Customise your Case with Annodising
Step 4: Positive and negative connections
Hook up the lead plates with a length of 30A wire, using spade connectors under the external nuts. This is the cathode pole, and will be connected to the battery charger's (or suitable 12V DC power suppliy's) negative lead. The aluminium bar across the tank is the anode pole, and is attached to the positive connection. As mentioned previously, everything in the tank should be either aluminium or lead, and external connections should be copper to avoid sparks from arcing.
Step 5: A potentially explosive situation
When the tank is connected and working correctly, there will be a "sheet" of hydrogen bubbles generated across the lead sheet by the electrolysis action. With good ventilation this is not a major issue, but if it occurs in a confined space then the build-up of highly flammable hydrogen gas over several hours is an explosive situation. Especially if the explosion then sprays sulphuric acid all over the place...so there are a few rules worth following.
Step 6: Prepare the aluminium for treatment
With the tank constructed the next step is to prepare the aluminium for treatment. If the components are in a clean, non-corroded condition then they can be anodised without any pre-treatment - if not, then a caustic solution of Sodium Hydroxide (drain cleaner) at about 15% WW can be used as a dip to brighten the metal. A word of warning...Acids and alkalis to not mix well, keep them well seperated!
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