remember there being any yellow residue and the stainless plate may not have been stainless steel as it was magnetic (I know some SS's are ferrous) and it was eventually eaten away by the process. It may have been chrome plated though which may even be worse!

I guess we'd better all just use mild steel from now on then eh???
Cheers,
Craig.

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blueshift

posted on 15/1/04 at 06:44 PM Reply With Quote
good heads-up. maybe someone should contact the maintainer of the original FAQ?
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