Industrial Applications of Electroplating

Electroplating has long been used in industrial processes to enhance the functionality of many different metals and alloys. Electroplating is the application of a metal finish to various industrial materials. This is done so the material can obtain features such as an ability to conduct electricity, magnetism, or to enhance its appearance.

During an industrial process, electroplating can turn an initial material into a highly usable end product.

Improving appearance

A metal finish can turn a plain-looking substance into an attractive and shiny end product. This is often observed with jewelry, where electroplating is used to add a thin layer of precious metal to a product.

Electroplating gives the piece of jewelry a shiny and lustrous appearance that attracts attention. This also makes jewelry more affordable because the product is not actually made entirely of precious metal.

Forming a protective barrier

Adding a metal finish to industrial materials enables those items to have a higher level of protection against atmospheric conditions. For example, corrosion often affects various metals and causes them to get degraded over time.

When electroplating is done with a non-corrosive material, these products can have a longer lifespan and incur lower maintenance costs.

Inducing electrical conductivity

For materials that are intended for use in electrical products, inducing electrical conductivity is an important process. Electroplating makes this possible by adding a metal finish to the surface of the product. For example, adding a thin layer of silver is a common way in which electrical conductivity is induced in a material.

Heat resistance

There are some industrial components that need to have high heat resistance so they don't melt or otherwise degrade in such conditions. For example, engine parts typically need to have high hat resistance to keep the engine functioning correctly.

Electroplating adds a layer of a zinc-nickel alloy or gold. These metals are capable of withstanding very high temperatures and they protect the underlying material from heat damage.

Adding magnetic properties

Magnetic properties are important for products that are used in electronics, engineering, and other similar applications. Electroplating can induce magnetic properties in a substance by adding a nickel-plated layer.

This metal contains strong magnetic properties and makes the original material usable in industrial applications.

Reducing Friction

Materials used in different processes tend to rub or grind against each other often. This causes friction and can lead to the ear and tear of those components in a relatively short time.

A great way to reduce friction between components is to add nickel plating to the surface of those items. Nickel plating reduces friction and provides a smooth and polished surface for smooth contact.