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Publication numberUS2495695 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date31 Jan 1950
Filing date8 May 1944
Priority date8 May 1944
Publication numberUS 2495695 A, US 2495695A, US-A-2495695, US2495695 A, US2495695A
InventorsEtienne L A Camin, Kenmore Herbert
Original AssigneeKenmore Metals Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electroplating apparatus
US 2495695 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

E. L. A. CAMlN ET AL.

ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS 2Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 8, 1944 9 W9 E. L. A. cAMlN ETAL ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 8, 194.4

JNVENTOR Etienne LA. C'czmzn Fig. 3

)ymymays Patented Jan. 31, 1950 2,495,695 ZELECTROPLATING APPARATUS EtienneLLA. Camin and Herbert Kenmore; New York, N. Y, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Kenmore Metals Corporation; New; vYork, N. Y., acorporation of Delaware Application May 8, 1944, serial No. 534.543

' Thisinvention relates to a novel apparatus for providing electro-chemical deposits, platings or coatings on a coiledmeta'llic-body and the apparatus forproducingthe I same. More specifically this invention =relates 1:0 an apparatus by which a coiled spring like metal body as of 0010- per or the like 'may be passed through a series'of preparatory plating baths and post plating treatments rapidly while 'depositing ther'eon excellent and, relatively thick metal plating.

Previously metal wire hasbe'en plated, for example, by passing a very thin metalwire of about .0I""diameter through oneor a series of baths, the wire being travelled through the bath byibringingsit. downto guide 'rollers, out of the bath and into subsequent baths while as much electrical load was applied tothe wire as the wire was capable of taking, this being determined prlmarily. byits diameter. In order to lead the wire through these difierent rollsyit is'necessary that the wire be very thinso as to be 'sufilcientlyipliable. Because to be pliablesuch wire must be very thin; only;arelativelyz small electrical'load can be applied and a thin metal'plating obtained thereon. Ifa thick metal coat is desired; the time necessary to obtain such coat is impractically long.

-It has therefore -been the practice to :run' a great number of such wires simultaneously through such baths and the ordinary production ofsuch fine wire on a large'machine such as presently usedin this industry constitutes a relatively small amountrunning-v in only tens 'of pounds per day production.

It is mechanically impossible to force a wire of heavy gauge-annealed or not,to take theshape which is necessary to make it travel continuously through such asequence of operations which are required to obtain a correct plating;

Itis the object of the present invention to provide amethod-and apparatus whereby a heavy gauge-wire iscarried through a series ofbaths and electroplated asidescr-ibedhereinafter and to redraw by conventional methods such plated wire to any desired gauge as fineas anyordinarywire canbe drawnr I It is'an additional-object of'the-present invention to provide -a mechanicalworking I of the plating'which takes-place atthe redrawing operation, thus. givingto the -final,-redrawn wire a special quality which cannot be obtained by plating on fine wire without. such redrawing.after Plating.

It isthe object -of-the----present invention to provide a method and apparatus whereby from two to five thousand-poundsof plated wire can be produc'edafdayand whereby a heavy coat or plating-can 'be obtairied in any practical thickness without'appreciable reduction of production and quality'of theproduct.

It is a further object of the present invention provide 'a; method and apparatus whereby relatively high gauge wire can be continuously and efficiently mtal plated.

It isa further object of' the present invention to provide" a method'and apparatus whereby coiled wire may wbe run' at high'speed through a series of treatments} v It'isa further object'of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus whereby coiled wire may be run ath'igh speed through an electroplatingrbathandelectroplated at a speed far inexcess" of any previous speed of travel of wire through electroplating; baths.

-It is:a*fur-ther:object of the present invention to provide-a" method of and'apparatus for electroplatingmetalfbodi'es such as relatively heavy wirecontinuous'ly and in such away as to prevent oxidation' duringrthe process.

It is-a further. object of the present invention toprovide a'novel method and apparatus for electroplating, 'metal bodies -of the class described continuously and to provide continuously thereon a sequence or plurality of platings of the same or different metals. ,j.

Further objectsof. my invention will be apparent from' -a; consideration -of-,- the drawings and specific description hereinafter setforth.

The objects of this invention are accomplished by moving {a coil continuously and rapidly forward by resting the: loose" coil on a rotating smooth shaft which, for'example, can be a rubber-coated-shaft; therotation of the shaft and the-frictional contact'of the rotating shaft with the coil actingf-Iinconjunctionwith the spring characteristic'of' the-wir'e'coilso'that the coil is rotated by the rotating shaft and moves forward by reasonof'its'helical' position and its rotation. In the-drawings, 1

Figure I is a side view and partial cross-section of'the apparatus of the present invention.

Figure" 2 is across-section taken along the line 22 of"Fig-ure 1- and'showing means by which the spacingfof-t'he'coil is determined and fixed fortravelling through the baths.

Figure 3' is "a cross-section taken along the line 3-3 of Figure l and shows a cross-section of the electroplating tank.

- Itis 'a' fact that'the'faster the wire travels, the more 'efiicient and effectiveis'the'plating operation This is both becausethe speed of the wire most effectively moves the plating solution in the immediate vicinity of the wire and therefore most effectively replenishes that solution and also because the film of hydrogen gas formed at the plating surface is most effectively dissipated by a fast travelling wire.

The present method and apparatus are particularly and unusually efiicient because a heavy gauge wire is employed and hence a higher load of electrical current can be imparted to the operation. More current is used and more wire surface is available for the operation. Hence, a better and faster plating operation can be performed.

Because the operation is continuous and it is not necessary, for example, to dip the coil intermittently in one bath and then withdraw it to another bath by manual or mechanical operation, a plurality or sequence of the same or different metals may be applied effectively. This is because by either spraying solution on the wire as it emerges from one plating bath to the other, or by total immersion of the wire in the plating bath during the succession of bath after bath without manual or mechanical handling durin its path of travel, oxidation is completely prevented.

It is of importance in certain cases to avoid such oxidation, for example, if copper is to be plated and to be treated after plating with hydrogen, since such hydrogen chemically unites with the oxide and forms bubbles filled with water vapor underneath the surface and renders the protection of the wire inefficient.

This process may be used for coating any kind of metal such a nickel, silver, copper, iron, or certain alloys of any metallic wire, such as iron, copper, steel or alloys regardless of the crosssectional shape, such as fiat, oval, triangular, rectangular, square, octagon or any polygonal shape.

Referring now more specifically to the drawings in Figure 1 we show a shaft I which is generally circular in cross section as can be seen in Figures 2 and 3. The shaft ID has a rubber cover II on the surface thereof. The shaft through a gear I3 driven by some suitable source of power, not shown.

A coil of wire I2, which, for example, may be copper wire of from A to 1" in diameter and although but a few strands of copper wire I2 are shown at the left or introductory end of the machine, it will be understood that a coil of such wire can and usually is hung on shaft IE3 at this point for introduction into the machine.

It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that wire or metal bodies having a thickness of from A; to 1" could not be led down and around guide members for travelling through a path since this would involve a pliability that metal of this thickness does not have for this type of operation. The wire I2 has a sprin or life to it such as is common in coiled Wire of this dimension and plays an important part in its movement through the apparatus. The wire I2 passes over and along the shaft I0 because of the rotation of the shaft I 9 and its contact with the shaft i0 is maintained and facilitated by the roller I5 which as will be noted in Figures 2 and 3 is circular in cross-section and may have a rubber cover It. The function of the roller I5 as stated is merely to maintain the wire I2 against the rotating shaft I0 and the roller I5 is not power driven. Depending on the spring of the wire I2 downward pressure can be exerted on the roller I5 by means of pressure adjusting elements I1 I I) is rotated and I8 which are screw pressure members, although equivalents thereof may be employed.

So that the shape of the wire coil I2 may be relatively predetermined in its travel through the baths, guide members and 2| which comprise grooved roller uides 22 and 23 fixed by bolts 24 and 25 respectively, are so positioned as to shape the wire coil I2 to a given cross-sectional shape by their action in pressing the wire down towards the shaft It. To guide the wire and to maintain its loops and its proper spaced relation, we provide a comb guide 27 having slots 28 through which the wire passes. The treating baths which will be more specifically described hereinafter comprise a tank 30 with a series of partitions 3I to comprise separate and independent baths for treating the wire during its travel. The electroplating tank generally denoted as 33 is specifically seen in cross-section in Figure 3. Current is supplied through anodes 34 and 35, the current travelling through the electrochemical bath 36 through the wire 2 to the cathode roller contact 31 supported in a bracket 38 and thence through conductor 39. The contact roller cathode 31 is grooved so as to ride firmly on the wire I2. This function is assisted by the roller guide 40. The wire I2 is maintained at the bottom of the tank in its proper relation by the guide elements formed by the spacer 4| mounted on the rods 42 and A3. Spacer 4| may comprise some electrical insulating material and the rods 42 and 43 are preferably covered with loosely mounted roller sleeves 44 and 45 as shown in Figure 3 which sleeves may be of porcelain or some other electrically and chemically inert material.

The wire I2 then travels through a series of subsequent treatment baths 46, ll and then out and over the terminal end portion of the shaft I I] which is denoted as 50.

Specifically in the method of the present invention the shaft i0 is rotated through the gear I3 and the rotation of the shaft Ill by reason of friction which is a slipping but constantly applied friction causes the wire coil I2 to rotate over the shaft I0 and hence because of the helical nature of the coil I2 it moves through the machine over the shaft I0 and through the various treatment baths. The rider roll I5 resting on the wire I2 maintains it in contact with the shaft in and thus affords the full use of the rotating effect of the shaft II on the wire coil I2. The guide slots 28 in the comb guide 21 serve to space and position the wire so that it enters and departs from the various baths in a predetermined manner.

After the various pretreatments of cleaning and the like which are given the wire it enters the electroplating bath 33. There through the anode is imparted a direct current of about from 3-10 volts depending on the gauge of the wire which as pointed out hereinbefore may run from A or up in diameter. The current travels on through the bath through the Wire out through the plurality of cathode contacts 31, the current density of the plating ranging from 5 to amps per square decimeter of cathode. The speed of travel of the wire coil is extremely flexible and may be as fast as desired. The speed for example can range from 15 feet per minute up to hundreds of feet per minute.

It is a fact that the faster the wire travels the more efficient and effective is the plating operation. This is both because the speed of the wire most effectively moves the plating solution in the immediate vicinity of the wire and therefore most effectively replenishes that solution and also because the film of hydrogen gas formed at the plating surface is most effectively dissipated by a fast travelling wire.

The present method and apparatus are particularly and unusually efficient because a heavy gauge wire is employed and hence a higher load of electric current can be imparted to the operation. More current is used and more wire surface is available for the operation. Hence a better and faster plating operation can be performed.

Because the operation is continuous and it is not necessary, for example, to clip the coil intermittently in one bath and then withdraw it to another bath by manual or mechanical operations, a plurality or sequence of the same or different metals may be applied effectively.

The ordinary electrochemical plating bath of commerce may be employed and for example the plating solution may comprise nickel chloride, copper sulphate, silver cyanide, or any other of the common plating baths.

Before the plating operation and to prepare the wire for the plating operation the wire is cleaned by passing it through a series of baths, namely potassium hydroxide, cyanide, hot water, cold Water, etc.

The thickness of the plating that may be formed ranges from .00001 to as high as desired. A plating of from .001% thickness to 50% thickness of the body to be plated may be formed.

The end products of this process may be drawn down by the ordinary wire drawing device to as fine a gauge as is desired. The plating formed originally when drawn is unimpaired and exceedingly ductile so that it may be hammered or worked without cracking or breaking. This property in this respect is markedly superior to platings applied to fine gauge Wire directly previous to this invention.

In addition to plating wires, tubes of small diameter may be formed by this method of plating metal on to some suitable base material and then removing the plated metal therefrom.

It will be understood that those skilled in the art may modify the apparatus and method here disclosed in various ways for different specific treatments and wire or tube handling problems. The principles of this invention however are specifically exampled herein and the scope of the invention is to be limited not by the examples set forth but by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. An apparatus for electroplating helically formed, elongated, heavy gauge metal material comprising a longitudinal series of tanks including a tank adapted to contain a cleansing solution and a tank adapted to contain an electroplating solution, a cylindrical roller extending above and along the length of the series of tanks, means for rotating said cylindrical roller, said cylindrical roller adapted to hold a helical series of coils of said elongated metal material to be plated so that the portions of the coils below the roller are suspended within the tanks, a second cylindrical roller for pressing each of the coils which are above said tanks at those portions of the coils which contact the upper surface of the first cylindrical roller against the surface of the said first roller so that rapid rotation of the said first cylindrical roller produces rapid rotation of the coils and causes the helix of the metal material to feed into the series of baths at one end and out of the series of baths at the other end and so that each coil is rolled under pressure as it emerges from the bath liquid, said tanks being closely spaced so that each coil of the helix has its lower portion submerged in one of the tanks, and electrical contact means adapted to ride on the coils above the surface of the electroplating tank.

2. An apparatus for electroplating helically formed, elongated, heavy gauge metal material comprising a longitudinal series of tanks including a tank adapted to contain a cleansing solution and a tank adapted to contain an electroplating solution, a rubber surfaced cylindrical roller extending above and along the length of the series of tanks, means for rotating said cylindrical roller, said cylindrical roller adapted to hold a helical series of coils of said elongated metal material to be plated so that the portions of the coils below the roller are suspended within the tanks, a second cylindrical roller for pressing each of the coils which are above said tanks at those portions of the coils which contact the upper surface of the cylindrical roller against the rubber surface of the said first roller so that rapid rotation of the said first cylindrical roller produces rapid rotation of the coils and causes the helix of the metal material to feed into the series of baths at one end and out of the series of baths at the other end and so that each coil is rolled under pressure as it emerges from the bath liquid, said tanks being closely spaced so that each coil of the helix has its lower portion submerged in one of the tanks, and electrical contact means adapted to ride on the coils above the surface of the electroplating tank.

ETIENNE L. A. CAMIN. HERBERT KENMORE.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 189,533 Wallace et al Apr. 10, 1877 241,741 Smith May 17, 1881 351,946 Turnbull Nov. 2, 1886 638,917 Emerson Dec. 12, 1899 799,860 Meaker Sept. 19, 1905 1,157,288 Blau Oct. 19, 1915 1,601,642 Parker Sept. 28, 1926 2,266,605 Jones et al Dec. 16, 1941 2,359,095 Elder et al Sept. 26, 1944 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 132,457 Germany July 17, 1902 244,582 Germany Mar. 13, 1912 565,764 Germany Dec. 7, 1932 638,552 Germany Nov. 17, 1936

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Classifications
U.S. Classification204/206, 205/138, 205/143, 29/DIG.120, 118/DIG.190
International ClassificationC25D7/06, B21C47/26
Cooperative ClassificationY10S29/012, Y10S118/19, C25D7/0607, B21C47/265
European ClassificationC25D7/06B, B21C47/26C