Think & Tinker, Ltd.
P.O. Box 1606, Palmer Lake, CO 80133
Tel: (719) 488-9640, Fax: (866) 453-8473
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Acid-Copper Electroplating Module Model 1000 Manual
Getting things ready - Leaching I


Tank valve open.


Recirculate


Drain


Off
Pump valve positions
figure 6

Leaching

Leaching with a mild acid solution will remove any residual organic contamination from the tank components and anode nuggets.  Any such contaminants can interfere with plating, reduce the throwing power into small through holes, and "spoil" the surface of the anodes leading to a complete shutdown of the plater. Leaching will also remove any oxide layer from the anode nuggets and get them ready for conditioning in the plating bath.

To leach the tank and its support components:
  1. Put on your acid proof smock and gloves and a facemask (or a pair of safety glasses with full side shields).
  2. Make sure that the tank valve is OPEN and the pump valve is in the RECIRCULATE position.
  3. Add phosphorized copper nuggets to each anode basket until they are just below the top rim of each basket. During operation, it is essential that each basket is filled with enough nuggets so that the top most nugget is just below the electrolyte level in the tank.
  4. Unscrew the blue filter bowl. Insert the 20 micron filter that shipped with the unit into the filter bowl and set it onto the filter canister base. Remount the bowl making sure that the "O" ring inside the bowl is properly seated. The bowl must be screwed securely tight to the base to insure a leak-proof seal.
  5. Fill the tank with a 10% solution of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) until the liquid is about 4" (100 mm) deep in the bottom of the tank. (the solution will just cover the sparger spacer blocks)
  6. Remove the safety cap from the drain line and hold the outlet over a 1 liter pitcher.
  7. Rotate the handle on the pump valve to the DRAIN position. Make sure that the filter valve is in the OPEN position (fig.2).
  8. OPEN the drain valve and prime the pump by allowing about ½ liter of electrolyte to drain into the pitcher.
  9. Rotate the pump valve to the OFF position and allow all of the liquid in the drain line to empty into the pitcher. After the line is clear, CLOSE the drain valve and replace the screw cap.
  10. Rotate the pump valve to the RECIRCULATE position.
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