Electroplating

When metal is used to coat the surface of conducting material, the process is known as Electroplating. It is also called an electroplated coating. It changes the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of the electroplated object. 

The step-by-step process involved in Electroplating is mentioned below-

  1. In the electrolytic cell, the surface to be covered works as a cathode connected to the negative terminal.
  2. The metal used for covering acts as an anode, which is connected to the positive terminal. 
  3. Both the anode and the cathode are put in an electrolyte solution, and then an external supply of direct current is connected to it. 
  4. The anode is oxidized as soon as DC power runs through it. The metal ions that have been dissolved are reduced at the point of the cathode, thereby coating it.

Acids, bases, metal salts, and molten salts are used as electrolytes. Some defined properties have to be checked before using it as an electrolyte- corrosivity, resistance, mechanical strength, hardness, and ductility. The most common metals used for Electroplating are copper, nickel, gold, silver, chrome, tin, and zinc.