What are the advantages and disadvantages of electroplating?
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.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial