The etymology of electroplating takes us to the French word electroplating. The formation of the concept refers to Luigi galvani, an Italian physicist, physiologist and physician born on September 9, 1737 in Bologna and died on December 4, 1798.

Galvani made important discoveries related to electrical properties of the nerve impulses. For the development of the term electroplating, its last name to the compositional element -plasty, which refers to a “reconstruction”.

Electroplating allows a metallic layer to be applied through an electrolysis process.

What is electroplating

It is called electroplating to the application of a layer of metal on a body through a process of electrolysis. The idea of electrolysis or electrolysis, meanwhile, refers to decompose into ions a substance found in dissolution making use of a electric current.

Electroplating is based on the so-called electrodeposition. This treatment uses electric current to achieve the reduction of the metal cations found in an aqueous solution, sedimenting them on a conductor and thus creating a movie or cap.

What makes electroplating possible is the transfer of metal ions to a cathode from an anode. These ions are deposited in an aqueous solution of the cathode, where reduction takes place via electrodeposition.

Ions, cations, cathodes and anodes

As you can see, to understand what electroplating is, you have to know what various notions that are used in the chemistry and in the physical. First of all, it must be taken into account that a ion It is an atom -or a group of atoms- that has an electric charge from the gain or loss of one or more electrons.

An ion that has a positive charge, meanwhile, is called cation. If the charge is negative, it is a anion.


Thanks to electroplating it is possible to coat rings with a silver layer.

The cathodesOn the other hand, they are negative electrodes: in them the reduction reaction that generates a decrease in oxidation takes place. The anodesOn the contrary, they are positive electrodes where the oxidation reaction that increases the oxidation state takes place.

Electroplating Applications

Electroplating appeals to different processes that are based on electrodeposition. It usually points to optimize mechanical properties of the treated elements, which can increase their resistance or win hardness, for instance.

Stated colloquially, electroplating serves to depositing a metallic layer on an object. Thus, the object in question is coated with a metallic film that can have different thicknesses.

How do you need a half electrolytic containing the ions of the metal to be deposited, electroplating is also referred to as electrolytic plating or electroplated.

Functionality and aesthetics

Many times the use of electroplating is due to functional needs. However, it is also used for aesthetic reasons because the metallic plating can provide brightness yet ring, a bracelet or other product.

The silver it is a procedure that can be achieved with electroplating. Plating is covering with silverTherefore, to silver a metal is to cover it with a layer of silver. Electroplating makes this coating possible on copper, steel and other metals.