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Thread: ZnSO4 in plating solution

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    ZnSO4 in plating solution

    If I create my copper sulfate solution by reacting jacketed bullets with sulfuric acid I will also be reacting the small % of zinc Zn forming Znso4 zinc sulfate. Will it's presence interfere with the copper plating process?
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    It is a weak acid. Not toxic. Why do you want to do this? I would be more concerned with any Pb byproducts in the process. CuSO4 is cheap.
    Whatever!

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy

    lavenatti's Avatar
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    You're going to have a hard time dissolving copper in sulfuric acid, it will have to be not only concentrated but hot. You're also going to get some sulfur dioxide during the reaction so you'll need to do this in a well ventilated area.

    Cu + 2H2SO4 = CuSO4 + SO2 + 2H2O

    The zinc will dissolve more readily and liberate hydrogen when it does. I'm sure it will cause plating problems as a contaminant.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    To make copper sulfate you dissolve copper in diluted sulfuric acid while applying low voltage electricity from two copper electrodes. In this case two small SS baskets containing fired jacketed bullets. Doing this to part of recovered jacketed range lead liberates some of the cores. Then place a large amount of jacketed bullets in a SS basket connected to + and a copper cathode is placed into the tank. The copper jackets plate onto the cathode. More liberated lead cores. The the former cathode becomes the donor anode for barrel plating new cast bullets.

    If lead reacted with sulfuric acid and tainted the copper sulfate plating lead bullets would not be possible. My concern is with the very small percent of zinc in the bullet jackets.

    I would like to hear from someone familiar with the chemistry.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    As I stated earlier - be careful of the Pb by products. I tried electro PC using Pb (boolits) electrodes and they got very soft plus the acidic H2O solution got white - toxic.
    I use CuSO4 to exchange Zn for Cu in the alloy and get a nasty powder. Conversion with tin gives a tin oxide powder that is toxic (if inhaled).
    SOx is nasty stuff - you don't want it - think along the lines of nerve gas. One of those compounds will strip anything with DNA from your blood.
    Last edited by popper; 05-27-2018 at 05:50 PM.
    Whatever!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
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    Make it????? WHY waste your time????

    You can get pure copper sulfate crystals in any hardware or big box store in the PLUMBING section as septic root killer. NOT the garden section!!!!!

    Cheap and readily available everywhere!

    Banger

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    To take the jackets off recovered range lead.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    I don't understand going to all the effort if the lead is what you want. All my range scrap goes into to my DIY bottom pour pot and I melt down 200+ pounds of ingots in a single cook. The jackets simply float to the top and get simmed off with the rest of the debris.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    But they are still coated with some lead decreasing their value. By causing the copper to plate onto what later becomes the donor anode for plating fresh cast bullets, which requires slightly acidic CuSO4 solution why not start by making CuSO4 then continuing the process to transfer the copper from the jackets onto what is in this process the receiving cathode.

    Some have suggested smelting the "dirty" copper jackets in a flower pot forge to increase the value. The problem with this process is you produce gaseous lead and zinc.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    I don't understand going to all the effort if the lead is what you want. All my range scrap goes into to my DIY bottom pour pot and I melt down 200+ pounds of ingots in a single cook. The jackets simply float to the top and get simmed off with the rest of the debris.
    Ideally the jackets will float and be lead free, but not if they are FMJ and have not opened up. I grabbed some range scrap a month or so ago, after melting down, i have a heap of empty copper jackets, but an equally high number of lead still entombed in a copper jacket. The ones i have opened up have taken a lit of time to mash with a hammer or hit with an old chisel to crack it open. I almost need a hammer mill to break them up into pieces.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    My club has a steel backstop so I guess it is not a problem for me.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Mine is dirt, so unless it hits a rock, they stay solid as

    But hey, it was free, i can't complain too much about it can i?

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thus another reason for reverse plating.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Good excuse to give it a go

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check