FAQ - ANSWERS FOR OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are a few tips along with the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.
- General application is to add PRO-pHx at 1 % to tank volume (acid and water) and filter.
- PRO-pHx may not be effective at concentrations below 0.75 %.
- Analyze the acid and keep it at optimum operating strength by making new acid additions at least weekly.
Even small amounts of fresh acid & PRO-pHx will keep the catalyst active and allow the filtration to perform.
- Do not add water to a PRO-pHx treated acid bath without first analyzing the bath to determine the amount of acid addition required for proper acid strength. Always add PRO-pHx at a 1% minimum ratio to all acid added to the bath. PRO-pHx will NOT be able to help you if you cannot keep the acid up to an effective strength. PRO-pHx will always save you money and reduce waste if your concerns are a saturation of metals and organics.
- In most circumstances the evaporation and drag out will exceed the volume of acid required for spiking. If this does not occur, check to see if operators are adding water to the tank. Dilution of acids may occur if the dwell time over the pre-acid rinse is less than the dwell time over the acid or if operators are rinsing over the acid tank.
- Filtration is essential. Poly Spun Filter media seems to perform best and is often reusable 3 or more times. String wound filters often do not provide adequate results. Bag filtration may not provide the square inches of filter area required.
- Filter with a flow rate in the range of 1/2 to 4 tank turnovers per hour. Rapid tank turnovers, in the range of 4 or more times per hour, can act as a blender and build a foam on the surface in the presence of excessive organics.
- Find the filter size for your needs. The micron size needed can vary from 5 microns to 100 microns with different metal and organic contaminate compositions. Metals may require 1 to 5 microns, while heavy organic contaminates may require a 20 to 100 micron filtration. Filtration requirements will vary. If the filter clogs immediately, then use a larger size micron. If the concentrations of acid/water and PRO-pHx are correct but contaminates are not being filtered out, reduce the micron size of the filter. If metals numbers begin to climb filtration can be adjusted to stabilize metals. If the filter is not building a filter cake, then the micron size may be too large. When using PRO-pHx in a heavily contaminated tank, start with a larger micron filter. After the acid is cleaned, you may use a smaller micron to maintain the bath.
- Continuous filtration is highly recommended but may not be necessity. PRO-pHx is a time lapsed reaction. Results will normally be seen within 1 to 3 days after adding PRO-pHx. To a large degree, metals dissolved today are filtered from the acid in 2 to 3 days. Organics may show a filterable reaction within minutes to hours. After each acid and PRO-pHx spike, a thicker than normal residue may form on the filters as the catalytic reaction is strengthened. Do not treat acids with more than 8% PRO-pHx
- Filter cake can vary in texture from paste, gel or granular media & vary in color from green to black to white depending on the contaminates introduced.
- If the filtration has been building a thick cake and this cake thins down without any major change in the production flow, try spiking a small amount of acid and PRO-pHx to the tank. This often strengthens the catalytic reaction. If PRO-pHx falls below .75% the filtration will not be effective.
- Mechanical or air agitation is not necessary but can be used to move sludges from the tank bottom so that these solids will reach the filter. Severe agitation in the presence of large quantities of organics may cause surface foam until the organics are filtered out. This does not normally cause a problem. If this occurs, adjust the filtration for less turbulence. Overflowing the acid from the surface to another tank and then filtering the returned acid on its way to the primary bath is another option.
- A PRO-pHx treated acid bath will normally appear as a 2 to 4 days old acid bath (depending on frequency of filtration and the micron size being used). PRO-pHx will not restore contaminated acids to a new state.
- Problems with PRO-pHx maintained acids not performing are solved with a clean filter, a fresh acid spike or by restoring PRO-pHx to 1%. If PRO-pHx maintained acids are not remaining strong and clear or if the metals numbers are climbing, then check the following.
Check the filtration. Make sure the filter is not clogged and is functioning. Determine that effective micron size is being used.
Check the acid. Analyze the acid for strength. If the filter has previously been working fine and building a filter cake but the filter cake drops off, spike fresh acid and PRO-pHx into the tank.
Check the PRO-pHx treatment. Have the weekly minimum additions of PRO-pHx been made along with the required acid additions?
- Organics that sometime float to the surface of the acid rinse off easily and have not caused a down line plating problem. They may appear as a thin film jell or foam. This normally filters out of the bath with no adverse effects on plating results.
- Minute amounts of PRO-pHx may make its way to the plating tank through drag out but it has no effect whatsoever on plating quality or bath analysis.
- Do not add PRO-pHx to an acid bath containing high concentrations of friendly metals or organics such as a plating or chromate bath. These will be removed by the PRO-pHx chemistry.
PRO-pHx Application Guidelines
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL USE OF PRO-pHx:
On going maintenance is required for the PRO- pHx chemistry to effectively restore and extend the productive life of treated acid baths. Maintenance includes: 1) PRO-pHx treatment 2) Effective filtration 3) Analyze the acid and spike to maintain strength, at least weekly.
- Treatment: Add PRO-pHx at 1% to the total acid/water bath volume for initial makeup. To maintain, add new acid at least weekly and 1% PRO-pHx based on the added acid volume only.
- Filtration: Filtration is required. Ideal bath turnover rates vary from 1/2 to 4 turnovers per hour.
Filtration can be effective at slower turnover rates. Find the ideal filter micron size for your needs. The most often-used filtration sizes are 5, 20 and 50 microns. However, filtration may vary from 1 micron to 100 microns. Effective filtration is necessary.
Analyze: Analyze the acid and return the acid to the target strength at least weekly.
- If the media clogs quickly during the production runs, filter with a larger micron. If the media does not clog during filtration, filter with a smaller micron
- Filtration micron sizes may vary from one bath to another. If numerous metals and large volumes of organics are being introduced into the acid during production, a larger micron size (30 - 50 - 75 micron) may be effective. If primarily metals and no organics are being introduced into the treated acid, then filtration may require 5 microns or smaller. Organics in the acid create a beneficial sludge on the filter media. Metal contamination only create more of a granular sludge on the filter media
PRO-pHx will not perform without regular acid spikes.
Maintain PRO-pHx at a minimum of a 1% ratio to the total acid volume added to the bath. Establish a maintenance program which provides weekly spikes of fresh acid and PRO-pHx to continue the catalytic reaction that the chemistry creates.
PRO-pHx is not effective below .75% ratio to the total acid bath
These simple steps will allow acids to be maintained indefinitely with low levels of metals and organics.
Please contact us, if you have questions, comments or if anything unusual occurs with your treated acid.
Are You A First Time PRO-pHx User?
Here are a few tips along with the answers to our most
Frequently Asked Questions.
Add PRO-pHx at 1 % to the total acid / water tank volume and filter.
PRO-pHx may not be effective at concentrations considerably below 0.5 % (one half of one percent).
Do not add water to a PRO-pHx treated acid bath without first titrating to calculate the proper amount of acid and/or water required for proper acid strength.
Dry Salts: The dosages work just the same as with the liquid measure. Add 1% PRO-pHx of total tank volume at makeup. Add 1% PRO-pHx to the calculated liquid volume of future additions. For example: Your client uses acid salts at 2 ounces per Liter. For every 2 ounces of acid salts added, use .02 Liters of
Usually the evaporation and drag out rates will exceed the volume of acid required for spike back. If this does not occur, check to see if operators are adding water to the tank. Dilution of acids may also occur if the dwell time over the pre acid rinse is less than the dwell time over the acid.
Spiking the acid bath regularly is necessary to maintain strong and clean acids. A very small amount of acid seems to reactivate the filterable results and maintains acids at optimum effectiveness.
Monitor tank to determine if the tank can have scheduled acids spikes, I.E. 10 G of acid each 3 days, each 5 days or each 10 days. It is easier to calculate how quickly the PRO-pHx treatment is being consumed, if you record the gallons of acid being spiked back into the tank.
Add PRO-pHx at 1% to the total acid / water volume added back to the tank. This maintains the total PRO-pHx additive strength at 1%.
Find the filter size for your needs. The micron size needed can vary from 1 to 75 micron with different metals compositions. We see 5 - 20 micron being used most often, however, filtration requirements will vary. If the filter is not building a filter cake, then the filter size may be too large. If the filter clogs immediately, then use a larger size micron. Once a contaminated acid is treated with PRO-pHx and filtered clean, you may want to use a smaller micron for even cleaner acids. Determining the optimum filtration may take a little experimentation.
Continuous filtration is highly recommended but not a necessity. PRO-pHx is a time lapsed reaction. Most results will not be seen for 1 to 3 days after adding PRO-pHx. Metals dissolved today are most likely being filtered from the acid in 2 to 3 days - not today. Organics may show a reaction in 0 to 2 days.
Filter cake can vary from a paste to a gel and can vary in color from black to white and the texture may vary from granular to a thick sludge, depending on the contaminates removed.
If the filtration has been building a thick cake and this cake thins down without any major change in the production, try spiking a small amount of acid to the tank. This often reactivates the filtration performance of the treated acid.
Mechanical or air agitation is not necessary but seems to be of some assistance. Avoid severe agitation as it may create a surface foam.
PRO • pHx will not restore contaminated acids to unused, new acid; PRO-pHx will restore contaminated acids to similar to a 2 - 4 day old acid strength and purity.
Organics that sometime float to the surface of the acid rinse off easily and to date have not caused a down line plating problem. They may appear as a thin film, jell or foam. This filters out of the bath with no adverse effects on plating results.
Small amounts of PRO-pHx may make their way to the plating tank through drag out and have no effect whatsoever on plating quality or bath titrations. In fact, some companies filter their rinse water after adding small amounts of
PRO-pHx to removal of metals and organics (this eliminates the need for carbon treatment in recycling systems) as part of their wastewater treatment. Contact us if you'd like more information about wastewater treatment.
In all production operations to this point PRO-pHx has removed every type of organics and metals encountered in solution. Do not add PRO-pHx to an acid bath containing friendly metals or organics such as Zinc Chromates.
PRO-pHx is non-toxic.
No gassing occurs and no odor is evident when using PRO-pHx
Warning: PRO-pHx is not recommended for use in a heated tank requiring Teflon coated heaters. Over time, the Teflon will become brittle when submerged in liquids containing PRO-pHx.