Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Author
Re: a hydroxide complex
Caleb Kraft   10/25/2013 2:07:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Wow, what a great and in-depth explanation!

kermit_gren
User Rank
Author
Re: a hydroxide complex
kermit_gren   10/25/2013 6:03:36 AM
NO RATINGS
-salbayeng - that is a super explanation of the chemistry involved and how the thing 'grew'. You have also solved the mystery of the gel substance (its been bugging me for years!). A great post, many thanks for the lesson in electro-chemistry :-) 

David Ashton
User Rank
Author
Growths....
David Ashton   10/25/2013 3:15:09 AM
NO RATINGS
I notice a puddle (of water / electrolyte / ??) around the electrode.  Ideal conditions for this to happen?

dunketh
User Rank
Author
ITS AL-I-I-I-I-VE !!
dunketh   10/25/2013 3:02:12 AM
NO RATINGS
To roughly paraphrase the great 'Jurassic Park' - "Life finds a way"

Clever Coral

salbayeng
User Rank
Author
a hydroxide complex
salbayeng   10/25/2013 2:16:33 AM
NO RATINGS
In damp atmospheres , you get electromigration , i.e. metal ions from the positive terminal will migrate over to the negative terminal. The positive wire will get smaller and smaller, and the negative wire will get "bigger" . In the special case where the negative and positive terminals are in an electroplating bath, you will get metal plated out on the negative. 

In a damp marine environment, with megohms of leakage the ions migrate to the cathode, dragging whatever along with them.

If you look at aluminium in a damp or submerged situation, it will form lumps of jelly, the jelly is actually aluminium hydroxide, which is very hygroscopic, so picks up ~ 10x its mass in water , if you dry out the jelly, you get a small trace of white powder. The AlOH jelly can also pick up the smallest traces of copper and other metals, and make really bright colors.

If you look at steel submerged in still fresh water (or sometimes inside an old paint tin) the steel first tries to oxidise, but sucks up all the available oxygen (making a small trace of brown "rust") It is then forced to oxidise by making Iron Hydroxide and Iron oxide, which is black in color, these grow as little mushrooms or coral like growths. And again the mushroom volume is mostly water. Note that the coral or mushroom growths can ONLY grow where there is an electrochemical gradient, this occurs at the occasional defect or the surface of an existing deposit. So you end up with 95% of the surface clean steel, and really big mushrooms/coral growing in a few spots.

So your pretty growths may well be the result of an electrolyte leak, but the marine atmosphere and condensation may be sufficient. I'd guess the copper terminals are zinc plated, and it's the zinc that is making zinc hydroxide. The hydroxide, like most hydroxides is very hygroscopic and sucks up water to make a gel, but with a bit less water it will try to make cystals , so you end up with a jelly blob with coral like structures growing off the top. Traces of Copper hydroxides / oxides can contribute colors from black-brown-red- green- blue. 

Because metal disappearing from the positive terminal is a problem , telephone systems, and most marine installations are earthed at the positive terminal. This may well have been the case with your installation, in which case the negative terminal would have sucked all sorts of metal ions to it. With only 1 nano amp of leakage , you get 6241000000 atoms of metal migrating to the negative terminal per second.

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Author
Re: Crystalised snot ?
Caleb Kraft   10/24/2013 5:13:55 PM
NO RATINGS
haha, funny. It really does just look like potassium carbonate, not uncommon with alkaline cells that are leaking, but that structure is bizaare!

simonjk
User Rank
Author
Crystalised snot ?
simonjk   10/24/2013 10:33:34 AM
NO RATINGS
I suspect someone sneezed, and the rest is chemistry.

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Author
coral
Caleb Kraft   10/23/2013 2:12:26 PM
NO RATINGS
It really kind of looks like coral. Probably the strangest example of a battery leaking I've ever seen.



Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST

What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.

Brought to you by:

Most Recent Comments
Like Us on Facebook
Special Video Section
The LTC2380-24 is a versatile 24-bit SAR ADC that combines ...
In this short video we show an LED light demo to ...
02:46
Wireless Power enables applications where it is difficult ...
07:41
LEDs are being used in current luxury model automotive ...
With design sizes expected to increase by 5X through 2020, ...
01:48
Linear Technology’s LT8330 and LT8331, two Low Quiescent ...
The quality and reliability of Mill-Max's two-piece ...
LED lighting is an important feature in today’s and future ...
05:27
The LT8602 has two high voltage buck regulators with an ...
05:18
Silego Technology’s highly versatile Mixed-signal GreenPAK ...
The quality and reliability of Mill-Max's two-piece ...
01:34
Why the multicopter? It has every thing in it. 58 of ...
Security is important in all parts of the IoT chain, ...
Infineon explains their philosophy and why the multicopter ...
The LTC4282 Hot SwapTM controller allows a board to be ...
This video highlights the Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC, and sho...
Homeowners may soon be able to store the energy generated ...
The LTC®6363 is a low power, low noise, fully differential ...
See the Virtex® UltraScale+™ FPGA with 32.75G backplane ...
Vincent Ching, applications engineer at Avago Technologies, ...