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Where to get stainless steel sheets for oxyHydrogen generator? Answered

I am looking for thin stainless steel sheets to use as the electrodes for an oxyHydrogen producing "dry cell" set up to power a welding / cutting torch. It should be in sheets that can be evenly devided into 6 inch squares.

 I am not sure what alloy it has to be so if you know about stainless steel alloys I would love advice. The electrolyte will be NaOH, and it will probably run at 120V AC at as many amps as it will draw but I might put in one of those light dimmer knobs to control it a little.


well others have already commented on the AC thing, but you could likely get stainless steel sheets out of old kitchen sinks.... or maybe head to a local metal recyclers... or if you're really lucky... maybe you will find an abandoned delorian somewhere :)


Best Answer 7 years ago

Look for "sheet-metal workers", ask them if you can raid their scraps perhaps?


By now you've probably already built this rig but for the benifit of other people reading it...

AC current will swap the electrodes from + to - and 60hz or whatever you use in your region. This means H2 and O2 will be evolved from both electrodes, making it imossible to separate the gasses. It is a BAD IDEA to ever have hydrogen gas and oxygen combined before you want them to combust ie. you want them to stay deparate until the tip of the torch. Because H2 will not combust without O2 so it's more or less safe in its tank, but if you're storing oxy-hydrogen (also known as HHO, brown's gas or boom gas), if you get a flashback then the whole tank goes up and people die. Soooo... you want DC current so you can keep the hydrogen pure and stay alive.

As for which alloy, you want something with as much cromium as possible. At least 12% unfortunately this means more expensive if buying it, or harder to find as scrap. Even if it is 12+% stainless though, it may still be suceptible to corrosion. Industrial hydrolosis rigs use platinum, though I realise the prohibitive cost in that. Another posibility is graphite.

If you do build / have built this, can you let me know how the stainless steel faired against corrosion, because I'm thinking of doing something similar and it would be nice to get some cheap electrodes.

I have not made the electrolysis cell for the torch yet because it is hard to find cheap stainless steel. I made one from stainless steel foil (used for decoration or models normally I think) and it worked but the silicone glue I used to space out the plates was damaged by the heat and I couldn't fix the leaking.

I have made smaller electrolysis cells for other uses with any scrap stainless steel I found and it is not corroded noticeably even after a lot of use. The water does get colored after a long time though so the steel must decay a little.

Oh cool that's good to know. maybe I will use stainless steel for mine too then.

Ya, and if you want it to be real good but don't want to buy platinum (assuming you can't mine it yourself) you could make a PbO2 anode.

Also you shold be told that allow ing the gasses to be together is not as dangerous that you think it is, and that generating them separately like in a hoffman settup will not give you the same efficiency and production rate as closely spaced electrodes.

PbO2 - is that what they use in car batteries?

Yeah to be honest I'd never heard of a water torch when I wrote that comment but since then I've checked them out and it doesn't seem too dangerous. I'm trying run my car on hydrogen and I sure as hell would not run it off HHO but the bubbler on an HHO torch is a really good idea and I might even try one myself

Yes, one of the electrodes in a charged lead-acid battery is covered in PbO2. If you are interested you can learn to make PbO2 electrodes here.

Stainless works fine though if you can get it.

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Why? If you run the current one way it will work, and it will still work if you switch it around. You could switch it around as many times as you want. Is there just a certain frequency it has to be below?

It's not that I don't believe you I just don't understand why it wouldn't work. I guess I'll have to put in a rectifier.

And you get Oxy-hydrogen, in explosive concentrations.

Where are you in the world ?

I am in the Western part of Washington State towards the North end of Puget Sound.

Try and see if Metal Supermarkets have anywhere near you.


Before you do your test run, set up a video camera on a tripod, set it recording, and use the first few minutes to leave messages for your next of kin...