Lead of satisfactory purity for anodes may be obtained either as corroding lead or chemical lead. Chemical lead anodes generally are preferred. Impurities in the anodes such as antimony, bismuth, copper, and silver cause the formation of anode slime or sludge and can cause rough deposits if they enter the plating solution. These impurities can also cause anode polarization if present in the anode, especially at higher anode current densities. Small amount of tin and zinc are not harmful. Anode efficiency in acid baths is virtually 100%.

Anodes should be bagged in dynel or polypropylene cloth to prevent sludge from entering the plating bath. These bags should be leached in hot water to remove any sizing agents used in their manufacture before use in the plating bath. Nylon and cotton materials deteriorate rapidly and should not be used in any of the baths.

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