What are the advantages and disadvantages of electroplating?

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Electroplating is the process of plating one metal over another. It is done for various purposes, most commonly for imparting corrosion resistance and decorative appearance. There are a number of advantages of this process:

  • Corrosion resistance: a corrosion-prone substance such as iron can be coated with a layer of non-corrosive material, thereby protecting the original material.
  • Decorative items: shine and luster can be imparted to otherwise dull surfaces. This makes for great decorative items.
  • Cheaper ornaments: instead of making ornaments out of gold or silver, one can make them using cheaper metals and electroplate the ornaments with gold. This reduces the cost of ornaments greatly.
  • improving mechanical characteristics: electroplating can also improve the mechanical characteristics of metals.

There are a number of disadvantages of this process as well, such as:

  • Non-uniform plating: electroplating may or may not be uniform and this may result in a substandard appearance of the plated material.
  • Cost: the process is costly and time consuming.
  • Pollution potential: the electroplating solution, after use, needs to be disposed off safely and is a cause of environmental concern.

Hope this helps. 


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