Titanium is the base material in every ionizer electrode/plate, because it has proven safe and effective. It is corrosion resistant, has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal, is very durable, and demonstrates the ability to easily change polarity, which is critically important in the ionization process. The best ionizer plates are coated with platinum because it was determined in a 1992 study by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, that platinum is the only entirely safe material to use in water ionizer plating/coating.
There are three basic types of plates:
- Flat Plate: The most common, basic and simple plate design.
- Mesh Plate: A more recent and technically advanced configuration.
- Slotted or “Hybrid” Plate: A less expensive and less effective version of mesh plate technology.
- Smart Electrodes: Next generation Smart Electrodes incorporate the best of each design. More details under "Mesh or Solid Plates" section.
Regardless of what you read, the most critical part of an electrode is not the type but rather how the electrodes are engineered, what materials are used and how they are applied or manufactured.
Mesh or Solid Plates?
Trust Our Experience.
We have led the industry in the evolution of plate design. Our oldest models used solid plates. We introduced mesh into the market in 2006. And, in 2015 we introduced our Smart Electrodes. In our 15+ years we have tested, sold and serviced all plate designs. We strive to achieve excellent top-end performance and importantly, performance that lasts over time. Here is what we’ve learned.
Different Plates. Different results.
Electrolysis plates - or electrodes - deliver the electrical current to the water which creates the desired alteration. Every company touts their own plate design. Some tout plate size. Some the number. Some both. The reality is that ionizer performance does not depend on those alone. Technologically, the conductive quality of the plating surface (effective surface area), membranes, power delivery and flow rate are all critical factors.
Traditional Flat Plates (oldest design).
Traditional flat (or solid) plates are the oldest design and were in our earliest models. They are still used in KangenTM models and others. They offer the largest surface area and are less susceptible to form scale. However, they deliver inconsistent power saturation as there is nothing to organize the flow of the current, that takes the path of least resistance. Think of a flat plate as a “flat” garden and the current as the water. When you water a flat garden, it runs to the low spots and pools. So too the current in flat plates. Because of this pooling, they have less effective surface area and are less efficient, and so require more power. High power can create heat that degrades the plating and decreasing performance over time.
Slotted And Mesh Plates (older design).
We were responsible for launching the mesh plate revolution in 2006 and sold them for over a decade. We have tested but never sold slotted plates. Mesh and slotted plates use the same principle. They employ a grid pattern to create a more defined path for the current to flow, with consistent distribution. Think of watering a garden tilled into rows. Water channels into the rows ensuring more even distribution. Even power distribution means better results with less power. However, due to the voids in the grid, they can have less surface area. So, some companies overpower their plates trying to get more performance – which hurts long term. Also due to the many nooks and crannies inherent in the grid pattern, we have found that they were more susceptible to inconsistency in plating thickness. They are also more likely to form scale in hard water areas. Therefore, performance over time suffers.
The Next Generation: Smart Electrodes.
What if you could combine the best attributes of each design and have the best of all worlds? You can! Smart Electrodes are manufactured using a proprietary new technique. Robotics are used to electro-plate the platinum multiple times under pressure, and from different angles creating a unique grid-like pattern. This allows for a uniform flow of current and provides super-efficient power saturation. Our new Smart Electrodes offer you:
- A new solid-plate coating technique that delivers the thickest, most uniform plating which creates very even and effective power distribution.
- The largest effective surface area.
- More current to the water means better performance.
- More efficient (lower) power levels reduce heat and degradation.
- None of the design drawbacks that come with “nooks and crannies” in mesh plates.
- Superior performance (especially over time).
In short you get the benefits of solid. And mesh. In one new revolutionary plate design.
Dipped or Sprayed?
Plating or Dipping
Long term research and development findings derived from a 1992 study by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare indicate platinum to be the only entirely safe material for use in water ionizer plating/coating.
Two distinct methods - Plating (dipping) and Coating; are employed to apply the platinum surface to the titanium plate:
Plating: Also known as Cladding or Dipping, plating is the process by which a titanium plate is submerged in a platinum solution. This is the most commonly used manufacturing process due to its cost efficiency.
Coating: Also known as Electroplating, coating is a technically advanced process designed to achieve a higher degree of consistency and uniformity.
The two biggest differences between plating and coating are:
- The amount of titanium crystals produced
- The surface coverage characteristics
The following examples visually illustrate two distinct platinum application techniques, Plating (dipping) and Coating (Electroplating).
AlkaViva is able to totally prevent titanium leaching on the electrodes by two methods:
- Complete and uniform coverage. Our coating process surpasses all other processes in the ionization industry to more completely and evenly cover the titanium plates with pure platinum, including all edges and all surfaces.
- More efficient use of power. This means we can apply less power more efficiently which creates far less heat and stress on the plate during the electrical load phases.
View a certified analytical test result from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Primacy Laboratory for the State of Nevada showing that there is no leaching.
Optimal Results Without Additives
AlkaViva employs proprietary technologies which are able to achieve optimal alkalizing and acidifying results without the use of (potentially harmful) solutions such as salt enhancers.
Importance of Membranes
It isn’t ALL about Electrodes: Membranes
All ionizers employ ion-absorbing membranes to separate the electrodes and enable the water to “ionically separate” the water into an alkaline and acidic stream. The membrane is absolutely critical in how an ionizer performs. You can have a well-designed plate, powered optimally but if you have poor membranes, then you have poor performance. Other ionizer manufacturers buy their membranes from outside sources. In comparison, AlkaViva’s Infusion Membranes are made in-house and are ultrasonically pressed, rather than chemically bonded. This provides you with a distinctly superior membrane, designed to work specifically with our Smart Electrodes, giving you unmatched performance.
Our competitors use more watts and amps, spreading the same input voltage over a larger surface area which results in less efficiency. They do not deliver the power evenly or efficiently and must do so with greater resistance.
More power means more heat, which means the platinum plating breaks down faster on the surface of the electrode. This equals poor performance over time.
So now you can see that in truth, bigger is not better. This is why the electronics industry (and others) has shown that when technology advances, it typically results in smaller, more powerful and devices. Why would ionizers be any different? The truth is they are not.
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