How to coat linked chain using Legor's Ceramix nano-ceramic e-coating
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One point to clear up: Legor's previous transparent nano-ceramic e-coating was called Kliar. They improved the product after a few years, and it is now known as Ceramix. I had several years experience with Kliar, and have been using Ceramix since it came on the market, but I sometimes say Kliar when I mean Ceramix.

Here is the e-coating fixture. The steel part is hand-fashioned with 14 gauge galvanized steel wire. The center post is to prevent the tightly wrapped chain from deforming the fixture, a lesson learned.

This fixture is for chain with freely-moving links. I also have a more complex fixture for beading chain and snake chain. Snake chain doesn't have links, and beading chain doesn't bend easily. If you try to bend them to fit this fixture, they will bend permanently or break. Let me know if you need to see the beading/snake chain fixture.



Here is a closeup. After the galvanized steel wire is bent to shape and soldered, the top and bottom are wrapped with 24 gauge copper wire I got from RioGrande.

The reason for looping the 24 gauge copper wire on the bottom of the fixture is to hold the chain in place. You don't want the chain to contact any other part of the chain, as one or the other part will end up uncoated. Linked chain will always be missing some coating where the links touch each other. The 24 gauge copper wire on the top of the fixture and the hanging hook make electrical contact with the chain, and also hold the chain in place.

You can reuse the fixture later, but you must remove the Ceramix from the top of the fixture and the hook, because Ceramix is an excellent insulator. Remove either using a dremel or drill with a steel brush, or, easier, using Legor's E-coating stripping solution (then brush off whatever remains). I made plenty of errors the first year I used Ceramix--the stripping solution is really useful if you overcoat, which is easy to do with Ceramix. If you overcoat with the Ceramix, the chain will look like it is dipped in a weak solution of white paint (ugh!).


  I attached one end of the chain to one side of the fixture using 24 gauge copper wire.

The chain is pulled TIGHT to the fixture. If you don't pull it TIGHT, the links will not make good enough electrical contact with each other, and the coating will fail. The second end of the chain is attached to the fixture similar to the first end.

In this picture I wound the chain, then held it tight while I attached the 2nd copper wire. It is easier to just use a piece of chain with wire already attached at both ends, but you cannot make maximum use of the fixture that way--your wire will be either short or long.


I check the resistance between the chain and the end of the copper wire on the hook to make sure I am making good electrical contact. The ohmmeter is also necessary to determine beforehand if the wire has an existing high resistance coating. If it already has a coating, I don't use Ceramix. Instead, I apply a coating of Everbrite Protectaclear.

The resistance in the picture is 4.5 ohms. I have coated chain with up to maybe 50 ohms resistance, but that requires leaving it in the Ceramix solution longer.


  Next steps

1. Electroclean

2. Rinses (I use 3 rinses between steps to keep contamination to a minimum--distilled water is cheap.)

3. Acid dip

4. Rinses

5. Plating (if necessary)

6. Rinses

7. Acid dip

8. Rinses

9. The Ceramix directions on the Rio Grande website say to let the piece air dry, or use compressed air to dry. I don't do these steps because after the electroclean and the acid dip, I don't want the piece to sit or be air dried. My reasoning is that letting it sit will allow some tarnishing, and air drying will introduce oil from the compressed air. Actually, I missed the directions for allowing the piece to dry, so I just coated them wet for more than a year before finding out I wasn't quite following the directions. As far as I can tell, it works fine, plus it allows you to coat more pieces because the level of solution is not markedly reduced every time you take a piece out of the Ceramix solution.


Here is the coating setup. I am using a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) container that I sawed off from a container that originally had magnesium citrate in it. I would never use such a container for plating solutions--potential contamination, and very hard to clean. However, the Ceramix directions say using polypropylene is OK, and Ceramix is actually sold in an HDPE container, so I figured it should work. Once I have poured the Ceramix into the HDPE "beaker", I just cover it between uses with plastic wrap, I don't pour it back into the original container.

Originally I used a glass beaker for Ceramix, but once the coating had been in the beaker for a few months, it built up some on the glass, and is VERY difficult to remove (unless you use the e-stripping solution which I did not have originally) and then it sometimes would spark, especially if the fixture barely fit into the beaker. A 50V spark makes a sudden, loud noise, and I'd unconsciously throw my hands up in the air, thus throwing Ceramix all over the place. The HDPE beaker seems not to have this problem, is very inexpensive, and if it builds up a coating which sparks, I will save the Ceramix and throw away the beaker.

The extra container around the HDPE is just for stability. The glass rod helps to prevent the fixture or chain from contacting the stainless steel anode, thus causing the 50V spark and Ceramix goes flying.

I have found that coating chain using the fixture takes somewhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. I'm sure it depends on all the variables which affect electrical resistance. I turn the fixture around halfway through to get more even coverage.


Here is my power supply-a used 70 volt 6 amp HP power supply I got on eBay in 2014 for about $105 including shipping. The directions on the Rio Grande Jewelry Supply website say you need a 60V 2 amp power supply. I seriously question the need for 2 amps, or even 1 amp. While I haven't tried it, I think 0.1 amp is probably plenty. I've watched the meter, and it barely moves, but it's hard to watch and coat at the same time.

The 2 amp requirement makes the power supply much more expensive.


Here is the coated chain hanging to dry. Once dry, it becomes clear.

After you cure it in an oven, you're hoping it will look the same. However, I've found that silver-plated chain subjected to higher than the 270F recommended curing temperature, or subjected to the 270F longer than the recommended time of 40 minutes turns somewhat PINK!

Gold colored(not plated) chain tends to turn quite yellow even at the recommended curing temperature--not sure what they are using to get the gold color. Items I have gold-plated myself don't do that. Platinum colored(not plated) chain also changes color--looks dark. Rose gold colored chain sometimes looks fine, sometimes turns dark, sometimes turns copper colored.

My experience with gold colored Kliar (still called Kliar) nano-ceramic e-coating does not turn cloudy. I suspect this is because the colored particles are suspended throughout the coating, and in particular close to the surface, so if there is cloudiness underneath the surface, you cannot see it as easily as with the transparent Ceramix.


Just to show you how to use Ceramix with metal other than chain, here are some rhinestone settings. It's taken me YEARS to figure out how to wire them so they make good enough electrical contact.

When you're plating, the solution is low resistance, so if you don't make good electrical contact between the piece and the wire, the solution does that for you.

Ceramix is not a low-resistance solution. You must make good, stiff electrical contact by bending the wire so it holds the piece securely, or you will get uneven results. You can see the spirals of wire I've made--took awhile to figure out how to make a tight spiral without breaking the wire. Before I figured out how to make the tight spirals, I would try to coat settings, and some of them would coat and some would not, so I'd have to ID the ones without the coating and try again later. HUGE time waster.

My experience with settings and other rigid parts is that if they are silver plated, 3 seconds, turn it around, 3 more seconds is enough. If gold plated, it takes longer--resistance is higher.

You can always dip it in again if you don't have enough coating, but it's a pain to remove if you overcoat.

In the past, when I'd get uneven results, I would add a layer of Everbrite Protectaclear, a very clear resin, on top of the Ceramix to make sure there was at least some kind of tarnish resistance on every piece. Protectaclear is also great for coating Swarovski crystals with metallic color coatings, as these are pretty easy to scratch off. I also use Protectaclear on tiny parts, like jump rings, chain ends, head pins, and small metal beads. I often use thread to attach these small parts together before I coat with Protectaclear. The gap in protection left by the thread is very small.

However, for the split rings I use to attach magnetic clasps to chain, I partially attach the split ring, using its springiness to make good electrical contact, then use Ceramix to coat both the clasp and the split ring simultaneously using a galvanized metal sheet (experiments still in progress). Ceramix is MUCH tougher than any resin. When I attach the coated chain to the coated magnetic clasp, the split ring loses some of the Ceramix, but it would likely lose all of the anti-tarnish protection if I had used a resin.

Update 5/30/2023: I have stopped using Ceramix to coat magnetic clasps. I now use only Everbrite Protectaclear. The problem is that the magnetic clasps have an iron alloy casing which tends to rust. When it rusts, it turns the silver-plated casing pink. I now remove the tarnish using a chemical solution especially designed for that, then rinse the magnetic clasps in distilled water followed by denatured alcohol. When the alcohol evaporates, I immediately apply Everbrite Protectaclear, which gives the magnet casing almost no time to form rust.