Electroplating Services 101: What, How, Why?

Electroplating services, also known as electrodeposition, is a metal finishing and improving process used in all kinds of different industries. The process itself involves placing a thin layer of metal over the surface of a piece in order to change the physical properties of that piece. Adding this layer of metal could mean increasing the surface’s natural resistance and ability to fight off corrosion, or simply thickening its surface and improving its aesthetics, depending on what you need. Part of what makes electroplating so useful is that it can be used for a wide range of applications and for all kinds of purposes. 

How Does Electroplating Work?

The electroplating process dissolves metal with an electric current and then deposits that metal onto a given surface. This process sounds complicated, but it’s actually been in use in one form or another for centuries. There are just a few key components to a successful electroplating process, which are the anode, the cathode, the solution, and the power source.

The anode is the positively charged electrode that is in the circuit and will form the metal plating. The cathode, or substrate, is the negatively charged electrode in the circuit. The solution is made up of metal salts, especially copper sulfate, in order to make the flow of electricity easier. Lastly, the power source is what applies the initial electricity to the system, providing a current to the anode and starting the electroplating process. The combination of all these elements makes it possible for the electroplating system to transform your materials and create a durable surface.    

Why is Electroplating Beneficial?

There are all kinds of benefits to electroplating, whether you’re looking to make your materials more durable or simply more attractive. When you go through the process, you can expect all of the following electroplating benefits:

  • Temperature resistance. Certain metals are resistant to heat, and selecting these metals for your electroplating process will make your materials more durable in the heat and more resilient in the face of heat damage. Gold and zinc-nickel in particular can make your projects tougher and more heat resistant.
  • Damage barrier. Electroplating will protect your project from the elements, including corrosion and more. If your project will be exposed to the outdoors or harsh conditions in general, electroplating can ensure everything lasts longer and in better condition.
  • Improved appearance. Layering your pieces with metal can give your projects an impressive shine and new luster, especially if you use precious metals. Using thin layers of these materials can give you all the benefits of their appearance without adding too much to your total cost.
  • Electrical conductivity. Using good electroplating services can be a great way to increase the conductivity of an electrical project. Silver and copper plating can improve conductivity dramatically, and can help you control and reduce the costs of your electrical projects.
  • Protected surfaces. After the electroplating process, your substrate materials will be harder and more durable. With this extra metal support, you can expect less repair work in the future and fewer problems when your materials are exposed to stress or rough treatment.

Many of these benefits can be enhanced based on the type of metal you choose to electroplate with, whether you’re in the market for increased electrical conductivity or just a nice shine on your final project. In particular, we can offer silver, matte, and bright tin finishes for a final touch that will really stand out. Reach out to us today if you’re interested in what metals will be most beneficial for your project—we’re happy to give you any information you need regarding our electroplating services.

The Takeaway

Electroplating is a time-proven, cost-effective method to enhance and strengthen projects of all kinds. We believe that almost all projects can benefit from dependable electroplating services. If your project could benefit at all from increased durability, resistance to the elements, or just an attractive shine, electroplating services could be a great solution for you. 
We are particularly proud of our electroplating services, and the benefits we can provide. Request a quote from us today, and we can tell you exactly how the electroplating process can give your projects an advantage. We can offer you professional advice on what metals we recommend and what features would be most advantageous for your work in particular.