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Handbook on Japanning: 2nd Edition eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 49 pages of information about Handbook on Japanning.

GALVANIZING.

Galvanizing, as a protecting surface for large articles, such as enter into the construction of bridges, roofs, and shipwork, has not quite reached the point of appreciation that possibly the near future may award to it.  Certain fallacies existed for a long time as to the relative merits of the dry or molten and the wet or electrolytical methods of galvanizing.  The latter was found to be costly and slow, and the results obtained were erratic and not satisfactory, and soon gave place to the dry or molten bath process, as in practice at the present day; but the difficulty of management in connexion with large baths of molten material, and the deterioration of the bath, and other mechanical causes, limit the process to articles of comparatively small size and weight.  The electro deposition of zinc has been subject to many patents, and the efforts to introduce it have been lamentable in both a mechanical and financial sense.  Most authorities recommend a current density of 18 or 20 amperes per square foot of cathode surface, and aqueous solutions of zinc sulphate, acetate or chloride, ammonia, chloride or tartrate, as being the most suitable for deposition.  Electrolytes made by adding caustic potash or soda to a suitable zinc salt have been found to be unworkable in practice on account of the formation of an insoluble zinc oxide on the surface of the anode and the resultant increased electrical resistance; the electrolytes are also constantly getting out of order, as more metal is taken out of the solution than could possibly be dissolved from the anodes by the chemicals set free on account of this insoluble scale or furring up of the anodes, which sometimes reaches one-eighth of an inch in thickness.  To all intents and purposes the deposits obtained from acid solutions under favourable circumstances are fairly adhesive when great care has been exercised to thoroughly scale and clean the surface to be coated, which is found to be the principal difficulty in the application of any electro-chemical process for copper, lead, or tin, as well as for zinc, and that renders even the application of paint or other brush compounds to futile unless honestly complied with.  Unfortunately these acid zinc coatings are of a transitory nature, Their durability being incomparable with hot galvanizing, as the deposit is porous and retains some of the acid salts, which cause a wasting of the zinc, and consequently the rusting of the iron or steel.  Castings coated with acid zinc rust comparatively quickly, even when the porosity has been reduced by oxidation, aggravated no doubt by some of the corroding agents—­sal-ammoniac, for instance—­being forced into the pores of the metal.  Other matters of serious moment in the electro-zincing process, apart from the slowness of the operation, were the uncertain nature, thickness, and extent of the coating on articles of irregular shape, and the formation of loose, dark-coloured patches on the work; the unhealthy and non-metallic look and

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