Instructables
Picture of Easy electroplating (Galvanizado f�cil)
CUIDADO: este proyecto no debe ser afrontado por niños, porque implica el manejo de sustancias peligrosas y vapores tóxicos.

Repito: Este proyecto implica el manejo de sustancias peligrosas y vapores tóxicos. Por lo tanto, no debe ser afrontado por niños ni personas inexpertas o atolondradas.

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WARNING: this project should not be faced by children, because it involves the handling of hazardous substances and toxic fumes.

I repeat: This project involves the handling of hazardous and toxic fumes. Therefore, should not be faced by children or inexperienced or reckless.
 
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Step 1: Para qu� galvanizar (to what galvanize)

El galvanizado es un procedimiento que sirve para proteger del óxido, y eventualmente embellecer superficialmente, una pieza de hierro. Es muy utilizado industrialmente, siendo prácticamente excluyente en cuanto al tratamiento de chapas corrugadas para techos. No es la panacea universal, pero es sumamente útil.

El presente instructable tratará exclusivamente, en base a mi propia experiencia y siguiendo las indicaciones dadas por un amigo, de cómo recubrir con zinc una pieza de hierro o acero.

Pido que quienes sepan más que yo del tema no duden en corregirme.

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Galvanizing is a process that serves to protect from rust, and eventually beautify the surface, a piece of iron. It is widely used industrially, being almost exclusive in the treatment of corrugated roofing sheets. It is not the universal panacea, but it is extremely useful.

This instructable will exclusively treat, based on my experience and following the instructions given by a friend, how zinc coating a piece of iron or steel.

I ask those who know the subject more than I feel free to correct me.
databoy2 years ago
Why anyone would make a dangerous back yard electroplating contraption bamboozles me.

The electroplating process demonstrated in the Instructable is not a viable, durable, long term, corrosion resistant solution.

There is a big difference between galvanising and zinc plating. Zinc plating exposed to the weather will corrode very fast. It is a better solution to spray paint the steel with a weatherproof epoxy paint.

Commercial zinc plating involves the electrolytic application of zinc by immersing clean steel parts in a zinc salt solution and applying an electric current. This process applies a layer of pure zinc that ranges from a few microns on cheap hardware components to 15 microns or more on good quality fasteners. Technical and cost issues prevent the economical plating of components with heavier coatings.

Most industrial steel posts are hot dipped galvanised. In an industrial situation where hot dipped galvanising is welded, the weld is painted with a cold galvanising paint. The cold galvanising paint is just as if not more durable that the hot dipped galvanising.

Weather exposed galvanised posts should be painted at the ground level because the atmospheric moisture and the soil will corrode the galvanising at the soil contact point.

The majority of good quality roofing sheets worldwide are plated with a patented process called zincalume. Zincalume is a far superior product to zinc plating and galvanising. The lifetime of zincalume is up to four times that of ordinary galvanised steel. If the zincalume steel is lightly scratched the zincalume coating reacts with the atmospheric moisture and self heals. That is why you can cut a zincalume sheet and the ends will not rust.

Colorbonding zincalume adds another protection layer to the zincalume layer.
jexter databoy9 months ago

"Why anyone would make a dangerous back yard electroplating contraption bamboozles me."

It's not bad enough to flag as a violation of the "Be Nice" comment policy, but it's still not a nice way to start a comment. I suppose you mean well, databoy, but if this one bothers you, you're probably "bamboozled" by many of the projects on Instructables, because a large percentage of them involve "dangerous backyard contraptions" that yield less-than-industrial-quality results. The fun is in the doing, the jury-rigging, the brainstorming, the re-purposing, the problem solving, the tinkering...that's what this Instructables website is about. You passed along a lot of information about industrial coatings, but almost none of it useful to the do-it-yourselfer. (I do want to learn more about "cold galvanizing paint", though. Where do you buy it?)

Like rimar2000, I'm also retired. I grew up in a time when we threw-out things a lot less and fixed and repaired things a lot more. After a long career I now have the time to do that again, and I really enjoy it. Please don't make comments here or elsewhere that belittle, and don't lecture; it tends to take the fun out of it.

Cheers.

P.S. If you want to be taken seriously, you shouldn't suggest that wrenches should be painted.  :)
rimar2000 (author)  jexter9 months ago
Thanks jexter. I agree fully with you, but I am not annoyed for the comment of databoy. Really I don't know all these technical matters, I do only the things I can, sometimes with good results and others –mostly– failed. But as you said, doing them is the fun.

In this case, a russian friend told me that in his country they use this method often, in cars and other things. I apllied it two or three times, and the result was temporary, maybe databoy is right, a coat of paint would been better.
rimar2000 (author)  databoy9 months ago
Pardon, databoy, just now I see your comment. Thanks for your data, I didn't know that.
rimar2000 (author)  databoy2 years ago
OK, thanks for your comment. I named it "electroplating" because it was an option from Google (sorry, I don't speak English).

If you read carefully my post, you will realize that I am not suggesting this method as industrial procedure or so. It is good enough for little domestic repairs. I know there are other methods, surely some of them better, but I am only speaking about THIS, in order to some persons can know it exists.

Personally, I prefer to use liquid phosphating. It is easier and safer, but I don't know which of both is better.
Hi Rimar, i have recently discovered a process that works really well for me, using household chemicals, the electrolyte is made from White Vinegar, sugar, and epsom salts, or magnesium sulphate, which was commonly used in the old days as a laxative.

Here i have placed the link, it is in english but i am sure google will do it justice.
http://home.comcast.net/%7Ert66tbird/website/index.html
The nice thing about it, is that it does not involve any serious chemicals, although, once mixed up, it does constitute a mild acid.
I live at the coast in South Africa and have made some tee's used as concrete anchors, which have been exposed to the elements for some months now, no sign of rust or degradation.
I used an old industrial computer supply which delivers 12 amps at 5 volts, works really well. Any old pc supply should be able to give you that anyway.
I really enjoy your instructables!!
rimar2000 (author)  andersonhdj1 year ago
OK, finally I found the link here: http://home.comcast.net/~rt66tbird/website/zincplating.html

You can use that method to galvanize little parts, surely it is better. But for big parts that have a little rust stain, you can't use it.
rimar2000 (author)  andersonhdj1 year ago
Thanks for your comment and praise, andersohndj, I could not find the formula in your link, may be you were wrong when pasting it. Where the zinc is in the recipe? Or is it another coating?

I think 5 V 12 A is good for a medium lapse electroplating, but not for this fast method.
Hi Rimar, the link does work, i have just checked, the info is under "Restoration tips" on the right of the screen.
I have found that useful plating takes around 10 mins with this method, obviously also dependant on the item size as well and also the proximity to the zinc anode.
What i like about this method is that it can almost be described as harmless. Here i have added extracts from the link for the recipe.


Here is the recipe. I filled the bucket with 3 liters of white vinegar. I then added 300 grams of Epsom salts and 100 grams of sugar to the solution. The solution was then stirred with a paint stick until it was all well dissolved.
4leggedman1 year ago
¿se puede usar una soldadora como fuente de energía? La pinza a la chapa, el portaelectrodos pellizcando el pincel...
Any chance one could use a common welding machine as source of energy, connecting one clamp to the metal base and the other to the brush?
rimar2000 (author)  4leggedman1 year ago
Yo creo que no sería conveniente, porque la soldadora suministra demasiada potencia. Además, hay muchas de corriente alterna, como la que uso yo, y se necesita corriente continua.
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I think it would be inappropriate, because the welding supplies too power. In addition, there are many AC, like that I use, and you need DC.
juanjomf2 years ago
Gracias,..juanjo ,desde castillos/rocha/ uruguay
rimar2000 (author)  juanjomf2 years ago
Me alegro de serte útil, hermano oriental.
farmboy792 years ago
Zinc chloride powder/crystals are available on eBay if you don't want to mess with dissolving zinc in muriatic/hydrochloric acid. Keep in mind it is still very corrosive and requires the same precautions when you mix it with water, you just eliminate one step.
rimar2000 (author)  farmboy792 years ago
Thanks for the info. I live in Argentina, maybe some drugstores here sells it.
Febigenus2 years ago
Genial. Una explicación completa. Gracias.
rimar2000 (author)  Febigenus2 years ago
Gracias a vos por el comentario positivo.
carlitos2 years ago
I learned in chemistry a rule: AAA (Always add acid [to a base]) So would adding a little acid at a time to zinc instead help in controlling the release of heat and avoid violent splashing?
rimar2000 (author)  carlitos2 years ago
Oh, I did not know that. Maybe it can prevents the splashing. Thanks for your advice.
Mr.Sanchez2 years ago
Lo vi alguna vez en Mecanica Popular una revista muy Interesante.Gracias por compartir.
rimar2000 (author)  Mr.Sanchez2 years ago
Gracias por tu comentario, Mr.Sanchez. Yo recibo el boletín semanal de Mi Mecánica Popular, pondré cuidado en revisarlo con más detenimiento. De ahí he sacado varias ideas interesantes.
Una muy buena fuente de datos...hay proyectos increibles y muy detallados.
daliad1002 years ago
That is genius.
rimar2000 (author)  daliad1002 years ago
Thanks for the compliment, but I didn't invented it!
mmiller522 years ago
The by product is Hydrogen gas....be careful.
rimar2000 (author)  mmiller522 years ago
Yes, I know, thanks for the advice.
Dr Qui2 years ago
That is a very interesting method for electroplating, I never though of brushing the zinc on.  This would be great fro re-galvanizing welds on previously galvanized items.

Is there a limit to the size of object that can be plated?

Excellent works as always :)
rimar2000 (author)  Dr Qui2 years ago
Good idea that of re-galvanizing after welding. I think there are no limits of size.

Thanks for yout comment.
Phil B2 years ago
Thank you. This is very interesting. It appears your wrench turned out well.
rimar2000 (author)  Phil B2 years ago
Thanks, Phil. I will see the result in a few months.
That spanner looks like one I once used on the metal lathe I was operator of many years ago. the one i had was completely rusted, I had it sandblasted and it came up like new, the constant coating of coolant oil never allowed it to rust from that point on and it went that nice chocolate colour that real good quality steel goes. Those old tools had real good metal in them, that one don't look to bad for having bee buried for a number of years.
rimar2000 (author)  Dr Qui2 years ago
Maybe it is your spanner!! ;)
heathbar642 years ago
As ALWAYS, very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing it.
rimar2000 (author)  heathbar642 years ago
Thanks for your kind comment.
spike35792 years ago
I always thought you had to do it in a bath over long periods of time. This seems simpler and more immediate once you have the zinc chloride.
rimar2000 (author)  spike35792 years ago
I think the bath method is far more effective, but it requires much more previous work and installation.

Thanks for your comment.
pfred22 years ago
How strong is the muratic acid? This might work well after doing electrolytic rust removal. There are instructions on this site how to do that. I've used the "right" chemical to do it but I prefer plain old baking soda.
rimar2000 (author)  pfred22 years ago
The bottle says 30/33 %. It smells strong.

Yes, it would be preferable an electrolytic rust removal, but I wanted only to show this method here.