"" Is anyone willing to conduct some experiments for the good of all readers? ""
I certainly am willing and ready . I'm new to doing this so I'm not to sure of how much help I could be but willing to try if it might help me reach my goals . L et me give you some back ground on myself . My names Lonnie and I'm residing in Middle Tennessee . I happen to have quite a bit of silver alloyed contacts and about a 100 pounds of copper with a heavy coat of silver plate .
So I've been trying to come up with a way of removing the silver from the contacts as well as from the plated copper . I bought instructions on ebay LOl using sulfuric acid and sodium nitrate to plate the silver out into solution . It's suppost to turn the electrolyte red and when done you drop the stuff with common table salt .
I started with some electrical items I have with a heavy silver plating on them . Using a battery charger it was blasting the silver coating off in tiny flakes and white junk was forming on the plated piece blocking the DC current and it would stop working .
So I pulled out a toy I bought at another auction and when I put the current to it this time it started turning the electrolyte white about like milk . I let it go and in a few minutes stripped the silver from a few pieces . Then it started precipitating into white chunks that soon turned purple .
Could this purple stuff be AgCl ? From reading in here I see the people with more experience advise staying away from AgCl if that is in fact what I have . btw I'm completley new to this so If trying to help I need things explained a tad bit better than most . I am trying to learn as I go and use terms like AgCl and not Silver Chloride . So dont assume I have a back ground in chemistry just because I do that . I just figure I'll learn these things if I use them as I advance my knowledge in this area .
Things I'm using and facts I've observed so far .
I get my sulfuric acid from old car batteries ( it's free ) . Trying to cut cost as I'm aware theys not much money in removing silver plating . I figure lead could be in this so I cook my AgCl ( if thats what the purple stuff is ) in a crock pot for 4 hours , filter while hot and repete this again . I did get about 1/8 inch of a white substance that settled in my first wash water I'm assuming is lead . Plus my first wash had a slight blue tint to it . My second wash came out crystal clear with no white substance settling in the bottom .
Sodiun Nitrate I have to purchase on ebay . The electrolyte plays out rather fast but filtering seems to make it work good as new again . It is becoming contaminated with copper that I hope I can figure a way of removing so I can keep using the stuff .
Per the ebay instructions I use a lead fishing sinker as my cathode . Another reason I figured a little lead in the sulfuric acid shouldn't be a problem . Copper does collect at the cathode but I'm able to collect most of this with a snipper bottle .
If this white milky stuff that turns purple is the silver then it's easy to remove from my electrolyte . It falls out by itself simply filter the stuff and the electrolyte is ready to use again . However if it is the silver it's in the form of AgCl that the most experienced in here advise staying away from .
Plus I'm getting a silver looking substance also . I haven't tried melting any but it appears to be little chunks of silver metal . Oddly enough I only get this in my wash water . What I do is sumerge the plated piece and hit it with DC current . After a few minutes I remove it and dip in water and use a brush on it . If all silver is gone I'm done with that piece if not I give it more DC juice . I'm assuming the silver looking chunks are plating that was loosened up by the current and knocked off by the brushing .
A little information on my DC power supply .
I'm using a toy I bought at another auction . It's called a
EBERBACH Electro-Analyzer 1000
Eberbachs Electro-Analyzer 1000 apparatus is the laboratory standard for determinations of lead, nickel, copper, zinc, antimony, cadmium and other metals by the electro-deposition process.
Unit has a finished steel case (30 high) with stainless steel front surface and occupies a table space of 15 x 17. The front panel protects the apparatus from corrosive spillage and fumes. No electrically corrodible components are positioned where material may fall into the cell and alter results.
The unit delivers up to 10 volts, 10 amperes DC at each of two positions for simultaneous determinations. Separate ammeters (0-10A) and center-zero voltmeters (10-0-10V) indicate amount and direction of current flow at each position. Polarity reversing switches change the polarity of the electrodes. Current to each position is supplied by individual power transistors controlled by potentiometers. In line fuses protect AC and DC circuits.
Stirrers are driven at a constant speed of 620 rpm by a split-phase induction motor. Hollow spindles permit easy vertical adjustment of the glass stirring rods. Power to each stirrer and entire unit is controlled by individual switches with pilot lamps.
Heavy-duty platinum electrodes (45 mesh) are recommended for this unit. However, lighter weight electrodes may be used. Spring loaded electrode holders grip the electrodes without deforming the stem and may be moved horizontally for centering nested electrodes. For rotating anode techniques a stainless steel rotating anode holder may be substituted for glass stirring rod
I seriously doubt I get rich or make any money doing this . Thats one reason for my need to do cheaply as possable . I'f I could just say I refined and purified this bar to 99.999 fine silver it would be payment enough .
So my thoughts were to get it pure enough the first time to run it through a thumb cell and clean it on up . Any help reaching this goal is greatly appreachated . If I can conduct experiments that may help all the readers that would be great also . So you know who I am and what I'm trying to do . If you have an idea you would like for me to try just run it by me . If I'm able to I'd be happy to give it a try .