Types and Applications of Metal Plating

Types and Applications of Metal Plating

Electroplating involves reducing metal ions using electrical current to drive the chemical reaction. It enables control of the plating process.

FREMONT, CA : The metal plating process involves applying an exterior coating of nickel, copper, chromium, or another metal to prevent corrosion or improve the appearance of the parent metal. The metal is normally immersed in an acid solution with an anode and cathode electric current. 

The cathode (negative electrode) of an electrolysis cell through which a direct electric current is transmitted is the substrate to be plated. The requisite metal is in an oxidized state in the solution or bath (either as a complex ion or aquated cation). The anode is generally a bar of the plated metal. The metal from the bar dissolves and is deposited on the work during the electrolysis process. Faraday's law of electrolysis governs the procedure. The plating material deposits on the parent metal during the electroplating process.

Types of Plating

Electroplating (Electrolytic Plating)

This method involves reducing metal ions using electrical current to drive the chemical reaction. It enables control of the plating process.

Autocatalytic (Electroless Plating)

A chemical reaction causes metal atom reduction in the autocatalytic process. It is made of non-conductive substrates and does not require the use of electricity. The plating parameters are difficult to monitor, and the plating bath has a limited lifespan. This is attributed to as a conversion coating process. The following are some examples of conversion coatings: Iridite on aluminum, black oxide, chromate, and phosphate. Since the conversion coating process absorbs some of the substrate metal, it does not directly link dimensional growth and thickness.

Immersion Plating (Displacement Reaction)

The metal ion is reduced from the solution by exchanging with a metal atom from the substrate in this step. The deposited metal must have a higher Electromotive Force than the dissolved metal.


Surface protection (also known as anodic coatings or sacrificial coatings) is primarily used on iron and steel to protect the base metal.

Decorative Coatings: These enhance the appearance of the metal while also providing some protection.

Engineering Coatings: Are used to give a surface a particular property. Surfaces that improve solderability, conductivity, reflectivity, and other properties are examples.

Minor Metal Plating: A small number of metals for a limited number of applications.

Unusual Metals: These are metals that have been electroplated in unusual circumstances.

Alloy Metal Plating: Is used for a variety of applications.

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