FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answers For Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few tips along with the answers to our most frequently asked questions about application and maintenance..
- 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 sometimes do not provide adequate results. Bag filtration has surface area but may not provide the square inches of filter area desired.
- Filter with a minimum flow rate of 1/2 turnovers per hour.
- 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 only 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 initially cleaned, you may use a smaller micron to maintain the bath. The majority of companies use a 20 Micron filtration system.
- Continuous filtration is highly recommended but may not be a necessity. PRO-pHx is a time lapsed catalytic 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 strongest. Do not treat acids with more than 8% PRO-pHx.
- Filter cake can vary in texture from paste to gel or granular & 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% it 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.
PRO-pHx will not restore diluted acids to a new state.
- Problems with PRO-pHx maintained acids not performing are usually 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 consider the following. Check the filtration. Make sure the filter is not clogged and is functioning. Determine that an 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 thick cake but the filter cake thickness 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?
- 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 changed to a non-dissolved state by the PRO-pHx chemistry.