Metals are an extremely important resource for our life and livelihood. It is impossible to imagine a world without metals. Over time, we have used metals to build our lives and civilization to take it where it is now and have discovered that some metals are more useful than some others. Further combination of different metals has given us alloys that form the backbone of the infrastructure of our civilization. We have discovered that some metals are resistant to rust while some others are shiny and attractive to look at. Our knowledge has helped us use metals to our advantage and to satisfy our needs.
What is Electroplating
Electroplating is one of the innumerable processes that help us use metals to our advantage. It is basically a process where an object that conducts electricity is coated with a layer of a metal with the help of electric current. Electroplating is mainly used for depositing an adhering superficial layer of metal with certain desirable properties onto a substance which does not have such properties. The property could be anything like wear and abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, lubricity, aesthetic qualities, etc. Electroplating comes handy for both decorative and functional purposes. The process is also used in industries to build up thickness on undersized machine parts. It is widely used in various industries like automobiles, machinery parts, jewelry, etc. There are many enterprises that offer Electroplating Services as solutions for various kinds of people and industry.
To describe the electroplating process in layman’s terms, it involves immersing the material to be electroplated in a solution containing one or more dissolved metal salts and ions that allow electricity to flow. The dissolved metal salts include those of the metal with which the plating is to be done. Another plate or rod of the metal that will form the coating is immersed in the solution. Now electric current is passed through the solution which results in depositing of the metal on to the material to be plated.
The benefits and uses of electroplating are varied. It is used both for industrial purposes and decorative purposes. One of the most common is the use of silver-plating for brass or copper electrical connectors. This is because silver has a much lower surface electrical resistance than other metals and thus helps in easy electrical connection. This is widely used in Radio Frequency (RF) connectors since radio frequency current flows mainly on the surface of the conductors. Chrome plating is extensively used for protecting steel automobile parts from corrosion. Noble metals like gold, platinum are extensively used for plating jewelry and decorative items to give them a shiny and attractive finish. Nickel is also used for plating decorative items, automobile and machinery parts against abrasion and corrosion and also to build-up and thicken under-sized machine parts.
Electroplating services offered by different providers thus have very many uses in our daily lives, both in terms of utility and decoration.