DCC and Graphite

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Genetk44, May 23, 2008.

  1. Genetk44

    Genetk44 New Member

    I've just been given an interesting tip for regular DC and am wondering what opinions are as to how it might work for DCC.
    Its this....rub very clean rails with a graphite artists pencil, this apparently greatly improves electrical contact and puts a protective layer on the rails and loco wheels.
    One would assume that if it works for DC it would work as well for DCC.....but assumeing is always an iffy proposition. Thoughts??????
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Kadee's "Grease 'Em" is a graphite lubricant, so the wisdom of adding it to the track may be questionable. However, in some ways this sounds similar to the "Clipper Oil" suggestion for minimizing oxidation of the railhead, so there may be some merit to it. After all, putting oil on the track seems a little counter-intuitive as well...! ;)

    NeoLube is a graphite lubricant in an alcohol suspension. I used it to give the siderods of my Pacific a lube and to darken them. I managed to get some on the wheel treads, and the poor engine could barely pull itself up a 2% grade until I cleaned all the wheels...

  3. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    i would test that idea first.i dont know what stray graphite powder could do to your electronic parts.but i have used graphite grease in my engines before.its the best lubricant i've found so far.--josh
  4. Genetk44

    Genetk44 New Member

    My buddy was specific...artists graphite pencil ..not grease or powder or Grease'em probably for the very reasons already mentioned.

    My buddy runs short trains on small layouts withalmost no grades so he's not had adhesion problems, but I agree, long trains or grades would probably not work with this idea.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Well, if you've got a successful experiment, then try it with DCC. If anything, DCC could use better electrical contact, especially when using sound-equipped locos.

    Let us know how it works out!

  6. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Hi all.

    Graphite is a form of carbon - a very good conductor of electricity.
    At the microscopic level it occurs in layers which slide easily over each other, hence its lubricating properties. It is found in the common pencil.

    Charcoal, however, is another story. It is a different form of carbon which, whilst still a good conductor, is not a lubricant.

    Rubbing track with an artists pencil - the charcoal variety - is a very good tip, imho, so:
    Genetk, thanks for the tip.:thumb:

    Now, I remember seeing an old formula for carbon-blacking iron with a permanent layer, if only my good friend Igor would give me some lab room ...


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