Tinning Busbars

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
Thanks. That’s one of the videos I followed. For whatever reason, the solution in his video that turned green, never changed colors, but the in my case, I was still able to nickel plate.
 

DerpsyDoodler

Photon Sorcerer
Thanks. That’s one of the videos I followed. For whatever reason, the solution in his video that turned green, never changed colors, but the in my case, I was still able to nickel plate.
curious to see if anyone can explain this or understands what it means. Was it actually successful?
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
curious to see if anyone can explain this or understands what it means. Was it actually successful?
The method I used was successful.

Now that I have a nickel solution made, coating metals for protection will be easy. I just have to hook the DC power supply up, negative end attached tp the item to be coated, and the positive end end to nickel that will flow towards the item.

It will take a few more days to see if "a minute" in the solution is enough as I clean off the busbars I finish tomorrow, and attach them to the batteries, and torque to 4 nm. There's not a lot on the web about this like set voltage to 12 volts and .5 amps, so there's a bit of an art. I'm sure that stuff is out there about volts and amps per square centimeter to be coated at a rate of XX nm, but a bit effort is required on these specifics I was looking for.

Then there will be the test of time to see if this nickel coating holds up like its supposed to.

I definitely found electrolysis coating easier and cheaper than tinning busbars with a MAF torch, solder and flux. That did not work out well for me.
 

DerpsyDoodler

Photon Sorcerer
I'
The method I used was successful.

Now that I have a nickel solution made, coating metals for protection will be easy. I just have to hook the DC power supply up, negative end attached tp the item to be coated, and the positive end end to nickel that will flow towards the item.

It will take a few more days to see if "a minute" in the solution is enough as I clean off the busbars I finish tomorrow, and attach them to the batteries, and torque to 4 nm. There's not a lot on the web about this like set voltage to 12 volts and .5 amps, so there's a bit of an art. I'm sure that stuff is out there about volts and amps per square centimeter to be coated at a rate of XX nm, but a bit effort is required on these specifics I was looking for.

Then there will be the test of time to see if this nickel coating holds up like its supposed to.

I definitely found electrolysis coating easier and cheaper than tinning busbars with a MAF torch, solder and flux. That did not work out well for me.
m still curious what it means that the solution didn't turn green (apparently like its supposed to). I usually raise concern when a step doesnt happen as described, yet things seem to "work" anyway.

Hopefully someone will be able to explain.
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
I would like to know also. One of a few things probably happened.

-The first was the 30% vinegar solution could have been strong enough to not need a starter solution like when using hydrocloric acid where a starter solution is not needed.
-THe second is instead of whatever compound is made with vinegar and nickel, the nickel created some different compound that didn’t turn green.
-The third thing I can think of is counterfeit metal. The 99.9% nIckel I got off amazon may been something else. From the little I know about electrolysis solutions and color is copper solutions are blue, nickel is green, but zinc is clear. Could have been other than nickel or a low nickel and zinc content.

THese busbars I’m making are going on 25 ah battery packs. I have some 280 ah cells on they way, but those have pre-made busbars.
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
Found out I actually plated the busbars with zinc. The metal I ordered was zinc not nickel, so that explains why the solution did not turn green, because it was not nickel, but stayed clear,

Zinc is supposed to be a better conductor than nickel, and also a better conductor than solder, so I will stick with these for my 25 ah battery build.
27AB0DB9-26C6-4C58-9437-A9525701868D.jpeg
 

DerpsyDoodler

Photon Sorcerer
Found out I actually plated the busbars with zinc. The metal I ordered was zinc not nickel, so that explains why the solution did not turn green, because it was not nickel, but stayed clear,

Zinc is supposed to be a better conductor than nickel, and also a better conductor than solder, so I will stick with these for my 25 ah battery build.
View attachment 61736
Doesn't zinc preferably corrode over aluminum? Doesn't that pose a problem?
 

DerpsyDoodler

Photon Sorcerer
I won’t tin with zinc in the future. I will at some point make nickel plated copper busbars.

For the few weeks it takes for me to make and plate the next set, my 25 ah battery will be fine.
Id be curious to see if/how fast it corrodes. can you take some resistance measurements a couple times a day from lug to lug on each bus bar? (or on a couple bus bars). Request is strictly for my own curiosity, so don't feel the need.
 

Diysolar123

Solar Addict
for those wondering about resistance...here is a snip from the wiki page (which is not guaranteed to be correct but compared to science sources it is "close enough"):

1629986266737.png
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
I’m not sure how to take resistance measurements. That’s for another thread.

zinc is not a long term solution. It disappears quickly in vinegar, do even though it’s the best metal to electroplate off the chart, I’m sure it corrodes easy.
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
Great thread, what do you think about silver.
Electroplating with Silver is supposed to be beyond the amateur and needs a bit of chemistry knowledge. There's some electroplating that happens with chemicals, some have words like cyanide in the compounds. There's a table that shows how easy it is to electroplate different metals, with those on the left being easy, and those on the right being hard. What I've tried is easy to make a solution and electroplate with is copper, zinc, and nickel.

The video I watched where the guy electroplated silver is real amateur-ish and he bought the solution and took him hours. When I do the copper, zinc, and nickel, takes between four hours and overnight to make the solution, and when I go to electroplate the item, I see results right away and keep it in there about two minutes before its done.

Please don't take my word for it. I started plating last month, and could be wrong.

The busbars were easy and were thoroughly plated. I tried some un-tinned copper lugs yesterday, and the outside was perfect, but the plate would not stick on the inside where the wire gets inserted. The wire tinned easy enough.
 

Newtothis

New Member
How do you tin your busbars?

-Solder with MAF torch?
-Solder dip is a solder pot?
-Electroplate?
-Chemical dip like liquid solder?
-Something else?


==========================
Drilled, Cut, and cleaned busbars today. Attempted to tin off the "Soldering" document with a MAF torch per this resource aand no good.


These are my results:

View attachment 61129
I attempted this with three of 8 bus bars I made. I finished with 800 grit sand paper and cleaned with 91% alcohol. I heated with a MAF torch without flux (Right) and the middle two with flux. The one on the left, I did not tin at all.
=========================================
I'm stuck on the next step. Liquid solder is pretty tempting since it seems so easy and even though its about $25 for 4 ounces, this will likely be less than I pay for any other way I attempt.
Maap or propane. Maap 📤 is ideal. Flux paste is definatley reccommended. After your done and cooled or not. I myself, would spray 90% Iso to remove acid content from flux. Please makes your solder bling.
 

Supervstech

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Electroplating with Silver is supposed to be beyond the amateur and needs a bit of chemistry knowledge. There's some electroplating that happens with chemicals, some have words like cyanide in the compounds. There's a table that shows how easy it is to electroplate different metals, with those on the left being easy, and those on the right being hard. What I've tried is easy to make a solution and electroplate with is copper, zinc, and nickel.

The video I watched where the guy electroplated silver is real amateur-ish and he bought the solution and took him hours. When I do the copper, zinc, and nickel, takes between four hours and overnight to make the solution, and when I go to electroplate the item, I see results right away and keep it in there about two minutes before its done.

Please don't take my word for it. I started plating last month, and could be wrong.

The busbars were easy and were thoroughly plated. I tried some un-tinned copper lugs yesterday, and the outside was perfect, but the plate would not stick on the inside where the wire gets inserted. The wire tinned easy enough.
It never occurred to me to electroplate with silver… as it is so easy to solder with it. Electroplating would certainly use less silver, and should be lower cost… but yeah… no knowledge of silver plating…
 

chrisski

Photon Sorcerer
It never occurred to me to electroplate with silver… as it is so easy to solder with it. Electroplating would certainly use less silver, and should be lower cost… but yeah… no knowledge of silver plating…
Never occurred to me to solder silver. I'm taking a break from trying to solder busbars after my last attempt at it.
 

Professor Farnsworth

𝕃𝕠𝕘𝕚𝕔𝕒𝕝 ℂ𝕠𝕟𝕤𝕖𝕢𝕦𝕖𝕟𝕔𝕖
one of the metal outlets sells silver-coated copper in the size for bus bars

Doh... there i go telling my secrets again
 

Davismltc

New Member
I think your on the right track with zinc plated copper buss bars. Zinc will help protect the aluminum battery terminals from galvanic corrosion. Selecting aluminum, or a material that is as galvanically close to aluminum would be best. Zinc is perfect for that.

For battery post set screws (grub screws) I've ordered zinc plated steel grub screws (over stainless steel) for the same reason. My choice would be zinc plated copper buss bars over aluminum, as annealed copper is much softer than aluminum and can be shaped to minimize any longitudinal expansion/contraction/movement between cells (e.g. --^--). The shape and the softness of the copper can help reduce any mechanical stress to the battery posts better than aluminum can. If mechanical stress wasn't a concern, aluminum would have been my first choice.

Here's some info on galvanic corrosion: https://pomametals.com/how-to-prevent-galvanic-corrosion/

Once the posts and buss bars are cleaned, noalox or similar should be applied before connecting. (helps keep the oxygen away)

For those wondering about zinc corroding, galvanized steel is basically zinc coated steel. Zinc corrosion shouldn't be a problem, and as a bonus, it is less noble than aluminum, so any galvanic action should occur on the plated terminal rather than the aluminum battery post.

I think the fascination with stainless steel and nickel is because they don't corrode, but it makes the aluminum battery post the sacrificial anode...Not good! I think galvanic corrosion is an issue worth considering. (my 2 cents)
 
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