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What is electroplating? Explain the process. Give two uses of electroplating.

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: Electroplating can be defined as the process of plating a layer of any metal on other material by passing the electric current.
This process is usually done to prevent the metal from corrosion and for decorative purposes.
Electroplating is performed in an electrolytic cell. The metal that is to be plated is made the cathode and the metal of which electroplating is to be done is in the form of a salt as the electrolyte.

Complete step by step answer:
Let us now study the process of electroplating in detail:
Before any material (known as substrate) can undergo the process of electroplating, it should be cleaned so that no obstruction shall be present to prevent the bonding of the layer on the metal material.
An electrolyte is also known as plating bathe and is prepared which is an aqueous solution of the metal of which the layer needs to be platted.
The material to be plated is immersed in the electrolyte solution and the material is made into a cathode.
The anode is the metal rod of the metal to be plated in the material.
The positively charged metal ion in the electrolytic solution gets attracted to the negatively charged cathode and gets attached to the substrate material.
More positively charged metal ions of the metal that is to be plated enter the electrolytic solution from the anode and then get attached to the cathode and thus the process of electroplating continues.
Reasons or Uses for performing electroplating:
For the protective purpose: to make it scratch resistance, to prevent corrosion, etc.
For beautification: to make the surface shiny, etc.
To enhance a particular chemical property of the substrate. For example - lubricity, etc.

Some of the examples of electroplating includes:
Electroplating of jewellery items.
Electroplating chromium of some materials to make them shiny.
Electroplating iron cans with tin to be used for food storing
And the most important and common is electroplating zinc on the iron to prevent it from corroding.