Electroplating of metals
Weil, Rolf Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey.
- Electrical equipment
- Mechanical equipment
- Plating of Specific Metals
- Properties of Electrodeposits
- Wear resistance
- Mechanical properties
- Internal stress
- Density, and electrical and magnetic properties
- Special Applications
- Pulse plating
- Laser plating
- Additional Readings
A process for applying a coating to a metal surface by electrochemical means. Electroplating is extensively used to produce printed circuit boards. Its main advantage is that the circuit can be produced directly rather than having to be etched out of a piece of copper sheet. Electroplating is also widely used to impart corrosion resistance. Most parts of automobile bodies are zinc plated for corrosion resistance. Since zinc is more readily attacked by most corrosive agents that automobiles encounter than steel, it provides galvanic or sacrificial protection. An electrolytic cell is formed in which zinc, the less noble metal, is the anode and the steel, the more noble one, is the cathode. The anode corrodes and the cathode is protected. Zinc also provides a good base for paint. If a metal is more noble than the one on which it is electroplated, it provides protection against corrosion only if it is completely continuous. If a small area of the substrate is exposed such as under a pinhole, corrosion occurs there, rapidly forming a pit. See also: Electrochemistry
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