DIY - vacuum metalizing ?

Has anyone attempted a home brew vacuum metalizing system ?
Another "process" I would like to understand is making the inside of
clear acrylic look like chrome from the outside. I have read an article that sated a vacuum formed part was removed from the mold, a "special aluminum powder" was "sprinkled" inside the formed part and the item was re-vacuumed and heated, producing a chrome looking finish.
H'mmm. Anyone know what this "special aluminum powder" is ? Any good links to related web sites appreciated.
thanks, Chris L
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Go to Lindsay and get "Procedures in Experimental Physics" by Strong. All you need to know!
Bob

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Robert Murray wrote:

I don't think thee is a r in his name. ...lew...
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Paging Jim Lerch! :)
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Tim Williams wrote:

Here's the aluminum evaporator. I think that's the vacuum pump I sold on eBay. It was out of a junked vacuum chamber. I think he has actually made several chambers, some of them quite big.
Jon
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Like Tim said....
http://lerch.no-ip.com/atm /
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The way I have seen this process done (lab environment) was that vacuum is drawn on a chamber, then a bar of the metal is burned with a filament. Everything inside the chamber gets coated, provided you have enough metal.
I don't know how much vacuum this would take, but something tells me you'd need a very high vac., probably something you'd need an a/c system vacuum pump for.
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You actually need to get a pretty good vacuum for vacuum deposition of metals. The metal needs to be able to vaporize and then travel far enough to coat the object without hitting any air atoms on the way. If the metal hits an air atom then the metal cools and drops do the bottom of the chamber and fails to coat the object of interest.
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Bob May wrote:

bottom of the >> chamber and fails to coat the object of interest.
Interesting..... Does that mean you end up with a bunch of loose slag at the bottom or is it bound tight in some way ? Does the tanks inside surface always get coated everytime you use it ?
Thanks to all who have given an answer. The links to the one fellow look like a good place to start reading !
Thanks Again, Chris L
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snipped-for-privacy@lakefield.net wrote:

Actually, the metal oxidizes, and you coat things with a non-sticking film of metal oxide, like aluminum oxide. So, the mean free path has to be several times te distance from evaporator to object. That takes an oil diffusion pump with a cold trap, at the very least. 10^-6 Torr or better.
Jon
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Couldn't you say, precoat it with something reactive like magnesium, possibly in another area of the chamber I suppose - as a getter - to drop the vacuum, then blast it with the aluminum?
Or heck, even plasma clean it if it gets too dirty (oxides etc.)?
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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something along these lines?; http://www.sas.org/E-Bulletin/2003-06-27/labNotesAS/body.html Haven't tried it yet myself...I need a box around the jug in case of an implosion. Cutting the jug was a load of fun..getting shorter & shorter with every f'd up cutting attempt. Also don't know if I'm achieving enough vacuum..using a piston type fridge compressor & a mityvac on the exhaust.seems like~ almost ~30" Hg...need a more accurate vac. gauge I guess! G'luck!
On 28 Jan 2005 22:14:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@lakefield.net wrote:

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On 28 Jan 2005 22:14:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@lakefield.net wrote:

Something like the one I built? http://lerch.no-ip.com/atm/Projects/Chamber/First_Coating/page_01.htm
http://lerch.no-ip.com/atm/Projects/Chamber/Walter_re-coat/page_01.htm
Not sure how to coat the INSIDE of a bottle, but I bet I could make some type of fancy bottle mount with a filament loaded with Al to slip inside the bottle..
Take Care, James Lerch http://lerch.no-ip.com/atm (My telescope construction, Testing, and Coating site)
Press on: nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
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I tried it once long ago,with bits of aluminum foil on light bulb filaments in a vacuum. It didn't work at the time, but I'm going to give it another shot.

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Try magnesium, it is EZ to get a flash coating with magnesium.

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