Problems in Copper and Zinc Electroplating

In summary: The black one should be the iron nail on the cathode side.In summary, the conversation is about plating copper on an iron nail. The process is spontaneous and can be sped up with the use of current. The setup involves using two 1.5V batteries, copper plate, iron nail, 2 wires with crocodile clips, and a copper(II) sulphate solution. The electrode used and the concentration of the solution were not precisely measured. The question also arises about the possibility of zinc electroplating on iron. It is mentioned that only one of the iron nails will produce copper, and the black one should be the iron nail on the cathode side.
  • #1
hojess02
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0
TL;DR Summary
Hi~
Pic 1: The first time we electroplated iron nail with copper. The surface of the nail had black substance after electroplating it.
Pic 2: The second time we did it & we used a lower concentration of copper(II) sulphate as electrolyte.

I wonder is that black substance copper oxide & what is the relationship between that black substance and the concentration of copper(II) sulphate.

Thanks!!
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  • #2
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  • #3
Welcome to PF. :smile:

Can you say more about your plating setup? What settings are you using? How long are you letting the plating process run?
 
  • #4
Cu plating on an iron nail is spontaneous. You shouldn’t have needed any current. What was the other electrode made of? Were those galvanized nails?
 
  • #5
chemisttree said:
Cu plating on an iron nail is spontaneous.
With current the process can be definitely speed up (and you can plate much thicker layers).
 
  • #6
berkeman said:
Welcome to PF. :smile:

Can you say more about your plating setup? What settings are you using? How long are you letting the plating process run?

We used 3.0V (combination of two 1.5V batteries), copper plate, iron nail, 2 wires with crocodile clips, copper(II) sulphate solution (about 0.5M) (We didn't measure the concentration precisely) ThxThx
 
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  • #7
chemisttree said:
Cu plating on an iron nail is spontaneous. You shouldn’t have needed any current. What was the other electrode made of? Were those galvanized nails?
I see... Is zinc electroplating on iron spontaneous too? Since zinc has a more negative standard electrode potential. Those were non-galvanized nails.
 
  • #8
Borek said:
With current the process can be definitely speed up (and you can plate much thicker layers).
I see... thanks!
 
  • #9
You are using two iron nails for electrodes. Only one will produce copper. Which one is black? Anode or cathode?
 
  • #10
chemisttree said:
You are using two iron nails for electrodes. Only one will produce copper. Which one is black? Anode or cathode?
There is a problem with OP post formatting, but I believe they used copper plate for the anode.
 

Related to Problems in Copper and Zinc Electroplating

1. What are common problems encountered in copper and zinc electroplating?

Common problems include inadequate adhesion, blistering, pitting, and poor coverage.

2. How can I prevent inadequate adhesion in electroplating?

Inadequate adhesion can be prevented by properly cleaning and preparing the surface of the substrate before plating, ensuring a smooth and clean surface for the metal to adhere to.

3. What causes blistering in electroplating?

Blistering is often caused by trapped air or gas bubbles in the plating solution, which can be prevented by proper agitation and filtration of the solution.

4. How can I fix pitting in electroplating?

Pitting can be fixed by adjusting the plating parameters, such as current density and bath chemistry, to ensure a more uniform plating thickness.

5. What is the ideal temperature for copper and zinc electroplating?

The ideal temperature for copper and zinc electroplating is typically between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, as this allows for optimal plating speed and quality.

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