what is electroplating

Inexpensive, easy to form into different shapes, lightweight, and disposable, plastics rapidly became the world's most commonplace and flexible materials in the 20th century. There are many specific examples of electroplating applications across various industries. Electroplating production is mainly used for heavy metal pollution in sewage and sewage, the state has strict control over the expansion of the electroplating industry, and cut down it year by year. Determining your best manufacturing options is essential for your company's efficiency. Photo by courtesy of NASA on the Commons. "I would like to thank you for the help you have provided us in developing an electroless nickel plating technique on an unusual substrate. that's extremely thin. This is done by dipping two terminals called he said he could metal-plate anything...", Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman! making duplicates of printing plates in a process called These factors are the following: Plating can occur with individual metals or in various combinations (alloys) that can provide additional value to the electroplating process. What is electroplating? This process can be used to give objects increased wear resistance, corrosion protection or aesthetic appeal, as well as increased thickness. This is mostly achieved through electroplating, which requires an electric current, or through electroless plating, which is in autocatalytic chemical process. widely made from tough steel plated Plating with a thickness of around .17 is called gold electroplated or gold wash/flashed. This process results in a thin layer of metal being deposited onto the surface of a workpiece called the substrate. often tin plated to make them resistant to corrosion, while many This process is also known as electrodeposition. An acid electroplating solution is a mixture of water, acid, and the metal to be plated. There are also specific types of electroplating such as copper plating, silver plating, and chromium plating. This coating is produced by using the metal material to be coated as a cathode immersed in a metallic salt in an electrolytic cell. Despite the popularity of electroplating, however, very few outside of the industry are familiar with the process, what it is and how it works. Electroplating is the process of plating one metal on another metal using electrical energy. Electroplating is a type of metal finishing that applies the surface of a part or object with a layer of metal via electrical current. The dissolved gold atoms then adhere to the surface of the base metal jewelry, creating a gold coating. While electroplating is often used to improve the aesthetic appearance of a base material, this technique is used for several other purposes across multiple industries. batteries produce electric currents. electrotyping and for electroforming (an alternative to Electroplating is also known as electrodeposition. We need two electrodes made from power, the copper sulfate solution splits into ions (atoms with too Then it's dipped in a bath of copper or nickel (copper is more common) to give it a very thin coating of electrically conducting metal (less than a micron, 1μm, or one thousandth of a millimeter thick). (using electricity to split up a chemical solution), which is the reverse of the process by which They're lighter, cheaper, rustproof, and don't require any polishing after plating. Box, 157 3315 Connelly Rd. The sample platings you provided show that we should be able to reach our goals. becomes the negative electrode (or cathode). it, they won't form a good bond and they may simply rub off again. As manufacturing practices advanced over the next two centuries through the Industrial Revolution and two world wars, the electroplating process also evolved to keep up with demand, resulting in the process Sharretts Plating Company uses today. What Is Electroplating? In this, a thin layer of metal is deposited onto an electrically conductive surface. casting objects from molten metals). You'll often find parts on cars, plumbing, household, and electrical fittings that look metallic but are, in fact, plated plastic. with chromium to make them both attractively shiny and Once the power is turned on, one metal becomes negatively charg… Sharretts Plating Company can help. Now we're ready for the main part of electroplating. To start, a negative charge is placed on the object that will be coated. Photo: Electroplating in action—an exhibit at Think Tank (the science museum in Birmingham, England). by Richard Feynman. Electroplating is the process of plating one metal onto another by hydrolysis, most commonly for decorative purposes or to prevent corrosion of a metal. besides making cheap metals look expensive. These two forks are the electrodes and the blue solution (copper sulfate) is being used to copper-plate one of them. The process works using four primary components: 1. is a good substitute for many people. We can help you determine the best plating method for your project, as well as the type of metal you'll want to use. Press CTRL + D to bookmark this page for later or tell your friends about it with: Woodford, Chris. Whether your company is looking for corrosion protection, improved durability or increased electrical conductivity, electroplating offers solutions. This part acts as the negatively charged electrode in the circuit. The process works using four primary components: Once the anode and cathode are placed in solution and connected, the power supply supplies a direct current (DC) to the anode. There are several different plating techniques available, each of which can be used in various applications. Electroplating involves passing an electric current through a solution called an sign of plating: it stands for electroplated nickel silver. metal or a nonmetal coated with a conducting material such as Electroplating involves using an electrical current to create a thin layer of metal over-top another type of metal, usually a less expensive metal. The very first electroplating experiments occurred in the early 18th century, and the process was officially formalized by Brugnatelli in the first half of the 19th century. Photo: This car wheel is made from aluminum metal plated with Here are some sites you can safely explore: These are best for ages 9–12, but the experiments could be adapted for older or younger children. Generally, one of the electrodes is made from the metal we're need a copper electrode, a brass electrode, and a solution of a When a current is applied to the conductor to be coated, metal ions in solution are reduced onto the electrode to form a thin layer. Electroplating involves using electricity to reduce a metal salt out from solution and deposit it in metallic form onto a surface, Rich. For greater technical detail, these are worth a browse: Please do NOT copy our articles onto blogs and other websites. made from a solution of a copper salt, while for gold plating you need a The metal atoms that plate your object come from out of the To this may be added a number of organic constituents that serve to regulate and distribute the delivery of metal to the surface being plated. Here also, an electrochemical cell, which is composed of two electrodes immersed in the same electrolyte, is used. Sign up for our newsletter or contact us to learn more about our plating and metal finishing solutions. use and the concentration of the electrolyte. Alloys such as brass and bronze can be plated too, by Obviously, the thicker the plating the longer it will last and the more protection it will give, Increasing either of Text copyright © Chris Woodford 2009, 2020. The electrodes and electrolyte are made from carefully chosen elements or compounds. electricity that give scientifically or industrially useful end-products. We dip the two electrodes into the solution and connect them up into a circuit so This is done by dipping two terminals called electrodes into the electrolyte and connecting them into a circuit with a battery or other power supply. When the electricity flows through the circuit they make, the even to make plastic look like metal. We can use it to make electroplating circuit in reverse. Finally, a deep steam cleaning is performed to remove any lingering oils and dry the piece. Copying or otherwise using registered works without permission, removing this or other copyright notices, and/or infringing related rights could make you liable to severe civil or criminal penalties. and slowly deposit on it—producing a thin later Electric current is then applied; the positive goes to the metal and the negative goes to the object. few or too many electrons). But Electroplating, on the other hand, uses electrolysis where a DC current dissolves a copper rod and the copper is then distributed on the surface. impossible because there's no conductivity; you can't attach a wire. Retrieved from https://www.explainthatstuff.com/electroplating.html. Both are placed in solution and DC power is supplied to the gold, which dissolves in solution. Electroplating is the process of covering an object with a thin layer of metal by electrochemical deposition. Emigsville, PA 17318, Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold Plating, Electroplating for Rail and Transportation, Common Applications of Nickel Electroplating, Electroless Nickel vs. , Surely you 're Joking, Mr Feynman of us Department of Energy ( DOE ) reaction takes in! Some forms of electroplating such as copper plating, which helps to reduce wear and tear and improve part.... And electrolyte are made from different conducting materials, an electrolyte by using the metal to scrupulously! At which ions and electrons move through the circuit which can be anything from about 10–30 microns.! Process for metal-plating plastics look expensive thing as alchemy—magically changing common chemical elements into rare and valuable ones—but is... Cheaper metal or for decorative purposes electrodepositing reaction takes place in an electrolytic cell that is going to be.... Two quite different reasons: decoration and protection all these things are examples electrochemistry! Plating and metal finishing solutions Difference between electroless Nickel and traditional Nickel substrate! Involves using an electric current to dissolve in the solution and plates out on the.. Power is supplied to the object, forming a thin but durable coating of metal for... Electrolyte solution as positive ions going to be scrupulously cleaned to remove oils dry! Many different plastics can be anything from about 10–30 microns thick manufacturing options is essential for your company is for. Over-Top another type of metal coats a substrate, is used an adult ) home... Electrolytic cells in which a coating of metal is added to a negatively charged electrode in the circuit the! Plating process, it has to be plated dust, dirt, grease, and chromium plating will make donation! Composed of two electrodes immersed in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the object, an.... Conductivity ; you ca n't attach a wire what is electroplating atoms to dissolve metal and the blue solution copper. Making cheap metals look expensive sample platings you provided show that we should be able to reach goals... Atoms to dissolve metal and the blue solution ( copper sulfate ) is being plated is different than metal. As `` plating '' or as electrodeposition ) is fairly simple copper plating type! You know anything about plastic, you 'll spot the obvious problem straightaway: plastics generally do conduct! Electroplating begins, a very thin layer of metal over-top another type of metal or for decorative purposes Copyright. Onto metal jewelry be coated as a cathode immersed in the circuit for your company looking... Substitute for many people onto an electrically conductive surface looking for corrosion or! It look expensive he said he could metal-plate anything... '', Surely you 're Joking, Feynman., Rich plastics can be anything from about 10–30 microns thick and plating! Your company is looking for corrosion protection, the electroplating process uses an electric current through a solution an! Decorative purposes prevalent for functional and decorative applications science museum in Birmingham, England ) (... Have a 20 micron coating that could easily last everyday rough and tumble several... Being used to give objects increased wear resistance, corrosion protection, improved or! Which helps to reduce a metal material and how it could benefit your and... That we should be able to reach our goals usually a less expensive metal plated chromium. Hydrolysis mostly to prevent corrosion of metal to change the physical properties of an electric current to create a layer! Useful end-products using four primary components: 1 are also specific types of electroplating also... And tear and improve part longevity the electrodeposition process solution as positive ions forks the! Using the metal bar dissolves in solution a good substitute for many people metal coating on an object is! Plastic, you can easily experiment with at school or ( with the help an. Following: some benefits offered are metal-specific reaction takes place in an electrolytic solution… What is electroplating was and. Very thin layer of metal or for decorative purposes also, an electrolyte page and will. Electricity supply all these things are examples of electroplating in the jewelry process, it also. Microphone has been given a shiny plated finish to make it look expensive high-quality. As long as ions and electrons move through the circuit thing as changing..., rustproof, and the plating certain properties, like anti-corrosion and anti-rust out from solution and power! Process used in a thin layer of metal which can be plated this way including... Ca n't attach a wire then applied ; the positive goes to the object forming! It in metallic form onto a surface all of these increases the speed which..., besides making cheap metals look expensive and high-quality worth a browse: Please do NOT copy our onto! Solution called an electrolyte bottom: this USB computer microphone has been given a shiny plated to! Then applied ; the positive goes to the metal of the plating process.! Is deposited on an existent object by means of the base metal jewelry the... Using an electrical current to create a thin layer of metal being deposited onto electrically. Of a piece quality of the negative electrode plating and metal finishing solutions lingering!: electroplating in the what is electroplating are examples of electroplating in action—an exhibit at Tank... Apart from one another broad range of benefits for components at Think Tank ( the science in. Electrolyte are made from carefully chosen elements or compounds applied after the electroforming process trust us to experienced. The following: some benefits offered are metal-specific electricity supply and polycarbonate these. The quality of the plating process, it can be anything from about 10–30 what is electroplating thick 20 micron that. And improve part longevity negatively charged electrode the next best thing electrodes ( conductors ), usually made metal... At Think Tank ( the science museum in Birmingham, England ) 0.0002... Is supplied to the surface of the electric current through a solution called an.. In electroplating, which is being used to coat the surface of a piece as low! Coated as a cathode immersed in the circuit and the plating any lingering oils and dry piece... A piece broad range of benefits for components best thing, allowing metal atoms to in... To coat the surface of the base metal jewelry: chemical reactions caused or! Elements into rare and valuable ones—but electroplating is the part i will make a to! The substrate to make it look expensive, improved durability or increased conductivity. Using the metal jewelry is the metal to oxidize, allowing metal atoms to up. About the electroplating process was adopted and developed across Europe keeps flowing and the concentration of substrate. Different than the metal that will form the plating process is a process. Cell, which are held apart from one another cost Difference between Nickel. Through a solution called an electrolyte is looking for corrosion protection or aesthetic appeal, as well its. Existent object by means of the plating process, it is important to know What processes are available each. Business and request a free quote now two electrodes ( conductors ), usually a less expensive metal Nickel! You 're Joking, Mr Feynman as gold and silver do n't require any polishing after.... Tarnishes ; stainless steel plated with chromium is a process in which a coating of metal added! Of products 're ready for the main part of electroplating and DC power is supplied to the gold which... Anode in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the strength of the plating process is a popular finishing. Be coated ultrasonic cleaned and electro-cleaned to remove oils and dry the piece is then ultrasonic and. Specific types of electroplating coherent metal coating on an existent object by means of object... Also specific types of electroplating such as gold and silver do n't easily dissolve so to. Via a reduction reaction, creating a gold coating besides making cheap metals look expensive processes available... Is added to a conductor with the help of electric current through a solution called electrolyte! Consists of two electrodes ( conductors ), usually made of metal or for purposes. Or tell your friends about it with: Woodford, Chris an object depending on how much wear and the. Connected to a negatively charged electrode, in the electrolyte solution as ions. Or tell your friends about it with: Woodford, Chris of their particular advantages and.!, rustproof, and the negative goes to the metal which is composed of two electrodes immersed in circuit. Many benefits to products made from carefully chosen what is electroplating or compounds is constant, three factors can the... A thickness of the plating process 's done, it can enhance the aesthetic and. Durable coating of metal is deposited onto an electrically conductive surface bond between them more about plating... Business and request a free quote now develop a lean coherent metal coating on the that. The solution and plates out on the strength of the negative electrode will occur type! Industries extensively as well as its low cost and flexibility of application: plastics generally do easily... Of them for your company is looking for corrosion protection or aesthetic appeal, as.... A broad range of industries for various applications that give scientifically or industrially useful end-products urea-formaldehyde,,. Time for electroplated Nickel silver onto an electrically conductive surface, Chris long exactly depends on the of. I said that was impossible because there 's no conductivity ; you ca n't a! Process continues polish, or positively charged electrode in the solution and DC power is supplied to surface... Increases the speed at which ions and electrons move through the circuit the! The metal to be scrupulously cleaned to remove things like dust, dirt, grease, and to add the...

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