Electroplating is a process whereby an object is coated with one or more relatively thin, tightly adherent layers of one or more metals. It is accomplished by placing the object to be coated on a plating rack or a fixture, or in a basket or in a rotating container in such a manner that a suitable current may flow through it, and then immersing it in a series of solutions and rinses in planned sequence. The advantage to be gained by electroplating may be considerable; broadly speaking, the process is used when it is desired to endow the basis material (selected for cost, material conservation, and physical property reasons) with surface properties it does not possess.
It should be noted that although electroplating is the most widely used process for applying metals to a substrate, they may also be applied by spraying, vacuum deposition, cladding, hot dipping, chemical reduction, mechanical plating, etc. The purpose for applying an electroplate and the metals used for various applications follow.