Electroplating, known as electrodeposition, a process that coating a thin layer of non- reactive metal on the surface of the reactive metals by electrolysis. The process of breaking down chemical compounds into their constituent elements by using electric current is known as electrolysis.
Importance of Electroplating:
The purpose of electroplating to improve the appearance of the metal which known as aesthetic. For example, jewellery often plated by gold or silver to make it more attractive and valuable. Rusting of metals occur when they interact with water and oxygen. Electroplating will protect the metal from corrosion or rusting. Metal that often use as protective layer are tin, zinc, nickel and others. For instance, food container is plated by tin to prevent it from rusting easily. Next, some electroplating are both aesthetic and protection. For instance, wheel rims are often plated by chromium to make them shininess and for protection. Moreover, electroplating can enhance electrical conductivity. For instance, gold plated and silver plated are used to manufacture electrical components such as computers, cell phone and others. Finally, electroplating can increases the thickness, lifespan, prevent tarnishing of an object.
Materials that commonly used to plate an object:
Not every materials are suitable for electroplating. The most common materials that suitable for electroplating are chromium, nickel, tin, zinc, cadmium, gold, silver, copper, palladium, platinum, ruthenium and brass.
The process of Electroplating:
In the electroplating process, two different electrodes are needed to immerse into the electrolyte. Electrodes can be classified into inert electrode and active electrode. Inert electrode such as platinum and carbon do not take part in chemical reactions during electrolysis; whereas active electrode such as copper, silver and mercury take part in chemical reactions during electrolysis.