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In industry, electroplating is the process whereby a cheap base metal, is coated with a much more expensive metal, in order to make it visually attractive and aesthetically pleasing (gold and silver plating are examples). Electroplating, is usually a decorative process and the aim is to increase the visual appeal of cheaper jewellery. It also serves to provide the surface, with a level of protection against corrosion. Some everyday products including bathroom taps, have been electroplated with chrome for decoration as well as corrosion resistance. Electroplating is also used to apply a conductive surface to metals, that are of low conductivity. Depending on the material to be applied as a coating, the opposite can also the achieved, increasing conductivity.
An example of copper plating is seen below. The process for electroplating with other metals is similar.
|ELECTROPLATING WITH COPPER|
|The copper anode is ionised, once the electrical current is allowed to flow. The ionic solution allows the positively charged copper atoms to flow to the negatively charged base metal, where they are deposited on the surface. This produces an effective coating of copper.|
|SAMPLE PRODUCTS - ELECTROPLATING|
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