When it comes to plating or coating metal there are different plating techniques that can be utilized. One of the most common techniques that are utilized is Electroplating. What is electroplating?
Electroplating is also known as electrodeposition is a process that involves depositing material onto different surfaces with an electric current. Thin pieces of metal are deposited on the surface or substrate of the object. By utilizing the electroplating process you are able to change the physical properties of the object at hand while increasing its wear resistance, adding corrosion protection, enhancing the aesthetic appeal, and increasing thickness. Electroplating is a centuries-old coating process that began as early as the 18th century. It was formalized by Brugnatelli in the first half of the 19th century. Slowly it was adopted by many and moved across Europe continuing on through the Industrial Revolution and both World Wars.
The process of electroplating utilizes an electric current to dissolve metal while working with 4 primary components.
Anode: this is the positively charged electrode in metal that will form the plating.
Cathode: This is the part of the object that needs to be plated and is also known as the substrate while acting as a negatively charged electrode.
Solution: Electro depositing action that must take place in an electrolytic solution. The solution contains one or more salts including copper sulfate which helps to facilitate the flow of electricity
Power Source: This is how the electric current is added to the circuit or electroplating process. The current then goes straight to the anode
Electroplating is a process that can be broke down and simplified by understanding the 4 main components of the process. It is important to note that while it may seem like a simple enough process, electrodeposition/electroplating should always be done by an experienced professional!