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How long does your rhodium last


#1

How many rings can you rhodium plate with one gram of rhodium? A
rhodium salesman called me today and said that I should be able to
do from 800 to 1200 rings. I dispose of my solutions long before
that. I might get 100.

Thanks in advance.
Dale Pavatte


#2

If you make sure to not get any silver in your solution, keep it
covered with the anode in it, and filter it every so often, you
should easily get 1000+ rings worth.


#3

If you get only 100 rings from a gram of rhodium, you’re doing
something quite wrong. Your salesman’s figure sounds about right. I’d
guess you’re some how contaminating your bath so it gets discarded
while it still has lots of rhodium in it, but due to whatever
contamination you’ve got, you no longer are getting good results. How
long are you leaving a piece in the bath to plate? Are you plating
directly over silver without under plating it first? Etc etc. When
you find a bath giving bad results, you can try to salvage it.

Filter through a coffee filter with some aquarium type activated
charcoal.

This won’t fix all contaminants, but will rescue the bath in some
cases. One other thing to watch is avoid getting organic solvents or
soluable organic compounds in there. In practice this means that if
you are using something to mask off parts of a ring you don’t want
to plate, be very sure your stop off material is fully dry before
plating. Also one other thing to watch is that the ph of the bath is
important. Get some ph test strips to check acid content/levels.
Sometimes all the bath needs is to add a little more sulphuric acid.
But you need to get the parameters for your bath from the
manufacturer, as they are not all the same for all of them.

Peter Rowe
Seattle


#4

I can’t say I’ve ever had my rhod solutions go bad because of
depletion of the rhod itself. I’ve never even had to use replenisher.
Mostly the solution slowly goes away because there’s always a bit of
it left on the piece before you rinse. I keep my solution in a
plastic Ziploc screw top container. this lets me tap the item on the
side to shake off more solution before the rinse. Plastic does not
mar the item like pyrex or stainless steel would and the screw top
prevents spills in between uses. My current batch (1/2 grm) is about
2 1/2 years old now and is bright as day one. Roughly estimating
that’s about 600 pieces of various sizes.