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Flat32

Plating a plastic spoon test

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Posted (edited)

This is not a tutorial, yet, but I hope to make it one eventually based on what I see here.  I have a language problem slowing the effort. Spoon test

 

Edited by Flat32
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Posted (edited)

Well I'm intrigued!

Step 1: learn Russian. Lol.

*edit* All of the other videos I just watched appear to show electro-plating, requiring plastic objects to be coated with graphite paint before plating. This guy's doing something different. I'm wondering if it's a mixture similar to the spray-chrome products that have popped up in recent years.

 

Edited by Spex84

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Nope.  It's actually it is using a common method of electroless nickel plating.  There are a couple steps before the plating dip. I know the steps and basic ingredients, but haven't pinned down the solution mixing formulas. No graphite or other conductive coating is needed. Similar or same as the "strike" coating done on plating grade plastics before electroplating chrome.

I want to do it to strengthen my printed resin parts and use it as a primer for my Strombergs.  If the pre-dip solutions can be applied selectively by brush It might be possible to do model trim in nickel. There are a couple commercial platers that will plate sla resin, but I think only on an industrial scale. They don't say much about how they do it and certainly won't divulge their solution formulas. All is not lost.  There's a video series out of India where the guy is preparing some of these solutions step by step and giving the exact amount of each ingredient. I haven't digested all of it to know which solution he's mixing.  Working on it.

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Interesting info. But since this is about plating, may I suggest that you change the subject of this thread.  "Spoon test" is not very informative or describes what this thread is all about.  You only have 3 days to edit the post.

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Edited the topic.

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Could you achieve the desired results by plating with silver nitrate?

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9 hours ago, Daddy Mack said:

Could you achieve the desired results by plating with silver nitrate?

Don't know. Silver nitrate is one of the chemicals I ordered though. I want to do it to strengthen my printed resin parts and use it as a primer. Nickel is what I'm focused on because I have some prior knowledge about how it's used in plating plastic. Nickel is much harder than silver and is the go to base for electroforming copper.

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19 hours ago, Flat32 said:

Edited the topic.

Thanks - makes much more sense now.

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Found a website that mentions silvering plastic, Angel Guilding.  They have kits for silvering.  I already ordered a Caswell Plating kit for electroless nickel plating.

Metal plating isn't rocket science.  It's chemistry with a little alchemy thrown in.  Kind of simple to do once you get through the complexities of gathering the chemicals and supplies and find rational instructions.

 

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46 minutes ago, Flat32 said:

Found a website that mentions silvering plastic, Angel Guilding.  They have kits for silvering.  I already ordered a Caswell Plating kit for electroless nickel plating.

Metal plating isn't rocket science.  It's chemistry with a little alchemy thrown in.  Kind of simple to do once you get through the complexities of gathering the chemicals and supplies and find rational instructions.

 

Had a read through the .pdf for the Caswell kit...it made my head hurt.

It would be interesting to see how you make out with the system- please bump your thread, with pics (and even better- video).

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the video is from Kolkata,india….there is a phone number... 968/120/1969...anyone speak india language?? oldr-n-drt

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I wonder if: once a silver nitrate 'primer' is applied that nickel could be electro-deposited onto the conductive silver base?

Things like this seem to work better once electricity gets involved. I'll be watching to see how things turn out!

 

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Back in the old days before vacuum aluminizing, astronomical telescope mirrors were plated with a silver nitrate solution. It made quite a shiny reflective surface, but with exposure to outside elements it had to be redone every few years. Every amateur telescope making catalog carried silvering kits.

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Posted (edited)

This project will take longer than I'd hoped.  Got most of the chemicals, a bunch of lab equipment, a couple plating kits, one of two technical books I ordered and a fair amount of skepticism.  So far cost is still under $1000.  Got 5 grams of palladium chloride for only $285 including tax.  Wife gets earrings or I'm toast

I suspect the spoon video might be bogus..

Edited by Flat32
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Posted (edited)

The spoon test video looks legit to me, but if I was gonna fake a video like that, I would chrome some items with Molotow, fill a bath with isopropyl alcohol, dissolve the chrome, and then reverse the footage.

*edit* I'm impressed that you've jumped feet-first into purchasing the equipment and chemicals! Not a whole lot of people willing to make that commitment, so we'll all be watching with great interest.

*edit #2: In the original spoon test video, I can see an air bubble evacuating when the shot glass is lowered into the bath. This wouldn't happen if footage was reversed.

 

Edited by Spex84

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It's been 60 years since I took high school chemistry and even then summa dis and summa dat didn't fly and it certainly ain't gonna fly with this electroless stuff.

I find it interesting that quite a number of research papers i scour looking for recipes are authored by Chinese scholars.  A couple Pakistani and South Korean too. 

Finally found a couple recipes I can understand dealing with simple grams and milliliters instead of molar solutions.  So now I can do X grams of dis and Y ml of dat mixed with Z ml of deionized water.

Getting closer to needing plastic spoons which I don't have yet.

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Daddy Mack suggesting silver has been very helpful,  It led me to the Angel Gilding site from which I ordered some chemicals and kits.  Took me a while to find this particular page that quite clearly explains what I need to do.

https://angelgilding.com/electroplating-and-powder-coating/

Thank you Daddy Mack.

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Posted (edited)

Ran my first plating experiment and got the result I expected.  Got what looks like gray primer completely covering the red resin. It is a matte finish because I hit it with pumice in the air eraser to start with.  Then a dip in wetting solution followed by a dip in tin sensitizer solution for 30 seconds.  Rinsed with distilled water and then into a silver solution for 5 minutes.

The surface I have is conductive so I could electroplate nickel or copper on it, but I just want it to be like a primer with full coverage and no buildup.

Next will be the electroless nickel where I want to get a metallic looking surface that can be buffed, painted or metalized.  The first method only a very thin silver coating that cannot be buffed.

The EN method allows a thicker nickel coating that can be buffed or given a subsequent bright nickel plate.

 

 

Plated 2.jpg

Plated 1.jpg

Edited by Flat32
pic size

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Just discovered my matte finish responds to burnishing.

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Looks better in person, but getting closer to goal.

burnished.jpg

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First try at electroless nickel on resin failed.  I have no idea why.  I'll try again, but three failures in a row will be all I'll tolerate with electroless.

This is a process that I can't promote as DIY.

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   This is really cool stuff!  That carb is a piece art in itself sir!!

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Got my heated magnetic stirrer today for my next attempt at electroless nickel. Expectations not high. Not easy to scale a relatively finicky industrial process.

Getting ready to follow Daddy Mack's suggestion and start putting electricity to this whole deal.  Will have to anyway for doing the electroforming I need to strengthen my thin resin parts.  Especially the 1932 Ford front spindles I want to articulate and the Model T chassis that tends to warp.

I'm pretty darned certain the spoon video is silver and not nickel.

The carb is my attempt to 3D print a better representation of the somewhat famous Stromberg 97 than what is currently available.Trying to color detail it without having to become an artist. 

Using silvering in place of primer paint has worked out very well and using inks instead of paints is easier for me. I haven't even attempted a model build that needs paint, yet.

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Posted (edited)

Flat32, I'm intrigued by your experiments, I hope you figure it out. That carb looks good, is it 1/25? Who did the printing?

Thanks,

Steve

 

Edited by sbk

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